Yesterday EDF sent a letter to the Executive Board of the Conference on the Future of Europe about the accessibility of the multilingual platform, the main website of this flagship democratic exercise from which citizens can submit and comment ideas, and engage in the Conference activities.
Before the summer, EDF commissioned an accessibility audit of this website, after hearing the complaints from persons with disabilities who experienced accessibility problems in it. The accessibility audit, carried out by the Swedish accessibility company Funka, showed that persons using assistive technologies such as screen readers, or those who rely on keyboard navigation because of a motor disability cannot use the website. Besides, forms necessary to input content on the platform are not properly designed, some error messages are only conveyed with colour, making it difficult for those with colour blindness, and some buttons do not have enough contrast to be seen by a person with low vision.
EDF sent this technical assessment, including recommendations on how to solve these issues, to the Executive Board of the Conference calling the EU institutions to fix the accessibility problems as soon as possible, so persons with disabilities can contribute on an equal basis with others.
In the letter, EDF also reiterated its commitment to bring the voice of persons with disabilities to the Conference Plenary, and drew the attention once again on the need to actively reaching out to a diverse representation of citizens for the citizens panels, as certain persons with disabilities and other marginalised communities will most likely be excluded by the foreseen random selection using telephone calls.
As EDF stated in the letter, accessibility is a precondition for persons with disabilities to be able to participate in the Conference, therefore the multilingual platform must live up to the same accessibility requirements as any other public sector website as required by the 2016 Web Accessibility Directive.
We hope that the Conference IT teams will study this accessibility audit and promptly repair the accessibility of the website.
- Download the accessibility audit of the platform of the Conference on the Future of Europe (Word doc)
- Read more about EDF activities concerning the Conference on the Future of Europe
- Read the complete letter here.
Alejandro Moledo – Head of Policy