If the application fails to meet all the accessibility requirements, a conforming alternate version can be made available. In this respect, however, the following requirements must be met:

  • The conforming alternate version meets all the requirements, i.e. it is completely accessible. If several alternative versions are offered, at least one alternative version is fully conforming. Therefore, offering specific alternative versions for individual user groups which only meet the requirements of the respective group is not permitted unless there is no alternative version which fulfills all the requirements of all user groups.
  • The conforming alternate version is equivalent in terms of all its content and functions to the version which is not accessible. This means that the alternative version may not contain outdated information. Insofar as the standard version is offered in different languages, the alternative version must also be offered in the languages.
  • The conforming alternate version can be achieved in an accessible way. This means:
    • The function for changing to the conforming alternate version must be accessible.
    • The standard version may not contain any keyboard traps or flashing content. In addition, the standard version may not contain any moving, flashing, automatically updating or acoustic content that cannot be stopped (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#cc5).
    • Alternatively, both the conforming and standard version can be achieved using an accessible screen (e.g. the login screen), or the conforming alternate version is the standard version.
  • The purpose and achievement of the conforming alternate version is explained in the documentation.
  • The Support Service can explain the purpose and achievement of the conforming alternate version (to comply with EN 301 549, section 12.2.2).

It is recommended that only one version of the application is offered at a time and that it is designed so that it is accessible.

Note 1: A typical use case for a conforming alternate version is when the standard version of the Web application does not meet the contrast requirements for content consisting of text or graphics due to the corporate design. In this case, the conforming alternate version can use a CSS marking that provides for sufficient contrast.

Note 2: For selected Web applications that are already largely accessible, an overlay tool may be able to generate a conforming alternate version that fully meets the above requirements. However, this is usually not the case, especially if the Web application has problems that cannot be found and fixed automatically. Therefore, an overlay tool cannot be used as a standard to provide a conforming alternate version ( Monitoring Center of the German Federal Government for the Accessibility of Information Technology - Publications - Joint Assessment of the Monitoring Centers of the Federal Government and Federal States for the Accessibility of Information Technology on the use of Overlay Tools (bfit-bund.de) (External Link))

Note 3: For desktop applications, EN 301 549 does not make any statements about alternative versions. However, it may be assumed that the same requirements apply to desktop applications.

Information about this article

You are welcome to send feedback by email about our handout!