Michel de la Monneraye
Communication Manager in Groupama SA's Web Department in charge of Accessibility for the company since January 2005.
As a introduction, I would like to say the reason for my being with you today is that I would like to attest the reflection in Groupama SA, the awareness and the steps taken to apply the accessibility principles to the firm's Web sites.
In about a hundred years of life, the Groupama group has become the number one mutual insurance company with 2 brand names: Groupama assurances, with 5 millions members and Gan, 3 millions clients and 2 foundations : Fondation Groupama pour la Santé and Gan pour le cinéma.
With a 2004 turnover of 12.83 millions euros and 30,000 employees the Group has become an essential insurance company on the French market: 1st mutual insurance company in France, 1st damage insurer, 1st agricultural insurer, 1st personal health and local authority and 2nd motor, marine and transport insurer.
As a responsible insurance company, Groupama has been leading a particularly active policy towards prevention for the past 50 years. It means anticipating risks in order to protect life and non-life.
The group is also a leading actor in health matters, with a nearby mutual insurance company which plays a precursory part in national Health Groupama Santé Active and a foundation, Fondation Groupama pour la Santé with a special focus on fighting against rare deseases.
Following the initiative of the Communication Web departmen, Groupama has decided in 2004 to undertake a reflection on the accessibility of its Web sites. With the medium-term goal to make the group's Web sites accessible to as large an audience as possible.
We are working on 2 isues.
The first isue, especially focusing on visual impairment, has build up within a working party whose aim was to gather strengh on the theme of accessibility in the firm. The goal is to produce an Accessibility Charter for the whole group.
Conducted by BrailleNet and the Web department, the working party could achieve the official launching of the Charter in 2005 on the Fondation Groupama pour la Santé conference where one could attend worshops showing the use of the tools available for handicaped persons to access the Internet.
By making the Fondation Groupama pour la Santé's Web site accessible, thus setting an example, the second isue has to set the path for accessibility within the group.
Finally, the charter is made available to all by the mean of "e-veille", the intranet of technology news of the Groupe.
The main project is the realisation of the new accessible site for Fondation Groupama pour la Santé and its certification by BrailleNet.
The survey of some of the crucial sites of the group will be conducted so as to help them evolve towards accessibility.
At last, a working party "e-sourds" will be set in October 2006 to study the isues of accessibility of Web sites to the deaf and the hard of hearing.