The project duration is 24 months: 29.12.2017 – 28.12.2019
The overall budget is € 262 059
Accessibility in relation to web pages, application interfaces and other electronic information means that everyone can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web content, application interface and document regardless of their disability and software or devices used.
Accessibility is increasingly recognized by the European and national legislation – European Digital Agenda which refers to the accessibility for people with disabilities as one of the conditions of the successful development and suggests to require that the public sector websites and websites providing basic services for citizens be fully accessible till 2015 and refers to the standard for accessibility as described in WCAG 2.0 document (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), elaborated by the W3C consortium (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ ). That standard is very commonly recognized internationally (e.g. adopted as ISO standard also on EU level). Two other important EU proposals were prepared on ICT accessibility: Directive on accessibility of public sector websites and the accessibility act addressing certain private sector services, goods and websites as influencing the Digital Single Market Strategy. The accessibility obligation is also required by the EU legislation related to the public procurement or the European Structural and Investment Funds.
Each of partner countries have adopted relevant rules in their national legislation. More details on accessibility standards in European countries can be found on EU Agency for Fundamental Rights site (at http://fra.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-and-maps/comparative-data/political-participation/standards-web).
However, those increasing accessibility requirements are still not followed sufficiently by adequate education curricula, updated and attractive materials and awareness of equipping professionals in design and development of public registers, electronic information and ICT systems to guarantee proper compliance with accessibility standards. It is confirmed by various research conducted usually by NGOs, including project partner FIRR, which present adequate data (e.g. http://firr.org.pl/attachments/article/511/Raport%20FIRR%20-%20Dost%C4%99pno%C5%9B%C4%87%20witryn%20internetowych%20.pdf , http://widzialni.org/container/raport-dostepnosci-2015.pdf).
The situation is very similar in most of the EU countries and so project partners decided to undertake efforts not only to fill the education gap and transfer and develop a structured curriculum, recognized within the ECT system based on blended learning scheme and offering competences in designing accessible web content and applications but also to initiate wider exploitation and promotion actions to implement that course in the core curricula of university faculties, promoting recognition of its certificate on national and EU labour market and increase of awareness and accessibility teaching competences of academics.
The Vistula University expertize in national higher education content and e-learning designed in accessible way, combined with wide experience of JKU in providing accessibility courses and teaching, FIRR expertize in accessibility issues and experiences in conducting trainings on accessibility to various professionals and national context expertise and interest in initiating accessibility course of Varna Free University will give the universal European dimension to that proposal and will bring added value to all parties.