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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.

ACCESSIBLE has launched a dedicated page at SourceForge from where you can download all latest versions of the tools developed by the project:

The triggering idea behind ACCESSIBLE is to contribute for better accessibility for all citizens, to increase the use of standards, and to develop an assessment simulation environment (including a suite of accessibility analysing tools as well as developer-aid tools) to assess efficiently, easily and rapidly the accessibility and viability of software applications for all user groups.

ACCESSIBLE consortium is proud to announce the realisation of their first Project Workshop on 13 July 2010, in the context of the ICCHP conference in Vienna.
During the ACCESSIBLE workshop the innovative results of the project, related to the accessibility assessment and simulation technologies, will be presented accompanied with the developed tools, which will be interactively tested from the participants.
The participation is fully free of charge.

Accessibility is becoming an ubiquitous topic nowadays, with many authorities and experts putting a lot of effort on pushing forward accessibility of software applications. Despite this fact, many ICT applications and systems are not fully accessible yet.

The development of accessible software applications requires a strong effort from developers and software designers. With the additional encumbrance of taking into account different kinds of accessibility requirements, guidelines and best practices, and different user interface implementation technologies, developers are faced with a daunting task. Therefore, the highly specialised skills required for developing accessible software sets aside most of them.

Starting from this lack of accessibility, the ACCESSIBLE EU FP7 project was established to contribute to better accessibility for all citizens, to increase the use of accessibility standards, and to develop an assessment simulation environment (including a suite of accessibility analysing tools as well as developer-aid tools) to assess efficiently, easily and rapidly the accessibility and viability of software applications for all user groups.

Actually the main goal of ACCESSIBLE is to develop appropriate open source assessment and simulation tools in order to fully support and incorporate accessibility constraints for the design and development of accessible new applications.

The ACCESSIBLE Consortium kindly invites you to participate in its first international Workshop that will take place on 13 July 2010 in the context of the 12th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP), in Vienna University of Technology, Austria.

The main objective of this workshop is to promote the innovative results of the ACCESSIBLE project related to the accessibility assessment and simulation technologies, to a wider community of potential users and to offer significant support to interested parties (ICT developers, designers, etc.) in order to encourage and empower them to contribute towards the inclusive ICT vision.
At the end of the Workshop, an award ceremony will be given to the organisation or to the developer of the most accessible software application (Web, mobile), according to the accessibility tests (WCAG 2.0, mobileOK) that are going to take place with ACCESSIBLE assessment tools. The ACCESSIBLE Award evaluation expert committee will be composed of well-known scientists and experts in the accessibility domain.

For more information about the ICCHP conference and the ACCESSIBLE Workshop, please visit the web page of ICCHP or the projects web page.

ACCESSIBLE project is organizing its first Workshop on “accessibility simulation technologies and standards issues”, within the frame of the 12th ICCHP conference in Vienna. The Workshop will be held on Tuesday 13 of July 2010, in the context of the ICCHP pre-conference in Vienna. The ICCHP, International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 2010 wants to highlight the progress of the issue of Interfacing the existing and emerging Human-Computer Interface as well as achievements and plot a R&D-roadmap towards such challenges, which will ensure even higher product and service usability.
The invitation and the program of the Workshop will be published soon.
For more information visit: http://www.icchp.org/.

The paper “A UCD approach towards the design, development and assessment of accessible applications in a large scale European Integrated project” by Karel Van Isacker (EPR), Karin Slegers (KUL), Maria Gemou (CERTH-HIT), Evangelos Bekiaris (CERTH-HIT) was presented at the HCI International 2009 on 19-24 July 2009, Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, CA, USA.
It was subsequently published in “Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Addressing Diversity: 5th International Conference, UAHCI 2009, Held as Part of HCI International 2009) (Paperback) by Constantine Stephanidis (Editor), pp. 184-192, 2009.

You can read it below:

The book itself is a three-volume set LNCS 5614-5616 and constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction – Addressing Diversity, UAHCI 2009, held as Part of HCI International 2009, in San Diego, CA, USA, in July 2009, jointly with 8 other thematically similar conferences.