ACCESSIBLE - Applications Design and Development

Project Needs

Societal and/or technological issues and needs (targeted by the innovation components of the project)

  • Missing framework for developers and designers for gaining insight into the accessible software development process. Also, the implemented standards and best practices around accessibility are somewhat confusing and incomplete
  • Developers need to have a harmonized conceptual framework in which to situate disabled-related guidelines, which they often do not have due to lack of experience with people with disabilities and their requirements
  • Existing development tools and packaged solutions give little out-of-the-box assistance in most cases or, at worst, make it impossible to develop accessible solutions
  • Lack of methodologies for the verification of accessibility for Web applications, web services, standard description languages (e.g. SDL, etc) as well as mobile applications (including Java Native applications)
  • Increasing demand for accessible software products that can support combinations of more than one disabilities simultaneously
  • ICT has emerged over the latest years, and the importance of accessibility has only begun to be appreciated in the last two or three years
  • Difficulties exist in current evaluation mechanisms for the selection between various proposals in public procurements
  • Many developers and, more surprisingly, designers, are not aware of the importance or need for accessibility as many of them do not have the necessary knowledge or skills for building accessible products. Consequently, many software products are being built in blissful ignorance, about accessibility issues. In addition, in many cases they don’t have appropriate accessibility mechanisms in order to solve foreseen problems on their products
  • Developers need to have appropriate tools and methodologies in order to trace the status of accessibility during each stage of the overall software development process

Getting started from this need, comes the idea of ACCESSIBLE project, which developed for the first time a reliable and harmonized methodology (HAM) and accompanying tools for large-scale accessibility assessment of products and services that cover the domains of web applications, mobile-web applications, web services and Description Languages.