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The experience
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Eric Velleman

Best-practice in the Netherlands…Bartimeus Accessibility Foundation

Braillenet Colloque Paris, april 2003

1. About Accessibility
2. Drempels Weg Project
3. Expert Review
4. Design4all evaluation
5. Drempels Weg Training
6. Quality Mark project
7. And more …

What is web accessibility

Web accessibility means that everyone can use the functions of the internet
- Regardless of disability or the use of assistive technology
- Regardless of the used OS or user agent (Browser, PDA, TV etc)
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

Why it is important

· Use of the Web is spreading rapidly into all areas of society;
· There are barriers on the Web for many types of disabilities;
· Millions of people have disabilities that affect access to the Web;
· Some Web sites are required to be accessible;
· Web accessibility also has carry-over benefits for other users. (source W3C)

Impact of the Web

The Web is (becoming) a key resource for:
- news, information, commerce, entertainment,
- classroom education, distance learning,
- job searching, workplace interaction,
- civic participation, government services.
· It is displacing traditional sources of information and interaction
- schools, libraries, print materials, discourse of the workplace;
- some of the traditional resources were accessible; some not.
· An accessible Web means unprecedented access to information for people with disabilities.

Drempels Weg Project

Funded by Dutch government…otherwise

- Convince companies and organizations to make accessible websites.
-Show people with a disability and their environment the advantages of the internet.


Drempels Weg method

- Investigation
- Visualization
- Information
- Discussion
- Instruction


Campaign success

- The 4 ambassadors
- Positive approach / message
- 200 letters of intent (tv)
- 100 expert reviews of websites
- Online tools for evaluation of website
- Thematic approach
- Free publicity
-Free technical helpdesk
- Ongoing funding by Dutch government and
- Setup of ongoing evaluation scheme


Every month research theme and publicity:
-Finance (May)
- News and media (June)
- Travel and holiday (July)
- Work and education (August)
- Government and politics (September)
- Search and find (October)
- Shopping (November)
- Sports (December)
- Party (January)
- Health (February)


Technical helpdesk

- Expert Review report of the site (73 sites)
- General information on accessibility
- WCAG1.0 checklist priority 1
- Extra checkpoints from p2 and p3
- Screenshots and proposed solutions
- In-company presentation of report and accessibility tools
- Telephone and e-mail helpdesk
- Support and


Drempels Weg on the move

-Regionalisation of campaign
-Regional ambassadors
-Regional letters of intent
-Regional press conference
-Other forms of help
-Questions about interpretation of guidelines

Design4all evaluation

- Ongoing evaluation of website 2x year
-Web Content Accessibility Guidelines p1 plus user friendliness, browser tests, etc.
- Follows W3C documents for evaluation methodology and reporting
- Online report, help brochure, helpdesk
- Short term re-check option (English version)

Training for certification

The Drempels Weg certified web design companies list 'who can help you'. All companies want to be on the list:

- Hands-on 2 day Training
- Following W3C EOWG training documents
- Harmonisation by 'one training only' approach

- Coming changes….

Quality Mark

- Netherlands - ready in 2003
- Relation with EuroAccessibility project
- Phase 1 - The Drempels Weg Mark. Not for free
Available at:;
- Phase 2 - Accredited Quality Mark and certification project together with government, industry, representative orgs and disabilities organisations. Products:
- Large Feasability Study
- WCAG criteria enhancement
- Common methodology (and tool)

Setup User Testing Protocols for Accessibility

- Extensive research and development of 3 user testing protocols for users with disabilities
- User testing with disabled and non-disabled users
- Usability and accessibility testing possibility
-WCAG / ATAG and a-usability report
- Involvement of disability orgs., industry, government, non-profit, ICT companies (for CMS testing), University of Twente etc.
- Pilot with large Dutch bank

Netherlands, more

- Development of 'Impact analysis' via partnerships
- National Center for accessible digital media (Curriculum development)
- Games and educational software development: Drive, Curbgame, Dark, Powerchords (and research)
- Development of Accessible Multimodal Location Based Game
- Curriculum for web accessibility for universities
- Sound navigation research project
- User profile research for digital atlas


- No laws, stimuleringsbeleid..
- All government sites signed declaration
- 150/120 largest companies sign, regional approach
- Enormous publicity
- Many web design companies follow training
- First implementation delay, now start to finish
- Drempels Weg Mark


And …. don't do anything without checking:

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