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8th European e-Accessibility Forum
User-driven e-Accessibility

31/03/2014, 09:00 - 18:00 - Registration from 8:30
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - Universcience - Paris

  Version française

General description



Programme committee


Enhanced ‘consumer’ involvement is gaining currency both on a business and political level. More and more companies and service providers involve the end-user in the initiation, development and delivery of their products, while governments and organisations are increasingly looking to users to help set standards and monitor progress.

Users who have personal experience of accessing digital content are ‘experts by experience’. People with disabilities are no exception: they have first-hand familiarity with adaptive strategies and assistive technologies and, as such, can have a direct impact in enhancing the quality of digital products and services.  Accessibility use cases can help designers and developers to identify specific barriers which compromise the overall usability of their interfaces. Such user involvement increases the accountability of both public and private organisations and can prove instrumental in promoting political and social change.

While considerable progress has been made in user-led design, there is still some way to go in renewing the human side of e-Accessibility. Expert-providers and disabled users need to work together to give a louder and collective voice to e-Accessibility.


The 2014 European e-Accessibility Forum aims to address the following themes:


User experience evaluation: an essential step

by Christian BASTIEN, University of Lorraine-Metz

Today the concept of user experience is fashionable and widely used. But what does it really mean? When a designer, developer, marketer or ergonomist uses this term, are they talking about the same thing? How does one create a positive user experience? How does one assess it?

After presenting the concept of user experience and its relationship with ergonomics, Christian Bastien will discuss recent developments in user experience evaluation. After exploring different evaluation methods, he will present some evaluation tools available today.

 Chritian Bastien's picture Christian BASTIEN holds a Master in Psychology of Cognitive Processes, a postgraduate degree in Ergonomics and a PhD in Cognitive Psychology with a speciality in Ergonomics from the Université René Descartes in Paris. Christian is currently Professor at the University of Lorraine in Metz where he directs the PErSEUs Laboratory (Psychologie Ergonomique et Sociale pour l’Expérience Utilisateur, EA 7312). After working as an engineering expert at the Institute for Research in Computer Science (INRIA), he held a lecturing post at the University René Descartes. Christian was a researcher at the Computer Research Institute of Montreal. His research focuses on the use of interactive software and the Web, user-centered design methods and ergonomic assessment methods.

e-Accessibility: A Right for All!

by Maryvonne LYAZID, Vice-President of the College for the fight against discrimination and the promotion of equality

Equal access to information technology and communication is now recognized as a fundamental right by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is also enshrined in the legislation of a growing number of European countries. But what in fact is the situation today?

 Maryvonne Lyazid's photo Maryvonne LYAZID graduated from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg and the Ecole Nationale de la Santé Publique. She began her career in 1974 in the Departmental Directorate for Health and Social Affairs of Strasbourg. In 1996, she became project manager at the Ministry of Employment and Solidarity and the State Secretariat for disabled and elderly people. Maryvonne Lyazid was also invoved in the Council of Europe and the Centre for European Studies in Strasbourg. In 2002, she became Deputy Director General of the Caisse d'Epargne Foundation for Solidarity. In 2010, she was appointed Vice-President of the French Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination Commission (Haute autorité de lutte contre les discriminations et pour l'égalité or HALDE).

The interministerial action plan for the accessibility of online public services in France

by Jacques MARZIN, Interministerial Manager of the French national systems of information and communication (DISIC)

 Jacques Marzin's photo After graduating as an agriculture engineer from the Ecole d'Etudes Supérieures Agronomique in Rennes, Jaques Marzin attained a postgraduate diploma in nutrition. He became a research engineer (1978-1991) and then an information systems manager (1991-1995) at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). He was Chief Information Officer in the National Center of Development of the Structures of Exploitations (1995-2001), then director of the mission for the Hélios program at the head office of public accounting at the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry (2001-2006). He served as head of national financial information systems at Bercy from 2006 to 2011 and in November 2012 he was appointed interministerial manager of the national information and communication systems at the General Secretariat of the modernization of public services.

