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					         eAccessibility and web
           European Actions

Francois Junique
      European Commission - Information Society Directorate-General
                                                   Unit “eInclusion”

             Ima PLACENCIA - 2

•   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

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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

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Web: Levels of Accessibility Monitoring

                                                    to MS and to
                             Guidelines             EU institutions
                             Compliance and
Not yet                      Accessibility
in place                     Assessment,
                             delegation of tasks,
                             possible feedback to
                             author and labelling

           => Synthetic Reporting to EP and Council (end 2003)
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   Comparable data  Common Methodology

 In each                    Questionnaire
 Jurisdiction                on Support

Sites inventory

                                + comments

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

European Commission services
+ e-Accessibility Experts Group
               CEiii experts ?
National Government
responsible entities
National level Organisations               and
European level Organisations
                 EuroAccessibility                       other Survey
                                                         Expertise ?

                               Overall Progress Indicators
                                   (+ possibly individual marking)
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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 ?

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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)
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                    EC: DG EMPL / Disability                  Monitoring
Questionnaire                                                 • commitment
                                / Knowledge Society
                        DG INFSO / Disable & Elderly          • efforts, progress

                     EC         ESDIS +
  European                      eAcc. Exp. WG
                                                  Member States
                                            (national/federal level)

              Policy-makers,                 Regions and
            Managers, IRMs,                  Municipalities
    Web-masters, Web-scribes
        Trainers, Monitors, …

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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)
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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

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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

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                                                               W3C / WAI
                       WCAG1.0 &        Web
                       associated       Sites
                       Techniques +     Eval.
                       Checkpoints      Suite          WCAG2.0 & assoc.
                                                       Techn. Checkpoints
                                                       + Test-lists
                                                       + Eval. Suite
WCAG 1.0
adopted for                                                                                    - R&D on
 EU public                                                                                     automation for
                          WCAG1 Testlists +            Prototype of an   Prototype of an EU    complex criteria
   sites                  Web Sites Eval. Suite        EU Web            Labelling Scheme      - Test suites for
  (2002)                  UWEM: WCAG1.0 &              Accessibility     (incl. delivering     WCAG2.0
                          2.0 migration + EU           Observatory,      centres and           Assess. Tools
                          Web Acc. Indicators          incl. Sites       accreditation         - R&D on compl.
                  1       (public/ priv. sites,        Inventory         authority(ies)        usability criteria
                          nat./ regional)

                                                                                               e.g. CEN WSA +
                                                                                               CEN keymark

          methodologies                      Standardisation

 labels               monitoring                                 Indicators
     already in some                              Adoption                       Observatory
     Member States
                                        Figure 2: Subsequent EU level actions required after WAB

                                                                                                              Ima PLACENCIA - 14
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

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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”

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  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.

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

      All Europeans have the right to participate fully and without
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       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

                                                           Ima PLACENCIA - 18
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

                                                           Ima PLACENCIA - 19
 Communication on eAccessibility

 Why 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

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                     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

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
                                                                Ima PLACENCIA - 21
     eAccessibility Communication
     An 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


                                                          Ima PLACENCIA - 22
    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

                                                         Ima PLACENCIA - 23
                  Commission Communication on eAccessibility        (4)

                     RESPONDENT’S PROFILE
Private individuals                               57.1%
   ... among which:
        o Persons with disabilities                        21.1%
        o Persons > 60 years old                           7.9%
 Organisations                                    39.9%
   ... among which:
        o Public Agencies                                  19%
        o Manufacturers, providers or sellers
           of eAccessibility products & services           22.6%
        o University Research Groups                       8,7%
        o User Associations, Consumer
           Associations or similar (non-profit)            17.4%
        o Business Associations                            9.2%
        o Others                                           22.7%

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                      Stakeholder consultation

             Need to increase availability of eAccessible products ?

    Don´t know

1          NO

                 0        50     100     150         200         250         300     350    400   450

            Should Administrations buy only eAccessible products ?

