Website accessibility in Israel
Israeli standard 5568
According to the gov.il website, people with disabilities have the right to full and equal participation in all areas of life. The law of equal rights for people with disabilities and the accessibility regulations are designed to ensure that they can exercise this right.
Many service providers use the Internet as a channel to provide service to the public (for example, for the purpose of selling products), as well as to provide information about the services they provide. In order for the public of people with disabilities to be able to receive service via the Internet like the rest of the public, adjustments must be made to the websites and applications that provide the service or information about it according to Sign C of the Regulations on Equal Rights for People with Disabilities (Service Accessibility Adjustments), 2013-2013
What is Internet accessibility in Israel?
A site accessible according to the service accessibility regulations is a site where adjustments have been made according to Israeli standard 5568.
The Israeli standard is an adoption of international guidelines – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines of the international organization W3C (a Hebrew translation of the accessibility guidelines is at your disposal). The guidelines document includes links to explanations and examples of how to make the accessibility.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
The accessibility adjustments allow people with various disabilities such as the blind and visually impaired, people with physical disabilities who have difficulty using their hands, people with cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, people with hearing disabilities and people with other disabilities, to make effective use of the services and information offered on the website.
Here are some examples of guidelines according to which websites are adapted for people with disabilities:
A blind user uses software that can read information from the computer. When he browses the site, he will be able to read all the texts in a logical order (criterion 1.3.2), get a description of the information found in the images (criterion 1.1.1), recognize titles and links (criterion 1.3.1) and be able to activate everything on the site such as Links, forms, buttons (criteria 2.1.1, 2.1.2). These adaptations mostly require writing standard code for the site and providing alternative information for images and multimedia.
A surfer who, due to her disability, cannot operate a mouse or similar device, will be able to navigate the site and perform actions using commands given through the keyboard (criteria 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.7).
The text on the site is in a prominent color relative to the background, so that it is possible for people with impaired vision to read the text (criterion 1.4.6).
People with hearing impairments can receive the verbal information provided in the videos on the website by adding subtitles to the videos.
According to the regulations, accessibility adjustments must be made to a website that provides a “public service” as defined in Section 19J of the Equal Rights Law.
And in addition, in the second appendix, these services are listed, among others: commercial services, welfare, health, education, leisure, sports, tourism, hospitality, culture, entertainment, religion, energy, communication (Bezeq), banking service, credit, insurance, pension or any service financial, and vehicle rental. Whoever provides a service according to this definition via the Internet is required to make the website accessible.
The person responsible for the accessibility of the service provided via the Internet, or information about the service provided via the Internet, is the actual owner, holder or operator of the service. That is, the owner, holder or operator of the website has the duty to ensure that he himself or whoever provides him with the services of building the websites or applications, or produces content for him, will do so according to the accessibility requirement.
It should be emphasized that the website builders are not obliged to make accessibility adjustments to the websites they have built, but according to the instructions they receive from the person for whom they are building the website. This is similar to a building contractor, he himself is not obliged to make any accessibility adjustments for the building he builds, but the person who pays him for his services.
However, in cases where the website builder is also the service provider, he will be obliged to provide accessibility.
The factors responsible for accessibility are:
A private entity operating for profit, such as a company or a licensed dealer.
Public authorities, such as a government office or local authority.
The body that operates not for profit, such as an association that provides a service to the public.
The regulations apply to both large-scale services and small-scale services, taking into account the resources available to the service provider. Service providers with low financial turnover may be exempted from access due to too heavy a financial burden.
Who is responsible for making videos accessible:
The obligation to make videos accessible only applies to a public authority or a body with an average turnover exceeding NIS 5 million.
An authority or entity as mentioned must make video content available after October 25, 2017.
Do applications (applications) require accessibility?
Applications intended for devices other than a stationary or mobile computer, such as a smart phone (smartphone) and a tablet (tablet), must be accessible.
For example, a bank application that allows you to perform account operations and receive information about the bank’s services should be accessible.
However, there is an exemption from app accessibility, if at the same time an accessible website must be charged, which provides the same service and is adapted to mobile devices (responsive website).
The operator of an inaccessible application must, in accordance with the said exemption, publish an accessible link in the application, as far as possible, pointing to the website that meets the accessibility requirements.
The timetables for accessibility
First, there is an obligation to perform an accessibility check of an existing website according to the website accessibility check form.
In general, all Internet services must be accessible.
Old documents (documents created before October 25, 2017) do not have to be accessible, even if they are uploaded to a new website. For example, PDF files or
The Commission emphasizes that a new website must be accessible immediately upon its launch. Therefore, a new website should not be built on a platform that does not allow accessibility.
It is possible that small businesses will not be required to make it accessible or that the obligation will be postponed to a later date, depending on their financial turnover data.
