European Internet Inclusion Initiative
Start date: Oct 1, 2013,
End date: Sep 30, 2015
Online services have rapidly become the main channel of interaction between citizens and government. Both the European Digital agenda, and national e-government strategies share ambitious goals to radically increase the use of these services and harvest massive savings from digitalisation.Despite these ambitions, people with disabilities still find insurmountable barriers on web sites, audio-visual media and online services, preventing full participation. With increasing life expectancy in Europe the group of people with disabilities will grow as will the need for accessible public services and online content.Services need to be usable and accessible for all to reap the full potential of the digitisation. Successful implementation depend on reliable, high quality and harmonised testing and surveillance, assessing both technical and usability aspects of the systems.There are several one-off reports concerning accessibility of public services such as the European eGovernment study from Capgemini in 2009, or the ANEC report from 2011. The MeAC reports give a better progress overview from 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. In some countries, e.g. in Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, and Norway national surveys are carried out on a regular basis. These reports will not aid repair.The EIII will support the recent European proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites and build a new combination of existing tools to support crowd source enabled user testing, automated evaluation and surveillance of the web and audiovisual media. The chosen open source approach will ensure accountable evaluation results and facilitate adoption.To empower policy makers to monitor and communities to participate in achieving accessibility and inclusiveness of information and public services, the EIII will facilitate targeted exchange among leading European government agencies, engage communities and combine existing open source tools in new ways.
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