Funka educates young people with disabilities

The Web Accessibility Directive does not only mean increased demands on the public sector. It also means that people with disabilities should be able to access public information on the same terms as everyone else.

From 23 September, people with disabilities will have increased rights and opportunities to make their voices heard. On websites in the public sector in EU, an accessibility statement must be published, describing the status of the accessibility. Also, a feedback mechanism that allows users to suggest improvements and request content in alternative formats is mandatory. This is a big difference from the current situation in most EU member states, and an important step on the road to inclusion. But still, not everyone is aware of their new rights. We intend to change that.

In Sweden, Funka is performing a series of trainings developed specifically for young people with disabilities and dealing with rights and opportunities in terms of web accessibility, assistive technology and video. The training series is part of an EU-funded research project that Funka is carrying out in collaboration with Mediehuset in Copenhagen (Denmark) and East Anglia University in Norwich (UK).

This is an important project in two ways, says Susanna Laurin, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka. Firstly to increase young people's awareness of their rights, but also because the feedback young people give to our customers in the public sector can help increase accessibility in a broad sense.

The training started in the early summer and will continue in September. The sessions are conducted online so that as many as possible can participate. For participants, the courses are free of charge.

During the project, corresponding activities are carried out in Denmark and England. After the courses have been completed and evaluated, the participants will be invited to a final conference in Copenhagen, of course with the opportunity to participate online. The conference addresses, among other things, how young people with disabilities can best participate in the public debate and influence politics.

Young people get tools to influence the accessibility issue