Actual tests of websites on e-accessibility in all EU member states plus Norway, USA, Canada and Australia took place, and were published.
The report is based on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0. This means that the study mainly concerns 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.
The overall result of the survey 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 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.