COMPARE stands for Comparing peer accessibility ratings in evaluation. It is an Erasmus Strategic Partnership between DIAS (Germany), Funka (Sweden) and BrailleNet (France).
The EU has recently created a new law that calls for all public web sites and mobile apps across Europe to be accessible for people with disabilities (the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, COM/2016/0484 final).
The benchmark for accessibility is set in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) which were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As part of the new EU law, the adherence of public websites and apps to WCAG will need to be evaluated in a uniform manner. The EU is will therefore develop a common evaluation method.
This raises the question about the status quo of accessibility evaluation across Europe. What are the actual differences in EU Member states today?
Most current accessibility evaluation methods are based on WCAG 2.0 conformance level AA. They are usually defined in more detail on a national or organizational level. It is therefore no surprise that across the spectrum of organisations, many differences exist in the way WCAG success criteria are applied to actual web content. This is partly due to the way the common WCAG success criteria are translated into specific technical checkpoints. Another aspect is that evaluation methods may go beyond WCAG 2.0 to include additional accessibility criteria or usability aspects that are important for people with disabilities.
COMPARE (Comparing peer accessibility ratings in evaluation) is a project that will document and compare differences in current evaluation practices of accessibility experts across Europe. The partners in the EU-funded Erasmus Strategic Partnership are DIAS (DE), Funka (SE) and BrailleNet (FR). The project will set up a Wiki-based repository of web content and associated accessibility ratings to document actual differences. We want to foster a discussion of rating approaches that can contribute to a consensual rating approach. Expert organisations and individuals from other countries are invited to contribute to the repository.
Compare is a Strategic Partnership project funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.
Project number: 2016-1-DE02-KA202-003453
The COMPARE project has started on 1. January 2017 and will run for two years.