Funka in a new strategic assignment: Review of the Web Accessibility Directive

The European Commission has commissioned PriceWaterhouseCoopers, OpenEvidence and Funka to carry out the formal review of the Web Accessibility Directive. The assignment covers examining how the directive meets its objectives and whether it is working as intended, as well as giving recommendations for further improvements.

This is a very exciting assignment, says Susanna Laurin, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka, who leads the assignment on behalf of Funka. The review assignment means that we can continue to be involved in, and influence, accessibility policy at EU-level.

In 2021, all EU member states will report the results of the monitoring carried out at national level to the European Commission. Funka's assignment involves analysing the monitoring reports and comparing the results across countries, sectors and types of websites in order to detect potential trends. The analysis can help the Commission decide which areas need more support or focus.

We will also examine how people with disabilities, the disability movement, the public sector and others covered by the directive, monitoring agencies and the ICT industry, perceive the implementation acts and effects of the directive. In addition, we will open up for dialogue with the public through public consultation, where the general public gets the opportunity to comment on the directive.

After gathering information from all these different sources, we will compile a report that shows how effective the directive is and make recommendations for possible improvements.

Key questions of the assignment are:

  • Are the directive and its implementing acts still relevant and fit for purpose, given other accessibility related laws and evolving technology?
  • Has the directive harmonised the web accessibility market?
  • Has the directive strengthened social inclusion – has it made it easier for persons with disabilities to access public services and information?
  • Are further actions needed for a successful implementation?

The assignment started in February 2021 and will be completed in June 2022.