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eAccessibility and web Accessibility European Actions. Unit eInclusion. EYPD 2003. e-Europe. Lisbon  e-Europe initiative “an Information Society for All” e-Europe Action Plan 2002: e-Accessibility  EC DG EMPL + INFSO  ESDIS / eAccessibility Experts WG

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e europe
  • Lisbon  e-Europe initiative “an Information Society for All”
  • e-Europe Action Plan 2002:
    • e-Accessibility  EC DG EMPL + INFSO  ESDIS / eAccessibility Experts WG
      • “Accessibility of Public Web Sites and their Content” (ref. WAI)
  • EC Communication (Sept-2001) to EP, Council, CoR, ESC
  • Council Resolutions (March-2002 + Dec-2002)
  • CoR Opinion (May-2002) , ESC Opinion (Feb-2002)
  • EP Resolution (June-2002)
  • e-Europe Action Plan 2002 – “WAI” final report
  • EYPD2003 + e-Europe Action Plan 2005
  • eAccessibility Communication
  • i2010
communication opinions and resolutions and ms situations
Communication, Opinions and Resolutions and MS situations
  • Commitment
    • WCAG1 conformance level A (MEP’s wish for AA)
    • some MS: level AA and/or legislation
  • Web sites
    • National/Federal level (MS) + EU institutions
    • Regional, Local
    • Extension to publicly funded projects, and investigation on how to act on commercial or social private sites
  • Support Actions
    • Training,awareness, tools, best practices exchange, RTD
    • Monitoring: Comparable data => Common methodology
web levels of accessibility monitoring
Web: Levels of Accessibility Monitoring

Questionnaire to MS and to EU institutions

Guidelines Compliance and Accessibility Assessment, delegation of tasks, possible feedback to author and labelling

Not yet in place

=> Synthetic Reporting to EP and Council (end 2003)

comparable data common methodology
Comparable data Common Methodology

In each Jurisdiction


on Support Actions

Sites inventory




+ comments

accessibility of public web sites and their content pages material applications
Accessibility of public Web Sites and their content (pages, material, applications)

European Commission services + ESDIS HG + e-Accessibility Experts Group

CEiii experts ?


Methodology and Infrastructure

National Government responsible entities

National level Organisations

European level Organisations

other Survey Expertise ?


Overall Progress Indicators(+ possibly individual marking)

monitoring support
Monitoring Support
  • W3C / WAI / EOWG + FP5 / IST / AMs
    • material, support, methodologies, v2, …
  • Possible FP6 / IST RTD projects (for the future)
  • Some MS initiatives  reported by ESDIS / e-Acc. Experts WG (D, UK, IRL first results apparently not brilliant)+ Euro-Accessibility initiative (MS NGOs) ?
  • DG INFSO e-Gov/e-Inclusion TopOfTheWeb contract(2500 publics sites in EU, first results soon, apparently not brilliant)
  • EU Institutions level
    • EC / Europa Quality-Control (DG Press + Ascii contractor)
    • Others ?
questionnaire for each juridiction institution
Questionnaire (for each Juridiction/institution)
  • Official framework and responsible bodies (decision, implementation, monitoring)?
  • Magnitude of the task and inventory of sites?
  • Monitoring methodology in place (if any)?
  • Accessibility situation (measured or estimated)?
  • Main actors (politicians, services, contractors)?
  • Training available and used, qualifications required /procurement clauses?
  • Tools for authoring and repairing, editorial contracts?
  • Quality control or certification system?
  • Issues related to Web Applications or Documents (e.g. PDF, Office formats)


  • commitment
  • efforts, progress

EC: DG EMPL / Disability / Knowledge SocietyDG INFSO / Disable & Elderly





eAcc. Exp. WG


European Institutions

Member States (national/federal level)


