Added value

The added value at EU level is very clear to understand in terms of policy analysis and implementation, fostering innovation, promoting incentives and ensuring a common approach regarding web accessibility monitoring practices in Europe.

Policy analysis. In the countries where the web accessibility monitoring initiatives have been initiated in order to verify compliance with national provisions in the field of web-accessibility, it is a clear advantage to have a uniform way to monitor web accessibility and measure the progress in the field, as a way to have detailed and updated information on how and how fast the policy objectives on web accessibility of public websites are being met.

Innovation. The field of web accessibility monitoring has been very un-explored for the last 10 years, some isolated initiatives and good practices have been promoted in several Member States. Nevertheless, the existence of a common methodology will bring a lot of innovation to the sector, where public government units, accessibility consultancies, user associations and other stakeholders could play an active role. The harmonised methodology for web accessibility monitoring could also be extrapolated to other sectors, like banking, e-commerce, universities, e-learning platforms, and many other sectors with web-based services.

Competition. The existence of contrasted data regarding the level of public websites accessibility in Member States can bring an indirect positive effect of healthy competition among countries and even among regions to be higher in the list. The fact of having public information may imply better effort from public organisations to raise their performance in terms of web accessibility level.

Common approach regarding web accessibility monitoring. It is important to raise overall agreement on a set of technical and methodological aspects that should be commonly addressed across Member States, for example: the degree of compliance of the website with the requirements for web-accessibility, the collection of representative samples, and the periodicity of the monitoring. With a common methodology for web accessibility monitoring, Member States will have a valuable source of information regarding their progress in the field, and it may also be a source of inspiration to foster innovation in the field or to propose some incentives among public bodies.