Web Accessibility Initiative: Ageing Education and Harmonisation

Keywords: Web, accessibility, elderly, disabled, education, standardization

A priority for eInclusion under Call FP6-2005-IST-5 is the development and constitution of adequate technology platforms to meet the challenges posed by the ageing population. One key technology needed by the ageing population is the World Wide Web.
To date there has been extensive development of guidelines for accessibility of the Web for people with disabilities. While these guidelines address many requirements needed by the ageing population, the relevance of these guidelines to the needs of the ageing population is not well understood by organizations representing and/or serving the needs of the ageing community nor by technology developers. In addition, there may be the need for extensions on WAI guidelines to better address requirements that additionally benefit people who experience a combination of changes in abilities due to ageing. For instance, while WAI guidelines provide comprehensive coverage of accessibility requirements on a feature-by-feature basis, they may not adequately address the cognitive overload experienced by some people when encountering these features on Web sites. Proposed activities under the ¿Web Accessibility Initiative: Accessibility Harmonisation¿ include activities to better understand the needs of the ageing community in the context of existing Web accessibility guidelines; to work with the ageing community to obtain more direct contribution into W3C/WAI work; to revise existing and develop new educational materials to better reflect the needs of the ageing community; and to pursue standards coordination to promote adoption and implementation of a common set of guidelines. These activities are proposed by the ERCIM, the European host for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), one of the four main domains of W3C, has achieved worldwide recognition for its work developing guidelines and resources to promote accessibility for people with disabilities.


36 months, from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2010

ERCIM's role:
Project co-ordinator

Total budget:

Funding Agencies:
European Commission FP6 (IST Specific Support Action)
EC funding: €900,600