Skip to main content
Shaping Europe’s digital future
Event report | Publication

10th Meeting of the Web Accessibility Directive Expert Group

The discussions and documents of the series of webinars comprising the 10th Web Accessibility Directive Expert Group (WADEX) are now available.

Words "online meeting" over a keyboard

The 10th Web Accessibility Directive Expert Group (WADEX) meeting took place online due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place in 2022. 

The agenda included a series of 7 webinars based on feedback from the 9th Web Accessibility Directive Expert Group (WADEX) meeting.

The sessions took place on a monthly basis between February and June.

Please find below the calendar of webinars, the minutes of each session and the relevant material (presentations, links, and documents).

10th WADEX Meeting - Webinars calendar Feb-June 2022 (.pdf)

The recordings of the sessions are available in Futurium for WADEX members.

 

Webinar 1: 8 February 2022

"Web Accessibility Directive"

1st reporting exercise - Open discussion

 Speakers: European Commission + WADEX Members 

The webinar consisted of an open discussion on the reporting exercise, where the Member States shared their experiences, opinions, and lessons learned. The main topics discussed were accessibility expertise, timing, human and financial resources, testing tools, monitoring methodologies, structure of and templates for reporting, standardisation, compliance thresholds, interpretation of the Directive and awareness-raising activities within the Member States. The open discussion was preceded by a short introduction, where a representative of the consortium in charge of examining the Member State reports for the review of the Directive, presented some initial impressions and feedback.

Relevant documents for this meeting:

 

Webinar 2: 1 March 2022

“Cognitive Study: final report / Monitoring Web Applications”

1. Cognitive accessibility study: final report

Speaker: Funka

In this presentation, the speakers shared the findings from an EC-funded pilot study on Inclusive Web Accessibility for Persons with Cognitive Disabilities.

The study, carried out by consultancies Funka and ICF under a DG CNECT framework contract, aimed to provide an evidence base for future policy and practical measures to improve web accessibility for persons with cognitive disabilities. The final report covered:

  • an overview of existing research/studies on the topic
  • identified gaps in research and in the web accessibility requirements for cognitive disabilities
  • proposals on how to improve independent and inclusive access to online content and services for persons with cognitive disabilities.

2. Monitoring mobile applications: panel discussion

Following the requests of the WADEX group and on the initiative of the Polish WADEX members, we nominated a panel of experts to analyse the most common issues and share experiences related to monitoring mobile applications. From the lack of automated tools to the impossibility to access the source code, the colleagues shared methodologies, tools and lessons learned implemented in their Member States.

A. Monitoring methods regarding web accessibility of mobile applications

Speaker: WADEX member - Poland

The objective of this presentation was to characterise the current scenario of testing of mobile applications considering accessibility issues for people with cognitive, motor, and sensory disabilities. Since the concept of assessing accessibility of mobile applications is relatively new, it was indispensable to search for relevant tools and ideas. The speakers presented the findings related to automated tools and other methods applied. They then shared with other WADEX members their conclusions and possible future steps. The presentation was accompanied by illustrations of certain difficulties encountered along the way.

B. Method for monitoring mobile applications in Denmark

Speaker: WADEX member - Denmark

The speakers presented the Danish method for monitoring of mobile applications and shared lessons learned from the process. They discussed selections of flows/user journeys, how to test reliably based on Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) rules, and their preliminary findings in exploring automated tests of mobile applications.

C. Most common accessibility errors in mobile applications

Speaker: WADEX member - Italy

The speaker presented the most common accessibility errors that were discovered while monitoring mobile apps and the solutions needed to fix them. Such knowledge can support the developoment of more accessible mobile applications in the future.

Relevant documents for this meeting:

 

Webinar 3: 29 March 2022

"Monitoring tools / Accessibility Conformance Testing Rules / Organisations registry and automatic sampling"

1. Finnish monitoring tool "Salvia"

Speaker: WADEX Member - Finland

As Finland has developed their own tool for simplified monitoring of websites, this presentation served as an introduction to “Salvia”, an accessibility-monitoring tool, which uses QualWeb as an evaluation engine. Moreover, the presentation showed that it can be used to evaluate both regular websites and websites behind a logging form and dynamically-altered views. Along these lines, it was demonstrated that the evaluation of both desktop and mobile viewport versions is equally possible and that inspection reports for the service providers can be downloaded in PDF format.

2. Using QualWeb for monitoring accessibility on a large scale

Speaker: LASIGE /Department of Informatics, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

QualWeb is an automated accessibility evaluation engine that currently supports the accessibility-monitoring agencies in Denmark, Finland, and Portugal. In this presentation, the speaker highlighted QualWeb's features that support accessibility monitoring at large scale and introduced the roadmap of features for the coming period.

3. Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) as a way to harmonisation

Speaker: LASIGE / Department of Informatics, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon

Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) rules stem from community efforts to promote a harmonised vision of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) conformance checking. In this presentation, the speaker presented what an ACT-rule is, how ACT-rules contribute to a harmonised vision of monitoring, affecting both simplified and in-depth testing, and current coverage of ACT-rules and discuss implementation.