Regions and Municipalities


Managers, IRMs, Web-masters, Web-scribes

Trainers, Monitors, …

short term monitoring superficial
Short term monitoring (superficial)
  • “Top-of-the-Web” E-Government EC project
    • 2500 sites all over Europe, e-services oriented
    • Methodology designed in collaboration with NL Bartimeus (representing WAI) but simplified to enter in the given budget. About 15 checkpoints.
    • Automatic process based on CynthiaSays (Prof. version) for detecting bad points (home pages + up to 250 subpages)
    • Human checkup when no bad points detected (home page plus up to 5 pages per checkpoint)
    • More info & results next time (aggregation issues)
automatic assessment tools
Automatic Assessment Tools
  • Specifications availability and Tools validation?
  • Commercial products (European?, localised?), National products?
  • Causes for the apparent missing open source approach (niche market? competition benefits? …)
  • Complementary tools regarding language complexity analysis
  • Mixing or not page assessment and site pages walking processes
  • Semi-automatic tools, AI-based tools
complementary preliminary monitoring
Complementary preliminary monitoring
  • Nov.2002 Report from Ireland (DCU/Rince)
    • Barry McMullin team (EDeAN member, Euro-Accessibility partner)
    • Current extension to other countries (not public specific)
  • Others
    • NL Bartimeus approach (partly used in our “Top-of-the-Web” e-Government project)
    • Fraunhofer development (D): open-source possibility?
    • RobAcc project (NO/DK) + OCAWA (F) : AI potentials
    • Euro-Accessibility ???
  • Common risk: only negative aspects highlighted





WCAG1.0 & associated Techniques + Checkpoints

Web Sites Eval. Suite

WCAG2.0 & assoc. Techn. Checkpoints + Test-lists + Eval. Suite


WCAG 1.0 adopted for EU public sites (2002)

- R&D on automation for complex criteria- Test suites for WCAG2.0 Assess. Tools

- R&D on compl. usability criteria

WCAG1 Testlists + Web Sites Eval. Suite UWEM: WCAG1.0 & 2.0 migration + EU Web Acc. Indicators (public/ priv. sites, nat./ regional)

Prototype of an EU Web Accessibility Observatory, incl. Sites Inventory

Prototype of an EU Labelling Scheme (incl. delivering centres and accreditation authority(ies)




already in some Member States


e.g. CEN WSA + CEN keymark







Indicators recognition



Figure 2: Subsequent EU level actions required after WAB completion

wab cluster
WAB cluster
  • Introduction
  • Evaluation procedures and conformance
  • Scope of a Web site and methods for sampling
  • Evaluation guidelines and checklists
  • Aggregation of test results and reporting of results
  • User testing protocols
  • Scoring and reporting results
methodology conclusion
Methodology: Conclusion
  • Still a lot of work to be done
  • To keep in mind when designing the methodology
    • Transfer (on long term ?) to National, European or International bodies for standardisation + statistics collection/survey
      • see recent interest by ISI/IAOS Tokyo2001, OECD, UN, … to ICT & Internet related matters
    • Web accessibility is a “science” or still an “art”

To contribute to the inclusion in the information society of all Europeans, in particular persons with disabilities and older people, by stimulating European R&D and policy efforts in the area of eInclusion.

M i s s i o n

This is to be achieved by :

  • Promoting eInclusion as a core horizontal building block in the establishment of the Information Society
  • Supportive complementary measures and activities: socio-economic, regulatory, educational, ethical, policy making and standardisation
  • co-operation with external partners and other Commission services

All Europeans have the right to participate fully and without discrimination in the information and knowledge society


Mainstreaming accessibility

  • Technology-based products & services are everywhere
  • To make them accessible, a twin approach is needed
    • Research-based technology development
    • Politically-supported policies to create a favourable industrial / market environment
  • Complementary measures

 Raising awareness  Policy coordination

 Legislation  Standardisation

Public Procurement  Education

Social dialogue  Monitoring &benchmarking

eeurope policy achievments
eEurope policy achievments
  • 2000 ->2002 eEurope 2002
    • Design for all and assistive technologies standardization;
    • Creation of an European Network on Design for All;
    • Setting of the eAccessibility Expert group.
  • 2002 -> 2005 eEurope 2005
    • Adoption of WAI guidelines
    • Mainstream eAccessibility in eServices (eHealth, eGov, etc);
    • Explore eAccessibility requirements in Public Procurement;
    • Pilot courses based on a European DfA curriculum.
  • Communication on e Accessibility

Communication on eAccessibilityWhy now ?

  • Deployment of existing European policies is uneven and slow
  • Industry lacks incentive to mainstream eAccessibility
  • Accessible ICT goods and services are not competitive enough

increasing the risk of digital divide

eAccessibility Communication aims at promoting a consistent approach to EU eAccessibility initiatives in the Member states, on a voluntary basis, and at fostering industry self regulation to better meet market needs


Commission Communication on eAccessibility (1)

Policy objective

Increase the availability of quality Accessible ICT products and services in Europe

Action is needed to foster EU-wide solutions

  • The ICT market is not providing enough timely solutions
  • Technical requirements & standards being developed nationally

Public Procurement

  • Possible use of accessibility requirements for ICT products and services as specifications and criteria to select bids


  • Council (Jan 2003) has called for an “eAccessibility mark”


  • Full eAccessibility potential of current legislation needs exploring
eaccessibility communication an information society for all
eAccessibility CommunicationAn Information Society for All

eAccessibility aims at overcoming the technical barriers that people experience when trying to participate on equal terms in the Information Society.