The Renow methodology for web standardisation: an example of an effective alliance between User Experience and e-Accessibility

by Gautier BARRERE, Psychologist, UX Stragegist, State Department for Information Technologies (Luxembourg)

In his presentation, Gautier Barrère will demonstrate how the Renow methodology reconciles "user experience" and "e-Accessibility". He will focus on the following areas:

The presentation will be supported by several case studies, including examples of user testing conducted with groups of visually impaired users.

 picture of Gautier Barrère Gautier BARRERE is a Psychologist, User Experience (UX) Strategist and specialist in persuasive design. For over 8 years, he has been implementing UX methods and techniques in governmental agencies. He was responsible for creating the Renow web methodology (www.renow.public.lu) and continues to provide Usability expertise on several strategic web and business application projects in Luxemburg. Since 2009 he has coordinated the "Web & User eXperience" Office of the Luxembourg government which brings together UX specialists, interaction designers, graphic designers, accessibility experts, developers and project managers. In parallel, Gautier is founder of FLUPA, the Franco-Luxemburg branch of User Experience specialists (www.flupa.eu) and a member of the OpenWeb collective.

e-Accessibility and Ergonomics: A good partnership for all

by Ghislaine PECH-OLIVO, Manager of Ergonomics at Pôle emploi's Information Systems department / Anthony LOISELET, Co-founder of AplusB

Although very different, e-Accessibility and ergonomics are both centered on the user. e-Accessibility aims to give all users access to information indiscriminately, while ergonomics aims to ensure the experience is effective, efficient and comfortable for each specific type of user.

Despite their historical and methodological differences, a result of the backgrounds of their respective practitioners, these disciplines can be applied together to achieve a common goal: a user experience tailored to all. In their presentation, Ghislaine Pech-Olivo and Anthony Loiselet will look at the relationship between usability and accessibility, how ergonomics can facilitate the implementation of accessible design projects and how these two disciplines can be better coordinated.

 Ghislaine PECH-OLIVO's picture Ghislaine PECH-OLIVO is an ergonomist. Since 2002, she has been responsible for ergonomics in the Information Systems department of Pôle emploi, the French governmental employment agency. Her team is responsible for assisting project managers in the implementation of "User Centered Design" and seeks to inform decisions in relation to their real impacts on user activity.
 Anthony Loiselet's picture Anthony LOISELET is specialised in user analysis and usability implementation. With a background in research, Anthony spent 15 years working on the design and evaluation of products and services and change management for major accounts. Convinced that accessibility is not just a techno-centric or normative consideration, Anthony believes users must guide the evolution of their digital and physical environment. He is working in collaboration with Ghislaine Pech-Olivo on Pôle emploi's Digital Accessibility project.

User-driven assessment and user participation in standardisation for people with cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses

by Stefan JOHANSSON, Accessibility Expert, Funka Nu AB

Traditional assessment methods such as surveys and statistical analyses often exclude persons with cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses who are often regarded as “difficult to work with”. We have a lack of knowledge regarding the problems these persons might have when using ICT and participating in our modern “e-society”. There is a need to develop methods that ensure people with cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses have an equal position in evaluation and design processes.

Stefan Johansson will present two ongoing projects in Sweden designed to address the needs of users with cognitive disabilities and mental illnesses: the Begripsam project and the RSMH project. Although focusing on different target groups, both projects aim to:

 Stefan Johansson's picture Stefan JOHANSSON is one of Scandinavia's leading experts on accessibility and universal design, working with both e-Accessibility and the built environment. He is a senior consultant and ideologue at Funka Nu AB, and has worked in this field since the early nineties. Stefan is an industry PhD student, mixing research with practical work. Recent assignments include extensive end user testing and development of criteria for cognitive accessibility. His research is connected to the Royal Institute of Technology, School of Computer Science and Communication (KTH) in Stockholm.

Towards a comprehensive and future-proof European e-Accessibility directive from a rights-based and market-related perspective

by Rodolfo CATTANI, Secretary of the European Disability Forum

The proposed directive on the Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies Websites, foreseen under the Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, and under the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 was due to achieve the accessibility of public sector websites for persons with disabilities and older people by 2015. There is now a concrete proposal on the table, and the European Disability Forum is developing its campaign to obtain a comprehensive and effective piece of legislation. EDF calls for a European legal and technical framework for website accessibility based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and on the internal market legal basis so that persons with disabilities enjoy accessibility as a fundamental human right and web developers can sell their goods and services throughout the European Union and worldwide. The scope of the directive should be as broad as possible and national enforcement and monitoring mechanisms should be defined to act as focal points for citizens and public bodies.

