COMPARE at Webkongress Erlangen 2018

, by Detlev Fischer

The new Access & Use learning module, an intellectial output of the Erasmus+ funded COMPARE project, was introduced at the Web Congress Erlangen 2018.

The main COMPARE objective is to initiate a European exchange between accessibility evaluators, starting with the cooperation between project partners DIAS (Germany), Funka (Sweden) and BrailleNet (France). In support of this goal, the project has created a MediaWiki-based platform, the COMPARE Repository. Evaluators, but also developers, can document and rate web cases (e.g., certain interactive components on public websites).

The new success criteria of WCAG 2.1 will be particularly important for the exchange. So far, there are few practical experiences with the evaluation of web content according to these new criteria. Relevant WCAG Techniques and Failures are just being written, and are not yet available for all success criteria.

The second part of the multiplier event was about the new learning module Access & Use. Here, important interactive components of web design are introduced in a way that is easy to understand and shown in action in a short video. For each component, there are recommendations for the accessible implementation. Then, using videos and screencasts, Access & Use clearly demonstrates the problems arising in interaction. Different barriers are evident when people with different disabilities use these components.

At the end, we find cross-references to the COMPARE repository of web content cases and links to best practice implementations or further articles about the respective component.

The discussion after the presentation showed a very positive reaction. Several participants thought that an easy introduction to web components and a tangible presentation of what can 'go wrong' when content is not accessible is valuable. One question touched on potential copyright issues regarding the site content used as the basis for user tasks in recordings on video or via screencasts. The basic structure implemented so far was considered suitable for self-learning.

Another issue raised by a participant was the sustainability of both platforms beyond the project duration. The COMPARE project partners are committed to keep both platforms available, and plan to add content after the end of the project.

A video of the COMPARE multiplier event (in German) is already available.

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