, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 105-119

White Paper: promoting Design for All and e-Accessibility in Europe

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Abstract

This White Paper results from the collaboration of Design for All (DfA) and e-Accessibility expert bodies representing the European Union member states [ref: the coordination centres of the national European Design for All e-Accessibility network (EDeAN) in 23 European Union Member States, in this document referred to as NCCs]. The objectives of this White Paper are threefold: (1) to present the current state of affairs of EDeAN, active since 2002 as part of the European Commission’s action line supporting the development of the European Information Society; (2) to outline a roadmap for future initiatives, actively reflecting views of the EDeAN network in specific domains related to DfA, e-Accessibility and e-Inclusion; and (3) to bring forward a set of suggestions and recommendations regarding the activities of the network, aiming to support the creation of a fully inclusive European Information Society. The paper is organised as follows: Section 1 provides a short introduction to DfA and Accessibility in Information Society (IS) and Information Society Technology (IST) developments in Europe. Section 2 provides an overview of policy as well as R&D activities related to DfA and accessibility in IST in Europe. Section 3 briefly describes the role of EDeAN and the new challenges that emerge as a result of the changing European policy environment. Section 4 presents current challenges that emerge in five domains directly related to DfA and accessibility, such as policy and legislation, industry, monitoring and evaluation—benchmarking, standardisation, R&D, and education and training. Finally, Sect. 5 puts forward a number of recommendations with regard to future activities for EDeAN. The contents of this paper reflect results from the open discussion forums supported in the EDeAN website (ref: EDeAN Special Interest Groups, SIGs). The draft paper was written by the EDeAN Secretariat for 2005, FORTH-ICS (Greece), and completed with the support of all NCCs. Support was also provided by the European Commission DG Information Society and Media and by the D4ALLnet project (ref: an EC funded project with the code IST-2001-38833).

Editors

The White Paper has been edited by I. Klironomos, M. Antona, I. Basdekis, and C. Stephanidis.

Contributors

Soren Aalykke, Danish Centre for Assistive Technology, NCC for Denmark

Ray Adams, CIRCUA––Middlesex University, NCC for the UK

Bob Allen, CRC, NCC for Ireland

Haakon Aspelund, the Delta Centre, NCC for Norway

Toril Bergerud Buene, the Delta Centre, NCC for Norway

Mieke Broeders, VZW-T, NCC for Belgium

Christian Buhler, FTB, NCC for Germany, Benchmarking SIG moderator

Pier Luigi Emiliani, CNR, NCC for Italy, Proactive Assessment SIG moderator

Jan Engelen, KUL, Belgium, Standardisation SIG moderator

Henrike Gappa, FhG-FIT, NCC for Germany

Erkki Kempainen, STAKES, Finland, Policy and Legislation SIG moderator

Harry Knops, iRv, NCC for the Netherlands

Ülle Lepp, Estonian Foundation for the Visually Impaired, NCC for Estonia

Lenka Lhotska, Czech Technical University in Prague, NCC for the Czech Republic

Erik Loide, EFVI, NCC for Estonia

Niels-Erik Mathiassen, Danish Centre for Assistive Technology, NCC for Denmark

Klaus Miesenberger, Integrated Study—University of Linz, NCC for Austria

Hugh O’Neill, CRC, NCC for Ireland

Laurynas Pacenka, State Institute of Information Technologies, NCC for Lithuania

Carlos Pereira, SNRIPD, NCC for Portugal

Mateus Pustisek, Faculty of Electrical Engineering UL, NCC for Slovenia

Brian Restall, Projects in Motion Ltd., NCC for Malta

Cristina Rodriguez-Porrero, CEAPAT, NCC for Spain

Saulius Sidaras, State Institute of Information Technologies, NCC for Lithuania

Cecília Sik Lányi, Colour and Multimedia Laboratory, VEIN, NCC for Hungary

Dušan Šimšík, Access Centre—TUKE, NCC for Slovakia

Thijs Soede, iRv, NCC for the Netherlands

Yngve Sundblad, CID-KTH, Sweden, Curricula on DfA SIG moderator

Paivi Tahkokallio, STAKES, NCC for Finland

Claes Tjader, the Swedish Handicap Institute, NCC for Sweden

Gill Whitney, CIRCUA—Middlesex University, NCC for the UK

Ronald Wiman, STAKES, NCC for Finland

Fredrik Winberg, CID-KTH, Sweden, Curricula on DfA SIG moderator

Carlos Velasco, FhG-FIT, NCC for Germany

Nadine Vigoroux, IRIT, NCC for France