    Don´t know

2          NO

                 0       50     100    150     200         250         300     350    400   450   500

                     Should European Institutions take the initiative ?

    Don´t know
3          NO

                 0       50     100    150     200         250         300     350    400   450   500

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             Communication on eAccessibility

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

       . . . 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
                                                                   Ima PLACENCIA
                      measures may be proposed including new legislation           - 26
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
 •   Overall growth rate for public sector ICT across EU is 3.3%
 •   Total value of the ICT market in Europe is 594 billion Euro

                                                   Ima PLACENCIA - 27
    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
    “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
      (b) the lowest price

                                                                      Ima PLACENCIA - 28
    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

•    All stakeholders appreciate the benefits of working together and are
                                                                       Ima PLACENCIA   - 29
     committed to continuing this.
     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
    • Assessment: requirements as technical specifications/
        award criteria
    • Report on testing and certification schemes

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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

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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

                                                         Ima PLACENCIA - 32
                              Commission Communication on eAccessibility                       (7)

       Need to certify/label eAccessible ICT products & services ?
Don´t know                                                                   Public Agencies
                                                                             People w/Disab.
       NO                                                                    Overall


             0        10     20    30     40    50      60   70   80   90

       • 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

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                                   Commission Communication on eAccessibility          (8)

                                 Which certification scheme ?


                30                                                   Overall
                25                                                   People w/Disab.
                                                                     Public Agencies
                     Mand S-C Volunt S-C Mand 3P Volunt 3P   Don´t

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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”

                                               Ima PLACENCIA - 35
       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

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Measuring progress of eAccessibility in Europe
    •   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
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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

•   To assess the implementation of successful measures, that can
    serve as policy recommendations in the eAccessibility domain.

                                                           Ima PLACENCIA - 38
Prior Research Achievements

             TIDE initiative: Pilot Phase
                              21 projects              ~14 MEURO

             TIDE initiative: Bridge Phase
 1993                         55 projects              ~38 MEURO

             4th FP - TAP : Disabled and Elderly Sector
 1996                       53 projects               ~50 MEURO

             5th FP - IST     : Persons with Special Needs
 1998                           approx. 40 projects       ~60 MEURO

             6th FP - IST     : eInclusion
                                start 17 projects   36 MEURO (+30)

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      From TIDE through TAP ...IST…to …FP6

                TIDE >            TAP >            IST > ...FP6

Paradigm        Rehabilitation    Multimedia       Ambient               eInclusion
                                  telematics       Intelligence

Priorities      Innovation and    New applications System                Barrierfree desig
                Demonstration                      integration           Empowering
Technological   Exploratory       Technology       Ubiquitous            Mainstream tech
                                  Transfer         computing
Target groups   D&E               D&E              D&E                   Groups at risk of
                                  careers          profesionals          exclusion

Results         Tech innovation   Demonstrations   Socio-economic        Policy
                                  Telematics       benefit               impact????????

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eInclusion projects in FP6: Call2

      Results of IST Call 2 (Oct/2003)
      95 submitted proposals involving more than 1000
      13 selected proposals for a total Community grant of 35
Application domain                                    IP      NoE          STREP          CA        SSA

Mobility, orientation, navigation                   ASK-IT            MOVEMENT, MAPPED
Assistance to vision-impaired people                                       MICOLE
Enhanced hearing for disabled                      HEARCOM
Eye gaze interaction                                         COGAIN
Access to the Web                                  ENABLED             BENtoWEB, EIAO
                                                                      BENtoWEB, EIAO             Support-EAM
Ambient assisted living (article 169)                                                               AAL
European network on accessible digital documents                                         EUAIN
e-Accessibility and Design for all                                                                 CWST

Total (per instrument)                                3        1             5             1         3

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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

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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

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•   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

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           For further information …

•   the eInclusion call for proposals

•   projects financed in RTD in previous frame work programmes

•   On the preparatory work for eInclusion research for Frame
    work programme 7

•   On eInclusion and eAccessibility policies

•           Ima PLACENCIA - 45

Description: Information Society Commission document sample