Siteimprove Selected by European Commission to Develop Next Generation of Web Accessibility Testing Tools

By Siteimprove

Okt 27 2017

EU flag representation with the words "Horizon 2020" and the Siteimprove logo

WAI-Tools project aims to standardize manual and automated accessibility testing

COPENHAGEN, DK – Oct 27 2017 – Siteimprove is proud to announce its participation in WAI-Tools, a collaborative project to innovate accessibility testing alongside a consortium of key players in the accessibility industry, national authorities, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

WAI-Tools was established as a response to the Horizon 2020 program—Europe’s largest research and innovation program—and its call for innovation in the area of accessibility compliance assessment. WAI-Tools project members will receive a total of 2 million EUR to:

  • Improve consistency and accuracy of automated, semi-automated, and manual accessibility testing
  • Demonstrate large-scale web accessibility monitoring built on open standards
  • Pursue leading technologies for website testing, including dynamic content and mobile web applications

WAI-Tools project members will develop resources that align with ongoing international efforts in standardization and conformance testing, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and the work carried by the W3C’s Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) task force.

In addition, the EU Web Accessibility Directive will require Member States to monitor and report compliance progress to the EU beginning in December 2018. Member States and public sector bodies will need accurate, automated tools that can process large amounts of content and assist in repairing web accessibility problems—and WAI-Tools aims to be their go-to solution.

“This project has the ambitious goal of advancing the entire field of web accessibility, accelerating innovation, and building support for the implementation of the EU Web Accessibility Directive,” said Daniela Di Gianantonio, public affairs manager at Siteimprove. “We are extremely proud to lead the development in automated testing and eager to make a tangible impact in Europe and internationally.”

Siteimprove’s portion of the grant will be dedicated to:

  • Developing fully automated test rules
  • Integrating those rules into the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform
  • Launching an open format part of their test engine
  • Public outreach and dissemination of the project 

“We’re delighted to support the advancement of web accessibility alongside key players in the field,” said Siteimprove Founder and CEO Morten Ebbesen. “We’re proud to contribute to this project not only from a business perspective, but from a human perspective. Standardizing the way we test, report, and repair accessibility challenges on the web is an important step towards our mission of making the web a better place for all.”

In addition to Siteimprove, the WAI-Tools consortium consists of the W3C, Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi), Portuguese Ministry for Science and Technology, University of Lisbon, Deque Systems, and Accessibility Foundation.

Beyond this core team of partners, much of the project will actively involve networks within the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). This international, vendor-neutral community includes industry, research, and individual experts, as well as user organizations and public bodies. They will work to build consensus and acceptance for project results and closely coordinate on key developments in standardization.

An open kickoff meeting will take place in Brussels on Nov. 29, 2017 at 9 a.m. The public is invited to participate and learn more about the upcoming project. For more information, contact Daniela Di Gianantonio at ddg@siteimprove.com.

Visit the Siteimprove Accessibility Hub to learn more about Siteimprove’s web accessibility efforts and capabilities.

 

About Siteimprove  

Siteimprove transforms the way organizations manage and deliver their digital presence. With the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform, you gain complete visibility and deep insights into what matters, empowering you and your team to outperform the status quo with certainty every day. With a worldwide customer base of more than 6,000 customers, Siteimprove serves dozens of markets from offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Minneapolis, Oslo, Sydney, Toronto, and Vienna. For more information, visit siteimprove.com.