Over 100 million EU citizens would find it easier to use online public services to look for a job, register a car, submit a tax declaration and apply for a passport or driving license thanks to new rules proposed today by the European Commission on the International Day of People with Disability. The Commission’s proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites would introduce mandatory EU standardised accessibility features, from the end of 2015, for 12 types of websites. Mandatory accessibility would apply to essential government services like social security and health related services, job searches, university applications and issuing of personal documents and certificates. The proposed new rules would also clarify what web accessibility means (technical specs, methodology for assessment, reporting, bottom up testing), and governments would be encouraged to apply the rules across all services, not only the mandatory list.
The Study “Economic Assessment for Improving eAccessibility Services and Products”, led by Technosite, focused on analysing the benefits and costs from improved eAccessibility for society as a whole and for the organisations providing ICT-based services (private companies, public administrations, NGOs, SMEs, etc.). The three technology domains covered are Web Accessibility, Digital Television and Self-Service Terminals, with a predominant focus on Web Accessibility. The Study produced important new evidence to better inform the policy debate on eAccessibility: a final report and Business Case Tools (BCTs).
The final report of the “Study on economic assessment for improving eAccessibility services and products” systematises the results of different tasks conducted (Key aspects, Causal Loop Diagrams, Surveys, Business Case Tools, Estimations and Extrapolations, Policy Recommendations and Conclusions).
The Study produced two different versions of the BCT, one intended to be used for calculating macroeconomic estimations and extrapolations (labelled as BCT Macro) and another one aimed to be used by managers willing to calculate the costs and benefits for their organisation if their website is rendered accessible (labelled as BCT Micro). The latter has a more user-friendly interface/layout, containing both quantitative and qualitative indicators, and is available for downloading together with a brief manual.
If you are considering to make your website accessible, you can download and use the Business Case Tool Micro and its manual, and estimate how much it would cost you. Just enter the requested data and the tool will yield a full calculation according to your web accessibility needs, thanks to the embedded estimation procedures. The BCT Macro was used for estimating macroeconomic impacts.