  • Concerns at least 20% of the European population (about 90 M)
  • Represents a growing market due to the demographic shift
  • 63% of people with disabilities are 45 years or older



Commission Communication on eAccessibility

  • Consultation from 10/Jan until 12/Febr/2005
  • 489 replies received – all expectations exceeded!
    • Good coverage of target groups
    • Nearly 55% of respondents were experts/ professionals
    • 1 out of 4 uses some type of eAccessibility product/ service
    • Although optional, nearly 65% of respondents chose to

identify themselves


Commission Communication on eAccessibility (4)


  • Private individuals 57.1%
    • ... among which:
      • Persons with disabilities 21.1%
      • Persons > 60 years old 7.9%
  • Organisations 39.9%
    • ... among which:
      • Public Agencies 19%
      • Manufacturers, providers or sellers

of eAccessibility products & services 22.6%

      • University Research Groups 8,7%
      • User Associations, Consumer

Associations or similar (non-profit) 17.4%

      • Business Associations 9.2%
      • Others 22.7%

Communication on eAccessibility


  • Improve the consistency of eAccessibility requirements in Public Procurement
  • Explore the possible benefits of certification schemes and standardisation for accessible products
  • Make better use of the «eAccessibility potential» of existing
    • legislation

. . . Complemented by several background measures

  • Accessibility requirements and standards.
  • Design for All
  • Web accessibility
  • Benchmark and monitoring.
  • Research and technological development.

Progress will be reviewed in two years from now when additional measures may be proposed including new legislation

public procurement the ict market
Public procurement: the ICT market
  • Revised public procurement Directives
  • PP 16% EU gross domestic product 1500 Billion Euros
  • ICT sector 6% EU GDP
  • European public sector ICT average spending is 0,8 % of GDP =76billion Euro
  • The European average of public sector ICT spend that goes to external services such as consultancy and outsourcing is 16%
  • Overall growth rate for public sector ICT across EU is 3.3%
  • Total value of the ICT market in Europe is 594 billion Euro
public procurement directives
Public Procurement Directives
  • The preambles to the revised Directives (paragraph 29 of Directive 2004/18/EC and paragraph 42 of Directive 2004/17/EC) now state that:

“Contracting authorities should, whenever possible, lay down technical specifications so as to take into account accessibility criteria for people with disabilities or design for all users.”

  • In addition, the specific Articles on technical specifications (Article 23, Paragraph 1 of Directive 2004/18/EC and Article 34, Paragraph 1 of Directive 2004/17/EC) now state that:

“Whenever possible [these] technical specifications should be defined so as to take into account accessibility criteria for people with disabilities or design for all users.”

  • Award phase…(art 53)

the criteria on which the contracting authorities shall base the award of public contracts shall either:

(a) when the awards is made to the tender most economically advantageous from the point of view of the contracting authority, various criteria linked to the subject matter of the public contract in question, for example quality, price, technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, environmental characteristics,….

(b) the lowest price

International Workshop on Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement in the ICT Domain.Brussels, October 19-21, 2004
  • Although there are different approaches internationally (which may or may not converge over time), there is a general consensus that using public procurement to promote accessibility of ICT is a good thing
  • There is a strong need for internationally harmonised standards / requirements (that are suitable for use in procurement)
  • Such standards / requirements need to be “objective” (and seen to be so), and endorsed by all the relevant stakeholders
  • There is some confusion (partly semantic) about the term “voluntary”; it has different meanings in different contexts (standards, self regulation, self certification….); industry generally favours voluntary approaches
  • The user view is that requirements must be mandatory, based on objectively defined standards / requirements, and be independently verifiable
  • There is a real need for supports for procurers, for example, in the form of toolkits
  • All stakeholders appreciate the benefits of working together and are committed to continuing this.
the draft mandate to the standardisation organisations
The Draft mandate to the Standardisation organisations
  • Phase I: Inventory
    • Technology products (ICT)
    • Existing accessibility requirements
    • Gaps in accessibility requirements
    • Existing standards to comply with accessibility requirements
    • Assessment: requirements as technical specifications/ award criteria
    • Report on testing and certification schemes
the draft mandate to the standardisation organisations1
The Draft mandate to the Standardisation organisations
  • Phase II: Standardisation Activities
      • European standard (EN) Accessibility requirements for ICT domain to be used as technical specifications
      • Technical report (TR) listing existing technical standards
      • Guidelines on award criteria
      • Guidance and support material
  • On line freely accessible toolkit
the draft mandate to the standardisation organisations underlying principles
The Draft mandate to the Standardisation organisations Underlying principles
  • Consider National initiatives
  • International cooperation
  • User and consumer involvement
  • Industry participation
  • Involvement of procurers
  • Transparent open method

