Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Don't forget to maintain your accessibility statement

October 15, 2023 | Accessibility

The accessibility statement should be updated if problems on the site are fixed or new ones are found. It is a general recommendation that the statement should also include a timetable for fixing the problems. It is important to remember that the accessibility statement is not there so problems on the site can just be written down and forgotten about.

I thought it might be a good idea to refresh your memory of the things relating to the accessibility statements, especially now that the amendments to the Act on the Provision of Digital Services are coming into force on June 28, 2025.

The accessibility statement is required by Finnish law

It's also good to remember that the accessibility statement is required by the law here in Finland. If a site is subject to accessibility requirements, it is also subject to the requirement for an accessibility statement.

There aren't strict requirements for the formatting of the statement, but there are certain parts you must have in it. Firstly, it must be easy to locate. A common place for it is, for example, in the footer of a website.

The statement must also be accessible. The law does not say whether the accessibility statement should be on a separate page on the website or, for example, as a file link. In many cases, the implementation as a page is by default a more accessible solution than as a file. File accessibility requires both know-how and the right tools.

Requirements for the accessibility statement

There are four requirements for the statement under Finnish law:

  1. The statement must include an explanation of which parts of the content of the service provider's digital service do not meet the accessibility requirements. In addition, this must include a justification for the deviation from the accessibility requirements.
  2. The statement must include instructions on how the user can access the information contained in the digital service or an alternative way of accessing the service if the service or any part of it is not in an accessible format for the user.
  3. The statement must include the electronic contact details of the service provider to which the user can send accessibility feedback.
  4. The statement must include a link to the website of the supervisory authority where the user can lodge an accessibility complaint or request for clarification.

Why all the fuss about the accessibility statement? Who cares about it?

The statement is useful for website owners and people doing accessibility monitoring. But the group of people who benefit from it the most are the end users. By reading an accessibility statement, a user can decide whether a website is accessible enough to them and not waste their time on a website they cannot use. So the value of the accessibility statement can’t be underestimated.

You can use the accessibility statement to include more than the required things, though. You can use it to bring transparency and accountability. You can inform the users about the efforts that are being made to ensure accessibility and inclusivity.