Accessibility:The degree to which a product, device, service or environment (virtual or real) is available to as many people as possible.
Assistive technology:Separate hardware or software added to equipment or services to enable persons with more severe disabilities to overcome barriers faced in gaining access to information and communication. Assistive technology enables or compensates for the capabilities of users with functional, motor, sensory or intellectual impairments.
Assessment:A process that includes the examination, interaction with, and observation of individuals or groups with actual or potential health conditions, impairments, activity limitations or participation restrictions. Assessment may be required for rehabilitation interventions or to gauge eligibility for educational support, social protection or other services.
Braille:A system of writing for individuals who are visually impaired. It uses letters, numbers and punctuation marks comprising patterns of raised dots.
Disability:Disability is an evolving concept. It results from the interaction between persons with impairments and the attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others, as defined in the CRPD. Under the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) adopted by WHO in 2001, disability is defined as the outcome of the interaction between impairments and negative environmental impacts. WHO emphasizes that most people will experience some degree of disability at some point during their lives. Accordingly, the ICF classification focuses on a person’s abilities and strengths and not just the impairments and limitations. It also grades functioning on a scale from “no impairment” to “complete impairment”. By shifting the focus from cause to impact, the ICF places all health conditions on an equal footing.
Electronic document:Downloadable files, which can be consulted, printed or filled in by users either offline or online.
EN 301 549:A standard of the European Union, which describes functional accessibility requirements applicable to ICT products and services, in addition to setting out test procedures and an evaluation methodology for each accessibility requirement in a form that is suitable for use in public procurement in Europe.
Impairment:A term used to refer to the loss or limitation of physical, mental, intellectual or sensory function on a long-term or permanent basis.
Information and communication technologies (ICT):This encompasses a wide range of hardware, software, formats and systems that enable communication through electronic means. This includes devices and systems used for the storage, processing and retrieval of electronic information to the array of devices and software used to retrieve this information, in addition to devices and systems used to communicate in real time with other people.
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF):The classification that provides a unified and standard language and framework for the description of health and health-related states. The ICF is part of the “family” of international classifications developed by WHO.
Persons with disabilities:Individuals who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Older persons with functional disabilities are also regarded as persons with disabilities (article 1, CRPD).
Public sector:Ministries, national government departments, local government and other government or public agencies that provide e-government services and communication to the public, in addition to public education resources available via websites, email, SMS and other means of electronic communication.
Reasonable accommodation:The application of necessary and appropriate modifications and adjustments, without imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, to ensure that persons with disabilities can enjoy and exercise all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others.
Universal design:Universal design is a strategy which aims to make the design and composition of different environments, products, means of communication, information technologies and services accessible to, understandable to and usable by all persons in the most independent and natural manner possible, preferably without the need for adaptation or specialized solutions. The Seven Principles of Universal Design are meant to “guide the design of environments, products and communications”:
o Principle 1: Equitable use
o Principle 2: Flexibility in use
o Principle 3: Simple and intuitive use
o Principle 4: Perceptible information
o Principle 5: Tolerance for error
o Principle 6: Low physical effort
o Principle 7: Size and space for approach and use
User:A person who interacts with the product, service or environment
The Web Accessibility Directive (Directive (EU) 2016/2102 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies):A directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of Europe in force since 22 December 2016, which obliges public sector bodies in European Union member States, with a limited number of exceptions (e.g. broadcasters and live streamers), to meet specific technical accessibility standards on their websites and mobile applications. The Directive requires: an accessibility statement for each website and mobile application; a feedback mechanism allowing users to flag accessibility problems or request information published in a non-accessible format; and regular monitoring of public sector websites and applications by member States and reporting on the results. The Directive refers to EN 301 549, V2.1.2 (2018-08) as the harmonized standard for websites and mobile applications that provides for the presumption of conformity with the Directive.
Website:The entire collection of electronic files accessible through a domain name. It includes all home pages and other pages (including web applications and services and dynamically generated content) referenced from the website home page.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1:The web standard developed as part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.

21 Some of these terms and definitions are based on: ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector, “Accessibility terms and definitions”, Series F: Non-telephone telecommunication services: Multimedia services, Recommendation ITU-T F.791.