 Rodolfo Cattani's picture Rodolfo CATTANI has a University degree in Philosophy of Science from Bologna University. He worked as a school teacher for 13 years and for almost 20 years he was Managing Director of the Italian National Library for the Blind.  Since 1969, he has occupied several positions within the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted, where he is currently a member of the National Council. Since 1984 he has occupied various positions within the World Blind Union and the European Blind Union where at present, he is the Chairman of the Commission for Liaising with the EU. He is currently the Secretary General of the European Disability Forum (EDF). He was/is member of the following advisory bodies:
  • eAccessibility Expert Group (eEurope 2005) of DG Employment and Social Affairs (European Commission), 2003-2005
  • CEN / ISSS (CEN's Information Society Standardization System) workshop on web accessibility certification, 2005-2006
  • Design for All Working Group of ANEC (European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation) since 2006
  • DG Information Society and Media (European Commission) e-Inclusion Partnership 2006-2009; European Multi Stakeholder platform (MSP) on ICT standardization since 2012.

Getting older users involved: the experience of AGE Platform Europe

by Ophélie DURAND, Project Officer and European Parliament Liaison Officer, AGE Platform Europe

AGE Platform Europe is a European network of around 167 organisations of and for people aged 50+ which aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million senior citizens in the European Union.

AGE Platform Europe works to:

As part of this, AGE Platform Europe works to ensure that older users have access to accessible and mainstream ICT-based goods and services.

 Ophélie Durand's picture Ophélie DURAND joined AGE Platform Europe as Project and European Parliament Liaison Officer in April 2012. She is responsible for liaising with the European Parliament and is involved in several EU projects on ICT and health in which she follows the drafting of deliverables on users’ needs, the management of Advisory Boards, the organisation of meetings and dissemination activities.

How to make standards and legislation meet the needs of all consumers

by Chiara GIOVANNINI, Senior Manager, Policy & Innovation, ANEC

ANEC represents the European consumer interest in the creation of technical standards, especially those developed to support the implementation of European laws and public policies.

For several years now, ANEC has been calling for mandatory provisions on web-accessibility as many consumers with disabilities and older consumers are still excluded from accessing the Internet and on-line services. In her presentation, Chiara Giovannini will discuss the importance of e-Accessibility standards, their relationship to legislation and how they can be successfully implemented. She will also address the European Commission’s proposed European Web Accessibility Directive and the standards associated with its implementation.

 Chiara Giovannini's picture Chiara GIOVANNINI holds a master degree in European Law. Since 2002 she has been responsible for standardization work in the sectors of Design for All (Accessibility), Nanotechnologies and the Information Society, including information and communications technologies (ICT). She is also in charge of ANEC’s horizontal policy issues, supporting the Secretary General. She represents ANEC in several European Commission Committees and Expert Groups (ECCG, COCOM, IoT Expert Group) and CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Committees and Working Groups.

New strategies for old problems: model-based user interfaces

by Giorgio BRAJNIK, University of Udine, Italy

Given the dominance of visual media on the Web today, people who rely on screen readers and magnifiers are often only able to partially access information (via the audio channel or a reduced visual field). A very common complaint from blind users is that they do not understand the information they are faced with, are unable to make sense of what they perceive, are unable to cope with the complexity of the page, are unable to understand what kind of actions they can take and do not know how to find possible solutions to problems faced.

Giorgio Brajnik will discuss the notion that designers need to define different applications for people using screen readers and magnifiers, with interaction structures better fitted to these users’ needs. This is not dissimilar to the approach to mobile and desktop platforms where designers implement different interaction structures for apps and websites. If the application has to be developed manually, this approach is not feasible. However, by adopting a model-based approach, alternative renditions could be automatically generated from the source code according to variable specifications.

Giorgio Brajnik will discuss the basic tenets of a model-based methodology called UML-IDEA for the automatic generation of user interfaces, and the impact that an "Action Driven Design" approach could have on accessibility.

 Giorgio Brajnik's picture Giorgio BRAJNIK is a faculty member of the Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica of the University of Udine, Italy, where he currently teaches two courses: "User-centered Web development" and "User Experience". In the last 15 years he has been actively researching web usability and accessibility, developing and evaluating accessibility evaluation tools like LIFT, accessibility evaluation methods like Barrier Walkthrough and more recently Model-Driven methods and tools for generating user interfaces. He has taught computer science for over 20 years in Italy and abroad and co-founded two companies specialised in accessibility, user interfaces and interaction design: Usablenet and Interaction Design Solutions.