Commission Communication on eAccessibility (7)

  • Clear support for certification / labelling
  • Significant wide variations:
    • Support levels exceed 80% in groups “Public Agencies” and
    • “Individuals with a disability”
    • Only 61% of “Manufacturers, providers or sellers” support it,
    • while 32% reject it outright
better use of legislation
Better use of legislation
  • Electronic Communication Framework
  • Universal service Directive
  • Terminal Directives
  • Employment Equality Directive
  • Public Procurement Directive
  • Exploiting the “ eAccessibility potential of existing European legislation”

Commission Communication on eAccessibility

Main messages

  • Convey to Member States the urgent need to work together towards harmonization of the solutions they demand
  • Encourage industry to develop accessible solutions in their products and services (mainstream accessibility!)
  • Show the users (with disabilities) the commitment of the European Commission to improve accessibility in the Information Society
measuring progress of eaccessibility in europe results
Measuring progress of eAccessibility in Europe (results)
  • review of the existing methodologies
  • survey of existing actions which have improve eAccessibility
  • Methodology to monitor and identify the existing and use of the
    • 3 proposed approaches.
    • other existing positive actions.
  • methodology used to measure
    • the rate of eAccessibility in the Member States, experienced by people with disabilities and older people.
    • the rate of eAccessibility, experienced by other stakeholders.
  • the first measurement and analyse the data. (12m)
  • the second measurement and analyse the data.(24 m)
  • final report including conclusions and policy recommendations
  • 2 workshops to disseminate and validate the results of the methodology, measurements and the conclusions
measuring progress of eaccessibility in europe objectives
Measuring progress of eAccessibility in Europe (objectives)
  • To identify measures (e.g. policy, legal, industrial, …) that have a significant positive impact on eAccessibility and that support the Community eAccessibility strategy
  • To assess how ICT products and services available in Europe take into account eAccessibility and Design for All
  • To assess the eAccessibility situation in Europe and to measure its evolution quantifying the impact of the proposed approaches and measures
  • To assess the implementation of successful measures, that can serve as policy recommendations in the eAccessibility domain.
prior research achievements

TIDE initiative: Pilot Phase21 projects ~14 MEURO


TIDE initiative: Bridge Phase55 projects ~38 MEURO


4th FP - TAP : Disabled and Elderly Sector

53 projects ~50 MEURO


5th FP - IST : Persons with Special Needs

approx. 40 projects ~60 MEURO


6th FP - IST : eInclusion

start 17 projects 36 MEURO(+30)


Prior Research Achievements
einclusion projects in fp6 call2
eInclusion projects in FP6: Call2

Results of IST Call 2 (Oct/2003)

95 submitted proposalsinvolving more than 1000 partners13 selected proposalsfor a total Community grant of 35 M€



ict for growth and employment
ICT for growth and employment

i2010 - The three i’s

  • Information space
  • Innovation and investment in research
  • Inclusion, better public services and quality of life
five year goals 3
Five year goals (3)

Priority 3: Inclusion, better public services and quality of life

  • Widening ICT access, accessibility and skills
  • Support ICT-enabled services of public interest in Europe
  • Reinforcing trust and support of ICT use
  • Improve quality of life
  • eInclusion means ensuring everyone can participate in and reap the benefits of an information society.
  • eAccessibility is :
    • a pre-requisite for eInclusion thus a key objective of i2010 “A European society for all”
for further information
For further information …
  • the eInclusion call for proposals
  • http://fp6.cordis.lu/fp6/call_details.cfm?CALL_ID=208
  • projects financed in RTD in previous frame work programmes
  • http://www.cordis.lu/ist/directorate_f/einclusion/previous-research.htm
  • On the preparatory work for eInclusion research for Frame work programme 7
  • http://www.cordis.lu/ist/directorate_f/einclusion/future.htm
  • On eInclusion and eAccessibility policies
  • http://europa.eu.int/information_society/soccul/eincl/index_en.htm
  • http://europa.eu.int/information_society/policy/accessibility/index_en.htm
  • Inmaculada.placencia-porrero@cec.eu.in