European Commission publishes Funka's study on web accessibility

The extensive assignment Funka has done on behalf of the European Commission, to develop methodology and indicators and performing the actual tests of websites on e-accessibility in all EU member states plus Norway, USA, Canada and Australia is finally published.

It will be interesting to see how these results can help to increase the level on web-accessibility, says Andreas Cederbom, responsible for analysis at Funka Nu and in charge of the report.

So, how does it look?

The result is a disappointment. Relatively easy things fail in many places, for example marking up the headings properly. More recent requirements, which came with WCAG 2.0 in 2008, are even less implemented.

There are differences between the countries, but, there is no country which can be described as good. We were hoping that the EU member states would learn from each other and be inspired from good examples, but that doesn´t seem to be the case.

One conclusion, that we consider to be important, is that the most successful countries are those who have managed to combine several things: 

  • Legislation or policy which is not too technically detailed but more focused on individual rights
  • A well developed industry with a high level of accessibility competence, also among end user organizations

Sometimes the debate seems to be that legislation would solve everything, but we can clearly see that this isn´t the case. The legislation has to be wisely written and combined with other efforts such as information, enforcement and controlling. 

A long report that still does not say it all

The report is based on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0.  This means that the study mainly concern the technology and doesn’t cover cognitive aspects, content or on how interfaces work on mobile devices nor the accessibility in documents. The report thus can’t be read as an absolute measure of web-accessibility, but more like a temperature check based on cluster sampling. Please read the report, and contact us if you want to know more!

Funka has been in charge for the web part of the Study on Assessing and Promoting E-Accessibility in Europe report, called Meac report, while Empirica from Germany and WRC from Ireland has done the parts on Telecom and TV.

The Meac report, pdf (3 MB), opens in new window


Funded by: European Commission
Consortium: Funka, Work Research Centre, Empirica, Technosite
Period: 2011-2013


Susanna Laurin

Title: Chief Research and Innovation Officer (Susanna Laurin)

+46 8 555 770 61 (Susanna Laurin)