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Support-EAM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 004754
Funded under: FP6-IST
Country: France

The mark of quality for e-Accessibility

Requirements for a harmonised web accessibility certification scheme support an information society that includes people with disabilities.
The mark of quality for e-Accessibility
Web accessibility has increasingly raised concerns in Europe, particularly in terms of avoiding fragmentation, and seamless harmonisation and good practice schemes. The initiative "e-Europe 2005: an information society for all" brought together Member States and the European Commission in search of more effective means for people with disabilities to participate in the knowledge economy and society.

With the thousands of existing web services, implementing and harmonising e-Accessibility across Europe was a major challenge. It involved finding solutions to technical barriers such as access technologies, tools for creating accessible contents, tools for evaluation, and accessibility standards.

The Support-EAM project stepped up to the plate by proposing a strategy for creating an e-Accessibility quality mark for goods and services in compliance with relevant standards. This entailed a harmonised methodology validated by experts from two additional IST projects: Bentoweb and EIAO. The three projects together formed a Web accessibility benchmarking (WAB) Cluster since referred to as the Unified web evaluation methodology (UWEM).

Support-EAM ran a study on certification schemes in Europe. The study spanned general terms and definitions to description and comparison of existing labels or quality marks in different domains such as the European computer driving licence (ECDL). In order to better identify needs, two online surveys were conducted in five languages and a process was developed to gather and merge different methodologies within the cluster.

Essential elements for certification or distribution of a quality mark which can ensure the conformity of websites to accessibility requirements in the future have been put in place and the knowledge has been disseminated online.

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