Necessary differences and unnecessary problems
The EU-funded project COMPARE is nearing its end. The project has compared how requirements for accessibility are interpreted by different actors in the industry and developed a learning platform.
DIAS (Germany) has led the project funded by the EU. Together with DIAS and BrailleNet (France), we have worked with the goal of achieving a consensus on assessments of requirements for accessibility. We have had a number of workshops and collected information from professionals working with accessibility.
The most concrete result of the project is the platform where you can see videos describing common accessibility problems and how they can be solved, says Sandra Eriksson, accessibility expert at Funka who participated in the project.
The focus has been on the use of web components. The platform is available in several languages. The components are presented in text and with a movie clip that demonstrates how the component works. Several of the components have also been tested by users with disabilities and their experiences are described on the website.
There are also suggestions for solutions, tips on how problems can be avoided and descriptions of what is good practice when using the components.
That accessibility experts interpret the success criteria in WCAG differently has become even clearer during the project, says Sandra Eriksson. We hope for a continuation of the project in order to be able to work further for increased consensus.
The point of common rules is of course that they are equal. But at the same time there is a certain need for flexibility because the users' conditions may look different in different countries. Several factors affect the perceived accessibility, not least the supply of assistive technology.
The requirements are the same, but the solutions may have to differ in order to function in reality. Therefore, competence regarding accessibility requirements must always be combined with knowledge of the users' situation.
The most exciting thing about the project has been to exchange experiences between the countries. One thing we at Funka have shared is our long experience of user testing, concludes Sandra Eriksson.