New research project to interpret WCAG

All regulations on web accessibility points to WCAG. That's really good. But if those who call themselves experts in the field do not interpret the standard in the same way, how should you as a procurer rely on the results of an audit? The lack of consensus in the industry is something we want to tackle the project COMPARE.

There are big differences in how to assess web accessibility in various countries. What deviation from the standard is ok and what is most important to satisfy the users' needs. This partly because conditions when it comes to assistive technology and other technology differ between countries. Differences in livelihood, culture and socio-economic conditions can also affect the perceived availability. This means that interpreting WCAG requires detailed knowledge of the situation of users and their needs.

The whole point is that the standard is global, but that the implementation will take place locally, says Andreas Cederbom, Head of Analysis at Funka.

But now we have an European procurement law covering accessibility, and in a couple of years the European Web Directive comes into force. Both of these point to the European standard of EN 301 549, which means WCAG 2.0 when it comes to the web. Wouldn’t it be pretty good if the industry could agree on how these guidelines are to be understood?

Together with German DIAS and French BrailleNet, we will work for two years to foster a better common understanding among professional experts on accessibility throughout Europe. The goal is to achieve consensus through discussion and dialogue. The project starts with comparing, hence the name, how different organizations assess interfaces based on WCAG.

If you are interested in contributing to the development of a common European approach to the measurement of web accessibility, please contact us!

Consortium: DIAS (project coordinator) BrailleNet and Funka
Period: January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018
Budget: 240 000 EURO

Project COMPARE, opens in new window

Project update