Who can sue for lack of accessibility and in what situation
The person who can sue for the inaccessibility of a service or information on the Internet is a person with a disability, the Commission or an organization engaged in promoting the rights of people with disabilities, subject to what is stated in the law.
Since the services and information on the Internet are updated and changed with high frequency, it is possible that from time to time there will be deviations from the instructions for accessing Internet services. Such a case will not be considered a violation (therefore a claim cannot be filed for it without the obligation to prove damage) unless the obligor has been notified of this deviation. The debtor must correct the lack of accessibility within a reasonable time, but no more than 60 days from receiving the notice.
The number of 60 days will start from the date of receipt of the notice by the debtor.
Exempted from accessing the service and information on the Internet
Exemption due to excessive burden
The legislator does not intend to impose on service providers whose resources are limited, a burden that would make it difficult for them to meet it.
Regarding the method of issuing an exemption from accessibility in Internet services, the amount of turnover must be examined, and a distinction must be made between those whose website is “existing” (first activated before October 26, 2017) and a “new” website (first activated after this date).
There is no need to contact the Commission:
Those whose turnover is less than NIS 100,000 or who are defined as an “exempt dealer” for value added tax purposes, do not need to apply to the Commission to issue an exemption, but may issue a “self-exemption” as stated below.
Those whose turnover is less than one million NIS, and whose website was activated for the first time before October 26, 2017 (“existing website”) – do not need to contact the Commission to issue an exemption, but may issue a “self-exemption” as stated below.
may request an exemption from the Commission:
Those whose turnover is higher than NIS 100,000 and whose website was activated for the first time after October 26, 2017 (“new website”) may apply to the Commission for an exemption from making accessibility adjustments in Internet services, due to an excessively heavy financial burden.
Those whose turnover is over NIS 1 million may apply to the Commission for an exemption from making accessibility adjustments in Internet services, due to an excessively heavy financial burden.
For instructions regarding submitting a request for exemption from accessibility in Internet services for those with a turnover over NIS 1,000,000 on an existing site or over NIS 100,000 on a new site.
These exemptions do not exist for service providers that are public authorities.
Exemption due to excessively heavy burden – without contacting the Commission
The exemptions listed below are self-exemptions to which any debtor who meets the criteria is entitled. It is not necessary to contact the Commission to confirm the existence of the exemption.
An exempt dealer or a dealer with a turnover under NIS 100,000 has a full exemption from making internet services accessible.
For a debtor with a turnover between 100,000 NIS and 1,000,000 NIS, there is a temporary exemption for 3 years for the accessibility of existing websites only, the operation of which began before October 26, 2017. If such a debtor builds a new website, the new website must be accessible.
The exemption for the existing website is conditioned on the fact that the means of contacting the debtor for the purpose of receiving service will be published on his website in an accessible manner, or on another accessible website, as necessary. The exemption will be renewed every three years, after a re-examination of the average turnover for the last 3 years, provided that it is still at the aforementioned level.
It will be emphasized that if a lawsuit is filed against the debtor due to the inaccessibility of Internet services, or an inspection is carried out on behalf of the Commission, he will have to present the exemption he issued, and the data on which it was based.
In calculating the scope of the required revenue cycle in the three years preceding the issuance of the exemption, the revenue from any source and not only from the website must be taken into account. If in a certain year the revenue cycle was 0, this year will not be included in the calculation of the average revenue.
Exemption due to technological impossibility
As a general rule, a request for an exemption for technological reasons is not granted by the Commissioner, therefore an application for this reason should not be submitted to the Commission, except as detailed below.
If it is not possible to make a certain adjustment or a part of it, because there is no technological possibility to do it, you can get an exemption from making that adjustment.
A service accessibility licensee may approve an exemption for a debtor who uses his internet services in an infrastructure (platform) or a technological interface that does not allow, for technological reasons, a certain adjustment.
A licensee will approve the exemption based on the opinion of a professional (such as a website building expert) who has education and experience in the field of internet service accessibility.
The accessibility licensee will fill out the exemption form for technological reasons.
The exemption due to a technological reason will be valid for up to 3 years from the date of its issuance, and can be renewed for up to 3 more years. An exemption beyond that will only be granted with the approval of the Equal Rights Commissioner for people with disabilities, for special reasons that will be registered.
A debtor who received an exemption for a technological reason will provide alternative accessibility adjustments. He will also publish in the accessibility statement the wording of the exemption and the alternative adaptations, and at the request of a person with a disability, he will give him the technological exemption certificate.
Exemption for a site with a minority of subscribers
Internet service accessibility exemption due to a small number of registrants, as detailed below, is not granted by the Commissioner, therefore an application for this reason should not be submitted to the Commission.
Content of an internet service that is conditional on the user’s registration and that has a maximum of 500 participants registered to it at the same time, is exempt from accessibility. The website infrastructure is not exempt in this case. For example, the content published on the website of a Spanish course attended by 300 people does not require accessibility.