4. Finnish solution for organisations registry and automatic sampling

Speaker: WADEX Member - Finland

Finland presented their solutions for organisation registry and sampling calculation as a case-study. To meet the diversity requirements of monitoring samples, Finland compiled a registry of 18,400 unique organisations that fall under the WAD. The data was collected from over 80 different sources that contained 100,000 rows of data.

For simplified monitoring, an automatic algorithm was created to compile a random sample that would also meet the requirements for diversity, representativeness, and balance. A key factor was generating subsets from combinations of different regions, levels of administration and industry types and group all organisations under one of these subsets. The algorithm would then pick random organisations from subsets that contained enough organisations on their own; or merge subsets until a required minimum number of organisations was met.

Relevant documents for this meeting:

 

Webinar 4: 26 April 2022

"WAD, Standards and eAccessibility"

1. WAD: Standards and Concerns

Speaker: European Commission, Web Accessibility Directive team - Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect)

The Web Accessibility Directive team of the European Commission gave an overview on WAD-related topics such as:

  • Accessibility Standards
  • Standardisation in the EU
  • Harmonised Standards & History of EN 310 549

2. JWG eAccessibility

Speakers: ETSI/CEN/CENELEC Joint Working Group on eAccessibility

The representatives of the Joint Working group:

  • gave a brief description of the European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs) and how they work
  • presented the standard's clauses and their intended use
  • explained how to use Annex B (practical/educational)
  • discussed questions relating to the standard, raised during Member State interviews
  • gave practical walk-through of Annex A.

Relevant documents for this meeting:

 

Webinar 5: 17 May 2022

"European Accessibility Act / Easy Reading"

1. Progress with the European Accessibility Act (EAA)

Speaker: European Commission; Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL)

With this presentation, DG EMPL provided an overview of the European Accessibility Act (EAA), its main provisions, links with the Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) and the state-of-play of transposition and coming developments, such as standardisation and application.

2. Principles and examples of providing information for all

Speaker: Inclusion Europe

In this presentation, Inclusion Europe highlighted why easy-to-read information is important for people with intellectual disabilities. Amongst its key points, the following were stressed:

  • learn new things
  • take part in society
  • make their own choices.

Moreover, it was also noted that there are rules on how to make easy-to-read information: the key one is that texts need to be reviewed by people with intellectual disabilities.

As well as this, many examples of successful use of easy-to-read for accessible information were pointed out: from EU strategy announcements to public administration communication in Austria, to websites of companies.

3. Easy Reading -Supporting Neurodiverse Users at the Original Content

Speaker: Institute Integriert Studieren – Johannes Kepler University – Linz, Austria

The Institute Integriert Studieren from the Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria presented “Easy Reading”, which is a cloud-based software framework and browser extension supporting personalising web content in real time for better readability and understandability. They showed that this is achieved by:

  • adaption of layout and structure of webpages
  • annotation of web content with symbols, videos and
  • conversion of content into a different language level, e.g. Plain Language or Easy-to-Read.

Easy Reading was co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 program.

Relevant documents for this meeting: 

 

Webinar 6: 14 June 2022

Projects: “Live IT” & “Buddy”

1. Live IT 

Speaker: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

In this presentation, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki presented the “Live IT” project. The speaker highlighted how it aggregates and evaluates the insights and findings of different “research lenses” on the relationship between cognitive disabilities and digital inclusion. Moreover, it showed such relationships as actionable experimentation spaces, in order to support inclusive accessibility by tailoring design to the settings in which people with cognitive disabilities engage with digital technologies in their everyday “lifeworld”.

2. Buddy

Speaker: Institute Integriert Studieren, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

With this presentation, the Institute Integriert Studieren wanted to stress how the “Buddy project” aims to ease the interaction of people with cognitive disabilities with digital services by collecting assistive technology and creating a recommender, which supports the user in choosing the right tool.

This way, end users with cognitive disabilities will get easier access to the most fitting tools for using the web in an independent way. “Buddy” also streamlines the bureaucratic processes when interacting with service providers to get assistive technologies, like asking for permission and filling in applications.

Relevant documents for this meeting: 

 

Webinar 7: 28 June 2022

“WAD review findings and open discussion on future actions”

1. Overview of the WAD review findings

Speakers: Intellera / Funka / European Commission - Web Accessibility Directive team

The Consortium in charge of the study in the framework of the WAD review (Intellera, Funka) provided a final overview of the main findings. Their presentation covered the first reporting exercise as well as the overall review of the WAD. The Member states had the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the subsequent open discussion.

2. Open Discussion

Speakers: WADEX Members

The open discussion was structured around three main themes. After a brief presentation of the main findings on each specific theme, the speakers invited the WADEX Members to discuss and share their ideas and best practices around the following topics:

A. The need for improvements under implementing acts

  1. Accessibility Statement (AS)
  2. Compliance status
  3. Reporting flexibility vs templates

B. Other supporting measures

  1. User involvement and feedback / National enforcement
  2. Accessibility expertise
  3. Emerging technologies

C. Possible activities for the future

  1. Discussion on possible future activities of the WADEX

Relevant documents for the meeting: 

Author

Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) Team

Related content