Users Power the Web Accessibility Directive

Users with disabilities know the most about inaccessibility. And they have the power to make the websites and mobile apps they use more accessible, by giving feedback. This is much more effective, if the users know how to explain the barriers they face in a constructive way. This is the idea behind the EU-funded UPowerWAD project.

Following the European Web Accessibility Directive, European public sector websites and mobile apps have to provide a feedback channel for users, so that they can let the owner know about any accessibility barriers they find. This way the public organisation can receive feedback from the best place, helping them fixing and prioritising web accessibility shortcomings. But when end users encounter problems, they do not always know how to express them, and to whom.

Funka is working together with the European Blind Union, the Technical University of Dortmund, and the Synthesis Center for Research and Education as partners, and the European Disability Forum as associated partner, to make the feedback mechanism more effective. This is done by exploring how to engage, empower and train end users with disabilities on how to provide constructive feedback regarding accessibility issues of the public sector websites and apps across Europe.

End users can play a significant role in increasing the level of accessibility in websites and apps, says Peter Kemeny, project manager at Funka. But this only works if the users know how to do it, and if they can explain clearly what the problem is. We want to make every feedback count.

The first part of the project will focus on identifying what users need in order to give better feedback and what are the characteristics of the best feedback channels. In the second part of the project, the project team will develop a model training curriculum on actionable web accessibility feedback as well as a set of practical guidelines on how to empower and train people with disabilities on providing constructive feedback.

Results from the project is published on the project website, opens in new window

Project title: UPowerWAD  - Users Power the Web Accessibility Directive
Financing: Erasmus+
Consortium: Technical University of Dortmund (project leader), Funka, European Blind Union, Synthesis Center for Research and Education.
European Disability Forum is an associated partner to the project.
Project period: February 2022 – January 2024
Budget: 266 000 EURO

Project update