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First European standard for accessibility in information technologies

06 February 2014

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Establece los requisitos funcionales que garantizarán que los productos y servicios TIC sean accesibles para todas las personas; desde teléfonos móviles hasta ordenadores, pasando por páginas web, orientados tanto hacia compras públicas como para el resto de usos.

European standardization bodies TEATRO (European standardisation Committee), CENELEC (European standardisation Committee Yarn) and ETSI (European institute of Normalization of telecommunications) have approved the first European standard of accessibility for products and services of information technologies and communication (TICK).

This rule, AT 301 549 ‘ accessibility requirements suitable for the procurement of goods and services TIC in Europa ’, provides functional requirements that will guarantee that products and services TIC accessible to all people; for example, from a mobile phone, until computers via web pages; thus, the requirements for the web are based on the guidelines of web content accessibility WCAG 2.0, developed by W3C, still in line with those in the Spanish rule UNE 139803, ‘ accessibility requirements for contents in the Web ’. Furthermore, the European standard describes the procedures for testing and assessment methodology of each of them.

This rule is the result of the mandate 376 of the European commission to develop a European standard, with the participation of all stakeholders and by consensus. AENOR (Opens in new window) has played the secretariat of the working group.

The document, scheduled for publication throughout February, is aimed at both public purchases as the rest of uses; indeed, the European directive of public procurement, recently approved by the European parliament, provides for the implementation of accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities. The rule will be adopted soon to the catalogue English as UNE-EN 301 549 by AENOR, the entity legally responsible for the development of technical standards in spain.

The joint working group responsible for documents consists of a very representative sample of stakeholders: industry leaders (Microsoft, IBM, Blackberry, Adobe, Nokia or Siemens, among others), independent organizations (W3C), associations of users and disabled (EDF, ANEC), universities (UPM Polytechnic -Universidad of Madrid-) or public administration (European Commission, Spanish Ministry of health, social services and equality), among others.

Technical standards contain good practices and the market consensus on the best way to address important processes for organizations and society in general, and therefore considerably reduce the business uncertainty when dealing with a new market or process. The rules are developed with the participation of the parties involved in each case and are the result of consensus.

In addition to this European standard, have also been adopted three technical reports thereto:

  • TR 101 550 'documents for the standard in 301 549 ‘ accessibility requirements suitable for the procurement of goods and services TIC in Europa ’.
  • TR 101 551 ‘ guidelines for the use of the award criteria relating to accessibility suitable for the procurement of goods and services in europe TIC ”.
  • TR 101 552 ‘ guidelines for conformity assessment in accessibility requirements for the procurement of goods and services TIC in Europa ’.

Is also developing an online software tool that will help that, depending on the functional requirements that may be required, it can draw up lists tailored to the requirements applicable, drawing the most relevant information of the four documents.

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