Combining User and Device Context for Accessibility

by Andy HEATH, W3C/WAI IndieUI Independent User Interface working group

Andy Heath will introduce the work underway in the W3C/WAI IndieUI group on specifying a realistic cross-platform Events and User Context model to support the adaptation of content and interface to user needs in web applications on a broad range of devices, including the emerging generation of mobile phones and tablets. In particular, he will look at:

 Andy Heath's picture Having spent 20 years teaching computer science, Andy HEATH is now a freelance consultant on strategy and implementation around Accessibility Technology Standards supporting individualisation. He is an editor of and contributor to many key standards and an invited expert to many groups including ISO/IEC 24751-1:2008 Individualized adaptability and accessibility in e-learning, education and training, W3C/WAI Independent User Interface working group, IMS Accessibility Special Interest Group, ISO/IEC JTAG for the revision of ISO/IEC Guide 71, ISO/IEC JTC1 SWG on the Internet of Things, the schema.org Accessibility Metadata project and The IEEE Actionable Data Book research project. In his non-working time he is in love with Argentinian Tango.

Crowdsourcing: A New Era of Information Accessibility

by Mike MAY, CEO of Sendero Group

Crowdsourcing empowers the user to contribute to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content and customising Internet applications. It provides a limitless source of information produced by the user, for the user, at little to no cost.

What this means for a person with a disability is that they can collect, enhance and share information tailored to their interests and to their disability.

Mike May and Sendero Group researchers have identified an area of high need of information accessibility: Location-Based Information. The idea behind Location-Based Information is that data in the form of news broadcasts, historical anecdotes, or tour guide information will be linked to the user’s current location giving real-time information where relevant. Mike will be presenting some key applications where users play a role in advancing their own accessibility.

 Mike May's picture Mike MAY is co-founder and CEO of Sendero Group, developers of the first accessible GPS for the blind in 1999 and distributors of various adaptive technologies. He has been the principle investigator on several US federal grants as he works with numerous organisations to advance way finding technologies around the world. Mike has been a pioneer in new product development since 1980.

Digital accessibility at the heart of social innovation: the case of Jaccede.com

by Damien BIRAMBEAU, CEO, Jaccede.com

Jaccede.com was created by Damien Birambeau in September 2006. Following a trip to Berkeley in California, where Damien encountered the concept of ‘universal accessibility', he began to make note of those places that he was able to visit in a wheelchair. He soon realised that the accessible spots he knew of could be of interest to thousands of people with limited mobility. From this came the idea to create the first online interactive guide to accessible places.

Today Jaccede.com is updated by an online community of over 9000 contributors. Over 30 000 accessible addresses have been registered on the site by volunteers who have a direct or indirect contact with limited mobility and who have gone out in the field to test the accessibility of the world around them. The site allows the disabled and those with limited mobility to be active members of the society they live in.

 Damien Birambeau's picture Damien BIRAMBEAU has been in a wheelchair since the age of 12. He is founder and CEO of Jaccede.com, a non-profit organisation started in 2006. For the past 3 years Jaccede has been developped as a mobile application.

Programme Committee

  • ABOU-ZARA Shadi, W3C Consortium, WAI Initiative
  • ASSIMACOPOULOS André, Association pour le Bien des Aveugles, Geneva (Switzerland)
  • BURGER Dominique, UPMC-INSERM (France)
  • BOULAY Denis, Association BrailleNet (France)
  • ENGELEN Ian, KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Belgium)
  • KAHLISCH, Thomas, Deutsche Zentralbücherei für Blinde, Leipzig (Germany)
  • KERSCHER George, Daisy Consortium
  • KUBITSCHKE Lutz, Empirica GmbH (Germany)
  • LAURIN Susanna, Funka Nu (Sweden)
  • LUCENO Varju, Daisy Consortium
  • MARMOL Bruno, INRIA (France)
  • MAY Mike, Sendero Group (USA)
  • MIESENBERGER Klaus, University of Linz (Austria)
  • OUALID Magali, INHA (France)
  • PETRIE Helen, University of York (UK)
  • SANCHEZ Jordi, Code Factory (Spain)
  • RICE Donal, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (Ireland)
  • TORNER Véronique, AlterWay (France)
  • TYLER Steve, Royal National Institute for the Blind (UK)
  • VARGENAU Marc-Etienne, Alcatel-Lucent (France)

Eligibility for vocational training funding

As Association Braillenet is a recognized training organization (activity declaration No. 11753341875), attendance at the European Forum is eligible for vocational training funding.


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