7e Forum Européen de l'Accessibilité Numérique :

Faire de l'e-accessibilité une compétence professionnelle

18 Mars 2013, 9h-18h
Cité des sciences, Paris

  English version
Version imprimable

Message aux participants par Mme Neelie KROES (Vice-Présidente de la Commission Européenne)

message vidéo introduit par / video message introduced by M. Ramon SANMARTIN SOLA, DG CONNECT (Bruxelles)
Commission Européenne

Information sur l'auteur

Photo de Neelie Kroes

En 2010, Neelie Kroes, a été nommé vice-présidente de la Commission européenne, responsable de la stratégie numérique pour l'Europe. Ce portefeuille comprend les technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) et les télécommunications.



Mots d'introduction de M. Ramon SAN MARTIN SOLA (DG CONNECT) (en anglais)

Good morning ladies and gentleman,
First of all, I would like to thank the organisers for the invitation, and also to congratulate them for continuing with this important event in the field of e-Accessibility in Europe.
I'm here to present the video-message of the Vice-President of the Commission, Neelie Kroes. Unfortunately she was not able to come here today, but she wanted to be "present" somehow nonetheless.
The Commissioner will cover some of the many different efforts taken at European level on e-Accessibility, so I would like to use this chance to focus a little bit more on one of those efforts. I am referring to the proposal for a Directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites adopted last December.
This proposal is an answer to the problem we discovered when we looked at the situation of web-accessibility in Europe; which is not the availability of accessibility specifications, but the fact that European Member States make their own variation or apply a different version of them.
As a consequence of this fragmentation, making websites accessible is complicated and needlessly expensive.
Then we looked into what the European Commission was already doing and we found out that on-going measures were not enough to address this problem. Action was needed, and it was needed fast if we were to comply with the commitment of the Digital Agenda to make all public sector websites accessible by 2015 and to support the many National commitments in this domain.
So we made this proposal, and we did it in a way for it to be as small as possible and yet with an ambition to be maximally effective.
What it says is very simple: let's all agree to make 12 types of government websites accessible. Let's do it according to one set of requirements, including agreeing on monitoring methodology. Let's use the same standard that will be defined as the European and actually also global standard. And let's do it quickly before the end of 2015, because that is the commitment we all made in the Digital Agenda for Europe.
By obliging ourselves to make these websites accessible in a harmonised way, we will boost the market for web-accessibility and we will contribute to the professionalization of the sector, not mentioning the obvious: making the real difference for those that cannot benefit from being 'digital'.
The proposal will reinforce the need of skilled professionals in web-accessibility, not only amongst public administration's in-house staff but also in the private sector. It will also certainly foster the demand for training on e-accessibility skills at large scale. All in all, the proposal will thereby strengthen the existing demands for the recognition of e-accessibility as a professional skill.
However, the proposal has still a long way to go. There is a lot of work ahead of us to get it accepted, but not only for us.
There is a lot of work to do for you to help to define how it will be implemented. There will be room for creativity, new technological solutions and training schemes.
We are looking forward to collaborate with you on all this, starting right now and right here, with the outcome of this conference that can pave the way for implementing the proposal.

Message (en anglais) de Madame Neelie KROES

"The digital world offers so many new opportunities. We must ensure they are available to all because an increasing number of services are going digital. Whatever you are trying to do – fill out a form, watching TV or videos, use a cash machine, travel or contact emergency services – whatever it is , the chances are you are using ICT or the Internet to do it, or could be. But as those opportunities rise so do the potential barriers. As many common activities we take for granted may become unavailable to people with disabilities. If we didn't do it right we are at risk of putting up new obstacles to participating in everyday life. Yet taking down those barriers doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as simple as subtitling a video or letting people text 112 in an emergency. Those simple changes can make such a huge difference to so many lives.

Here are four ways we are supporting that from the EU:

(1)    Legislation – as a minimum people with disabilities should be able to access all essential online public services, whether they are searching for a job, enrolling in university or booking a house appointment. That is why we have proposed a directive on web accessibility. It will make disabled people's lives easier by making such essential online opportunities accessible and it will make web developer's lives easier by giving them a single set of standards to follow across Europe rather than have each country go its own way.

(2)    We have asked European standardisation bodies to work on e-Accessibility standards for public procurement.

(3)    We are raising awareness and celebrating success by our e-inclusion awards and our report of its campaign

(4)    We are investing in research to benefit people with disabilities, from the Mind Walker project so people with lower limb disabilities can carry out daily activities independently and naturally, to the Cloud forum, all projects because thinking accessibility right from the beginning makes new technologies available to all, more effectively and at lower cost.

Today we are discussing e-Accessibility as a professional skill. That is a great thing to look at. Thinking accessibility makes sound business sense. There are increasing legal and commercial reasons why, yet companies today need to do ever more with ever fewer resources. In short, those designing and producing their new ideas need to get better at integrating user needs and building them in right from the start. That calls for good staff training. Promoting this as professional skill is a good way forward and with the right consistent rules, and investment at European level, I hope we can make the job easier for you. Together, we can assure this world of opportunity comes to everyone. Thank you."

Message vidéo de Madame Neelie KROES (sur YouTube, en anglais)

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