The German public sector, together with private entities providing services for the public sector, responds to the guidelines for accessibility prescribed by the BITV( Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung), a federal ordinance for fair access to information technology.
In version 2.0, the BITV outlines Web accessibility guidelines for sites of German federal institutions and other public information sources.
The BITV 2.0 standard is based mainly on the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines, albeit with a substantial difference. The ordinance divides accessibility measures into two priority levels.
Levels A and AA of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines are translated in Priority I of the BITV. However, in the case of platforms that act as a portal for other lower-level entities, the ordinance requires central navigation and entry points to comply with Priority II, corresponding to the AAA compliance level of the WCAG guidelines.
The BITV standard also provides general explanations of the contents and navigation in German sign language and through a simplified language.
A further piece of legislation, the Gesetz zur Gleichstellung von Menschen mit Behinderungen (Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz – BGG), is a non-discrimination law that reaffirms the need to guarantee the whole usability of goods and services to citizens.
According to this law, the entities under the responsibility of the German Federal Government will have to undertake to provide barrier-free information and communication technologies, designing their sites and applications in the most accessible way possible.