Eu actions on web accessibility
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EU actions on Web-Accessibility. Funka Accessibility Days 10.04.2013. Different types of actions. Policy initiatives Standardisation activities Projects Studies. 1. Policy Initiatives. Encouragements and commitments from 2000 till now: European Commission

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Eu actions on web accessibility

EU actions on Web-Accessibility

Funka Accessibility Days 10.04.2013


Different types of actions

Different types of actions

  • Policy initiatives

  • Standardisation activities

  • Projects

  • Studies


1 policy initiatives

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Encouragements and commitments from 2000 till now:

    European Commission

  • eEuropeAction Plan (2000) and Communication on eEurope 2002: Accessibility of Public Web Sites and their Content (2001)

  • Communications on eAccessibility(2005) and Towards and accessible information society (2008)

  • Proposal for an Equal Treatment Directive (2008)

    European Parliament

  • Resolution on the Commission Communication on eEurope 2002


1 policy initiatives1

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Encouragements and Commitments from 2000 till now:

    Council

  • Resolutions on eEurope Action Plan (2002)

  • Riga Ministerial Declaration (2006)

  • Conclusions on the Commission Communication on the accessible information society (2009)


1 policy initiatives2

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Despite all these efforts, and…

  • National measures

    21 Member States committed to Web Accessibility through legislative and non-legislative measures

  • International measures

    United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) signed by all MS and ratified by most – ACTUAL COMMITMENT


1 policy initiatives3

1. Policy Initiatives

  • …WA situation in EU today

  • Low accessibility of public sector websites throughout EU

    less than 40% of the public sector websites accessible

  • Wide variety of diverging and uncoordinated efforts at EU level

    leading to varying national specifications


1 policy initiatives4

1. Policy Initiatives

  • So what now?

  • From "soft EU law" and national initiatives to "harder law" at EU level

  • Current and upcoming complementary policy actions:

  • Proposal for new Public Procurement Directive

  • Proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies´ websites (Web-Accessibility Directive)

  • European Accessibility Act


1 policy initiatives5

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for new Public Procurement Directive

  • Establishes obligation to take into account accessibility in technical specifications of public contracts

    "For all procurement the subject of which is intended for use by persons [...] those technical specifications shall, except in duly justified cases, be drawn up so as to take into account accessibility criteria for people with disabilities or design for all users."

  • In opposition to encouragement of the existing version (2004)

    "Whenever possible, technical specifications should be defined as to take into account accessibility criteria for people with disabilities or design for all users“


1 policy initiatives6

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for new Public Procurement Directive

  • Sets preference of European standards over International ones for technical specifications

  • Potential resulting scenario:

    Obligation to take into account accessibility + Preference of European standards + Upcoming EU standard on web-accessibility (EN 301549) =

    PROCURED WEBSITES ACCESSIBLE ACCORDING TO WCAG 2.0

  • Proposal is currently under discussion


1 policy initiatives7

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

  • Problem:

    Non-functioning of the internal market for provision of web-accessibility;

  • Drivers:

    Fragmentation due to different national web accessibility (WA) specs

    Uncertainty for the procurers / owners


1 policy initiatives8

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

  • Consequences of the problem

    Citizens:

  • Low accessibility of public sector websites

  • Social exclusion

    Web- Developers:

  • Difficulties for SMEs to operate cross-borders

  • Limited interoperability of assistive technologies

    Member States – Owners of websites:

  • Costs for alternative service provision and higher cost/website

  • Criticism on social and public responsibility


1 policy initiatives9

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

  • The proposal establishes harmonised accessibility requirements for a set of public sector bodies´ websites

    Requirements

  • In line with Principles of WCAG 2.0:

    Websites to be accessible in “an adequate way for user´s perception, operation and understanding” and “in a way which facilitates interoperability with a variety of user agents and assistive technologies at Union and international level”

    Scope

  • Public sector: Websites owned by public sector bodies

  • Websites offering 12 types of essential services for citizens


1 policy initiatives10

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

    Use of standards

  • Presumption of conformity with requirements for websites which meet future European harmonised standard

  • Harmonised standard to point to WCAG 2.0 AA

  • Indirect referencing to harmonised standard: Possible to update the content of the standard (i. e. WCAG 3.0) without changing the legislation

    Monitoring and reporting

  • Compulsory monitoring of the compliance and reporting to the Commission

  • Monitoring methodology to be decided together by MS and the EC


1 policy initiatives11

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

    Additional measures

  • Encouragement to extend the scope of the implementation to public sector websites

    • => Fostering spill-over effect to national legislation

  • MS to support mechanisms of consultations and cooperate with industry and civil society

    Timeline

  • Fixed deadlines for transposition and implementation (end 2015)


1 policy initiatives12

1. Policy Initiatives

  • Proposal for Web-Accessibility Directive

  • Opportunities to be created

    For citizens:

  • Improved access to essential 'basic public services‘

    For industry:

  • Easier and cheaper to operate EU-wide

  • Better growth conditions for SME´s (clear and consistent use of technical criteria).

    For public administrations

  • Efficiency/effectiveness, reduced need for helpdesk support (20% );

  • Fulfil social responsibility and commitments


1 policy initiatives13

1. Policy Initiatives

  • European Accessibility Act

  • Expected to cover web-accessibility, in particular private sector

  • Complementary to and not in conflict with the Web-Accessibility Directive

  • Currently under preparation by DG JUST


2 standardisation activities

2. Standardisation activities

  • Mandate 376

  • Mandate by the EC to the European Standardisation Bodies to deliver aEuropean standard on accessibility requirements of public procurement of ICT products and services

  • Final draft of the standard (EN 301549) is currently under public enquiry

  • Web-content requirements: Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements of WCAG 2.0 in ISO/IEC 40500:2012

    • It also includes some basic elements for verification of compliance

  • Estimated date for publication: February 2014

  • Mandate 376 states that the resulting standard may be used for other cases than public procurement (i.e. WA Directive)


3 projects

3. Projects

  • Funding to different Research and Development projects:

  • eAccess+: Establishing a cooperative platform for co-ordinating, supporting and improving the implementation of eAccessibility throughout Europe

  • WAI-ACT: Collaborative environment to result in

    • Expanded European and international cooperation on the development of accessibility solutions for people with disabilities;

    • Consensus-based, authoritative technical guidance to accelerate implementation of advanced technologies;

    • Internationally harmonised evaluation methodologies;

    • A coordinated research agenda on eAccessibility


4 studies

4. Studies

  • Funding for many studies, consultations and surveys on Web-Accessibility in Europe:

  • Measuring Progress of eAccessibility in Europe (MeaC I)

  • Economic Assessment for Improving e-Accessibility Services and Products

  • Monitoring eAccessibility (MeaC II)

  • Web-accessibility in European countries: level of compliance with latest international accessibility specifications, notably WCAG 2.0, and approaches or plans to implement those specifications

  • Monitoring eAccessibility in Europe (Meac III): Currently under preparation and expected to be published in the upcoming months


Thank you

Thank you!


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