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Accessibility in the Federal Ministry

The Austrian Constitution contains a clear commitment to the equality of people with and without disabilities in all areas of society.

An essential role in this context is played by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the national legislation on equality.

Accessibility means that all areas of human life are principally accessible and useable by every person without the assistance of others.

This refers in particular to the construction sector, the field of mobility and the issue of information and communications technology.

The field of construction covers buildings and structures, while the mobility-related area covers comprehensive accessibility in public buildings and public transport. The field of information and communications technology includes, for example, devices and apps which are operated by people.

The Ministry of Social Affairs also takes the matter of the realisation of accessibility in its own building very seriously and is considered to be an example of best practice within Austria and abroad.

Building accessibility

Section 8 para. 2 of the Federal Disability Equality Act (BGStG) obliges the federal government to take suitable and specifically required measures to facilitate the access of people with disabilities to services and offers. The federal government had to draw up a plan for the elimination of barriers in the buildings it uses and implement it in stages (as part of the staged plan for federal buildings). The Ministry of Social Affairs has already successfully implemented its multi-stage plan in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW).  

The Austrian National Council of Disabled Persons (formerly the ÖAR) was involved in the staged plan. After a detailed examination, it established that the Ministry’s main building at 1 Stubenring is largely accessible. The government building at 1 Stubenring is principally accessible for people with disabilities and can be fully used in the usual way without the help of other persons. In this process, the current Austrian standards (ÖNORM B 1600, V 2102 and V 2105) were taken into account, and the historical and protected building was adapted in the best possible way to make it accessible. The privately rented building at the location 4 Favoritenstraße has also been made accessible in line with the constructional and legal situation there.

The Ministry of Social Affairs is also continuing to work on its adherence to and improvement of the situation with regard to accessibility in its buildings. This includes making it easier to find one’s way in the buildings at both locations, for example via the marking of emergency exits, a tactile guidance system and orientation aids.

After visitors have called at the door using the intercom system, people with disabilities are met by staff in the entrance area of the building at 1 Stubenring, and picked up in person at the building at 4 Favoritenstraße.

Digital accessibility in connection with information and communications technology

As soon as products or services can be used digitally, they have to be designed according to the technical guidelines on accessibility. This is to ensure accessible use independently of a person possibly having a disability.

For example: if a study is drawn up and offered as a download in pdf format, the pdf document must fulfil the technical guidelines for accessible pdfs.

The Ministry of Social Affairs is actively participating in the inter-ministerial working group on accessible information and communications technology, and has been carrying out a project on the Inclusive Award of Public Contracts within the ministry. This project is intended to ensure that the procedure for the award of public contracts is accessible (from the call for tenders to the conclusion of the contract) and that the same applies to the procurement of digitally useable products and services.

The website of the Ministry of Social Affairs is, as far as possible, accessible according to the international technical WCAG guidelines. Detailed information on this topic is available in our accessibility statement.

Accessibility for the employees of the Ministry of Social Affairs

the Ministry of Social Affairs offers its employees with disabilities special assistive IT tools and services. These include voice control, screen readers, software to enlarge the contents of a screen, Braille displays and scanners. The electronic file system (ELAK), Word and PowerPoint templates as well as all internal forms, circulars and decrees are also available in an accessible form.

last update: 3 September 2019