In October 13th P4A’s standardization team held a workshop at Brussels with policymakers and regulators. Prosperity4All’s purpose is to make the use of ICT more accessible and personally fitting for everybody. In order to create accessible systems, product developers and policy makers have to be able to find the resources they need. The DeveloperSpace website aims to collect the resources necessary to make new and better (accessible) solutions including standardization and policy stakeholder groups.
Gregg Vanderheiden (Raising The Floor) started the workshop with a walkthrough of the DeveloperSpace sections and what different stakeholders can find in the site. Gottfried Zimmermann (Stuttgart Media University) then centered his presentation on what the DeveloperSpace offers to fulfill standards and regulations related to web accessibility. The Prosperity4all standardization team has identified how some of the provisions of the Standard EN 301 549 “Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe” map to some entries in the DeveloperSpace. These mappings provide “side entries” for developers and procurers for the identification of DeveloperSpace components that provide background for or help to fulfill a specific provision of the European Standard.
The participants discussed if this categorization would be helpful for policymakers and procurement stakeholders. Inmaculada Placencia (European Commission) highlighted that a guide for procurers would be helpful rather than a list of all resources available. An online course could also help procurers to prioritize and choose accessible solutions.
The second half of the standardisation workshop was dedicated to the standardisation policy of the European Union. Emilio Davila Gonzalez (European Commission) presented the editing work currently undertaken by the Multi-Stakeholder Platform for ICT Standardization on the Rolling Plan for 2018. Among the requested actions listed in the Rolling Plan, the workshop participants mainly discussed the necessity to develop a consolidated inventory of accessibility standards, e.g. in the frame of a revision of the ISO/IEC TR 29138-2:2009 “Accessibility Standards Inventory”.
The challenge of mainstreaming accessibility features was overall one of the main points of concerns for all attendees. On the one hand, the participants discussed the need to identify standard groups (i.e. smart cities, robotics, etc.) with whom accessibility features on standardization could be shared. The DeveloperSpace could be the place where these groups could find these resources.
Gottfried Zimmermann then presented the certification roadmap developed by the EU-funded MOOCAP project as a basis for discussing a European Accessibility Certification scheme. The participants agreed on the importance to have the industry involved to ensure the attractiveness of the certificate, challenge the stigmas related to the accessibility field and develop a business model for accessibility courses in Europe. Nonetheless, they also stressed the need to prevent that the participation of private stakeholders undermine the quality of the training programmes.
The workshop closed after Alina Lupu (European Commission) thanked everyone for the fruitful discussions. She invited the Prosperity4all project partners to intensify their dissemination efforts so to keep the accessibility community growing.
Gregg Vanderheiden: Overview of the DeveloperSpace – DeveloperSpace
Gottfried Zimmermann: Implementation Resources Document – Slides
Emilio Davila Gonzalez: European rolling plan on ICT standardisation – Slides
Gottfried Zimmermann: MOOCAP certification roadmap – Slides
GPII DeveloperSpace: https://ds.gpii.net
GPII Unified Listing: https://ul.gpii.net/
MOOC Accessibility Partnership: http://gpii.eu/moocap/
MOOC on digital accessibility: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/digital-accessibility
Innovation Radar: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/innovation-radar