European Accessibility Forum Frankfurt, 27 March 2009 Harmonising European Accessibility Guidelines Miguel González-Sancho...
Context <ul><li>Web accessibility as public concern  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-political relevance of internet  </li></u...
Context <ul><li>Web accessibility as public concern  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-political relevance of internet  </li></u...
Socio-political relevance of internet <ul><li>Web accessibility since web exists; become more important  </li></ul><ul><li...
Government involvement on web accessibility  <ul><li>Increasing awareness and commitment by authorities, industry  </li></...
Recent developments  <ul><li>UN Convention  </li></ul><ul><li>Draft EU anti-discrimination Directive  </li></ul><ul><li>Co...
Context <ul><li>EU and web accessibility – status  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU political awareness  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
EU political awareness  <ul><li>Political docs (Commission, Council, EP) on (web) accessibility since early 2000s  </li></...
Market situation  <ul><li>Poor overall web accessibility performance (5% public sites…)  </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation a...
Context <ul><li>EU and web accessibility – action  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rationale and limits of EU action  </li></ul></ul...
Rationale and limits of EU action  <ul><li>9/10 of people consulted wanted in 2007 common approach for no fragmentation (M...
Challenges  <ul><li>No result if no legal obligation (negative view) vs. awareness/ encouragement, cultural change (positi...
Past and present EU action <ul><li>2001 COM with annex on WCAG 1.0 (didn’t avoid MS fragmentation) </li></ul><ul><li>2005 ...
Operational aspects <ul><li>Standards and enforcement  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value and challenges of standards </li></ul><...
Operational aspects <ul><li>Standards and enforcement  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value and challenges of standards </li></ul><...
Value and challenges of standards <ul><li>Positive: less fragmentation, certainty, interoperability economies of scale  </...
ICT standards <ul><li>Standards (stable) but ICT, software, (dynamic); EU debate  </li></ul><ul><li>Web changes (web 2.0):...
Enforcement of standards <ul><li>Standards (= reference) necessary but not sufficient; part of a process (implementation c...
Operational aspects <ul><li>Implementation of WCAG 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What to implement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
What to implement? <ul><li>WCAG 2.0 awaited for long time, so what now? Ongoing discussion (I have more questions than ans...
Where and when to implement? <ul><li>Scope: only public websites, which ones? Local authorities? </li></ul><ul><li>Old sit...
How to implement? <ul><li>Mandate 376 to incorporate WCAG 2.0 just like that? Subsidiarity and proportionality, respect di...
<ul><li>Consensus  to go somewhere together in Europe with (web) accessibility; we agree to agree, but where to go and how...
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION <ul><li>For more information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eincl...
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Miguel González-Sancho: Harmonising European Accessibility Guidelines

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Miguel González-Sancho, Deputy Head of Unit ICT for Inclusion, Information Society Directorate General, European Commission, talks at the European Accessibility Forum Frankfurt, 27 March 2009.

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  • E-accessibility from EU policy perspective Evolving of debate on common EU approach yes or no How ? Legislation, standards; (value, challenges)
  • Miguel González-Sancho: Harmonising European Accessibility Guidelines

