New version of EN301549 published
Since the late 2017, a so-called Special Task Force within the standardization body ETSI has been working on updating EN301549. Version 2 was published in August 2018 and these days version 3 is out. Funka’s Susanna Laurin is one of the 12 international experts who have been commissioned to further develop the standard.
In the first step, the focus was on updating the standard so that it would function as “presumption of conformity”, or, in a less legalistic way of putting it; the minimum requirements that the Web Accessibility Directive points to.
The latest version of EN301549 contains updates, clarifications and a new annex. The new annex (Annex E) explains how the standard is intended to be used in a slightly simpler language than the rest of the standard.
Technical standards are always difficult to read, but now there is at least some more supporting material included, it feels like a step in the right direction, says Susanna Laurin, Chief Research & Innovation Officer at Funka.
Annex B contains a step-by-step explanation and simple illustrations of the table that shows how user needs and technical requirements are linked. The methodology described is something that we often use in training for procurers.
The neat thing about the table in Annex B, is that it can be used in several ways, says Susanna Laurin. You can focus on either the users' needs or the technical requirements, and get help in understanding how they interact.
In Annex B you can select which requirements are relevant before procurement is done, using the table to see what effects the different requirements have for different user groups. In addition, the table can be used to compare different bids with each other, especially when there is no supplier that meets all requirements. Then the table can provide support in understanding which solution is "least bad" and which groups are most affected by the flaws. Based on this knowledge, the procurer can ask follow-up questions about future development or plan for alternative solutions.
The latest version of EN301549 describes the different ways of reading the table in both text and illustrations. If you have any questions or opinions about the standard, you are always welcome to talk to us!