    1. 1. European Accessibility Forum Frankfurt, 27 March 2009 Harmonising European Accessibility Guidelines Miguel González-Sancho EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate General « Information Society and Media » Unit H3 – ICT for Inclusion
    2. 2. Context <ul><li>Web accessibility as public concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-political relevance of internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government involvement on web accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent developments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EU and web accessibility – status </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU political awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market situation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EU and web accessibility – action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rationale and limits of EU action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past and present EU action </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Context <ul><li>Web accessibility as public concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socio-political relevance of internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government involvement on web accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recent developments </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Socio-political relevance of internet <ul><li>Web accessibility since web exists; become more important </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing social and individual impact of web, web rights (to information and services) </li></ul><ul><li>Government involvement: access, skills, services, accessibility… </li></ul>
    5. 5. Government involvement on web accessibility <ul><li>Increasing awareness and commitment by authorities, industry </li></ul><ul><li>Direct influence and responsibility as public service providers </li></ul><ul><li>Many countries adopt/ plan measures: diversity of approaches (good), fragmentation (bad); record and risk </li></ul>
    6. 6. Recent developments <ul><li>UN Convention </li></ul><ul><li>Draft EU anti-discrimination Directive </li></ul><ul><li>Court cases (US, UK, Canada…) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Context <ul><li>EU and web accessibility – status </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EU political awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Market situation </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. EU political awareness <ul><li>Political docs (Commission, Council, EP) on (web) accessibility since early 2000s </li></ul><ul><li>i2010 initiative on European information society </li></ul><ul><li>Riga declaration 2006: all PS websites accessible in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Commission Communication 2005, then2008; strong web focus </li></ul><ul><li>EU Council conclusions next week supports need for common effort, invite Commission recommendation </li></ul>
    9. 9. Market situation <ul><li>Poor overall web accessibility performance (5% public sites…) </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation across EU countries: achievements, approaches, specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation between web accessibility performance and strong policy (legislation but not only) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Context <ul><li>EU and web accessibility – action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rationale and limits of EU action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Past and present EU action </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Rationale and limits of EU action <ul><li>9/10 of people consulted wanted in 2007 common approach for no fragmentation (MARKT, rights), certainty </li></ul><ul><li>EU law ? 1. Users yes (rights view), 2. industry maybe but self-declare (tools and services view), 3. some governments no (notably the most advanced) </li></ul><ul><li>No EU legal competence on web but possible legal base (MARKT, rights), then procurement legislation </li></ul>
    12. 12. Challenges <ul><li>No result if no legal obligation (negative view) vs. awareness/ encouragement, cultural change (positive) </li></ul><ul><li>EU legal obligations require in/direct reference to EU standard in principle (none for web yet) and vice-versa </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of cost, but little evidence on costs and benefits </li></ul>
    13. 13. Past and present EU action <ul><li>2001 COM with annex on WCAG 1.0 (didn’t avoid MS fragmentation) </li></ul><ul><li>2005 and 2008 communications consider but not propose legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Mandate 376 on accessible ICT public procurement, web included </li></ul>
    14. 14. Operational aspects <ul><li>Standards and enforcement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value and challenges of standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcement of standards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Implementation of WCAG 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What to implement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where and when to implement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to implement? </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Operational aspects <ul><li>Standards and enforcement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Value and challenges of standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enforcement of standards </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Value and challenges of standards <ul><li>Positive: less fragmentation, certainty, interoperability economies of scale </li></ul><ul><li>Negative: standards develop slow (barrier to fast movers?), lower common denominator (barrier to innovation, quality, aesthetics, diversity?) </li></ul><ul><li>Conformance: declaration vs. certification (self or other party) </li></ul>
    17. 17. ICT standards <ul><li>Standards (stable) but ICT, software, (dynamic); EU debate </li></ul><ul><li>Web changes (web 2.0): from static (top-down) to dynamic (bottom-up) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct reference (detailed specs) vs. functional requirements (EU new approach) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Enforcement of standards <ul><li>Standards (= reference) necessary but not sufficient; part of a process (implementation chain) driven by willingness </li></ul><ul><li>Modularity: 1. Principles, 2. Scope, 3. Prescriptions (legal?), 4. Specifications, 5. Implementation mechanisms </li></ul><ul><li>Pull/ push mechanisms implementation: incentives (e.g. procurement), sanctions (material, moral) </li></ul>
    19. 19. Operational aspects <ul><li>Implementation of WCAG 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What to implement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where and when to implement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to implement? </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. What to implement? <ul><li>WCAG 2.0 awaited for long time, so what now? Ongoing discussion (I have more questions than answers…) </li></ul><ul><li>Vast and complex, flexible (various user needs), evolving, partial (ATAG, UAAG) </li></ul><ul><li>What common EU approach means, how detailed, how flexible? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Where and when to implement? <ul><li>Scope: only public websites, which ones? Local authorities? </li></ul><ul><li>Old sites vs. new/ updates ones? </li></ul><ul><li>Intranets? </li></ul>
    22. 22. How to implement? <ul><li>Mandate 376 to incorporate WCAG 2.0 just like that? Subsidiarity and proportionality, respect diversity, different progress </li></ul><ul><li>Standstill clause on national standards once EU standard (but 376 only for procurement, supports EU Directive) </li></ul><ul><li>Quid WCAG 1.0 (or other) legacy and migration costs, what flexibility of implementation (level, time, provider)? </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms of control and enforcement (notification, sanctions) of support and monitoring? </li></ul><ul><li>Etc... </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Consensus to go somewhere together in Europe with (web) accessibility; we agree to agree, but where to go and how? </li></ul><ul><li>Guidelines good basis (consensus, inspiration, incentive) but step in the way, not final destination </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe no final destination, goal is rather making the way together…. common understanding on accessibility process </li></ul>
    24. 24. THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION <ul><li>For more information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/einclusion/ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember: online survey on European e-inclusion policy, open until 2 April </li></ul>

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