Based on a EU-funded pilot project called We4Authors, Funka and its partners will make a joint effort to increase the level of accessibility by default in web authoring tools. By sharing knowledge and experience as well as demonstrating how accessibility features can be built into different kind of tools, we hope to inspire the whole market, focusing on tools used by public sector agencies in the European member states.
The aim is to support web authors, mainly in the public sector, in publishing more accessible from the start. This way, persons with disabilities are included – and the public sector agencies are complying to the Web Accessibility Directive.
The research is funded by the European Commission and the successful accessibility features will be made public in a repository for the benefit of the community.
Would you like to try out new accessibility features in authoring tools?
What if the content management system you are using could produce accessibility by default? Or give you advanced support in publishing accessible content?
This is your chance to contribute to innovative solutions for the next generation accessible authoring tool.
In the EU-funded research project WE4Authors Cluster, market leading web authoring tool providers are creating by default accessibility features to help web authors in their content creation. During the autumn, Funka, who is leading the project, are going to perform user tests with web authors to validate that the new features are solving relevant problems, easy to use and well working.
The testing will be performed online and you will have the opportunity to impact the results of the project at the same time as you will be inspired and learn more about accessible publishing.
The project results are going to be free for all to use and the aim is for all market players to implement the features in their tools. This means that you, in the near future, will hopefully be able to require better accessibility support in your content management system.
The user testing is planned for October and each test will take approximately one hour. You are welcome to contribute once or during the whole iteration and we are of course very keen to know your views on the features after the test.
Please contact Jakob Hasslöw if you would like to participate in the user testing and contribute to better accessibility support in authoring tools!
AXSChat is an open online community dedicated to creating an inclusive world.
By mid-July, the AXSChat community invited We4Authors Cluster partners Susanna Laurin (Funka), Timo Stollenwerk (KitConcept) and Mike Gifford (Open Concept) to chat with the community about default accessibility in authoring tools.
The 40 minute video interview gives a good overview of the aim of the research project, while the chat afterwards covers important discussions with prominent accessibility experts as well as the broader community asking questions during the chat in this video.
In the first phase of the project, we analysed the results from the pilot project and reached out to stakeholders to gather indepth user requirements, focusing on the web author perspective. The information gathering was made using three main methods:
Market input and analyse from pilot project WE4Authors workshop
Deep discussions with project partners and senior advisor.
The major findings and conclusions of the results of the analysis and online survey show that user requirements can be divided into four categories with varying level of automation:
Instructions and support
Testing of accessibility
Phase 2: Mapping of user requirements with accessibility features
In this step we have analysed how different stakeholder perspectives can be used as a basis for selecting relevant features. The perspectives we aim to cover are:
potential impact of built-in accessibility support by default.
The mapping of user requirements with accessibility features was based on the vast experience represented in the consortium.
The selection criteria cover a wide range of perspectives, from standards and end user needs to severity of accessibility fails and frequency of use. In the selection process, all stakeholder views were taken into account and balanced against the possible implementation across platforms.
Some of the features are solving one specific problem (ALT-texts, change language), whereas others approach a broader perspective and try to support accessibility in a more general sense (different types of accessibility testing).
The selected features are a mix of automation, support and testing, thus covering all categories of built-in accessibility by default services detected in the pilot project as well as the user requirements of the current project.
The ten selected features to be tested are:
Live testing while authoring
Testing of documents
Testing of content of pages
Testing of the whole website
Phase 3: More organizations join the consortium
To make sure the results of the project are technically feasible and useful for the broadest possible part of the industry, subcontractors have been invited to join the consortium. The combination of project partners, external collaborators acting as senior advisors, third parties and subcontractors makes sure that the project team can receive exactly the input needed for each task, at the same time as decision making is smooth. This is especially important in a project where the aim is to share knowledge among market players, thereby fostering healthy competition.
The outreach was very successful, and we are happy to welcome Joomla and Umbraco to the project.
Phase 4: Creation of prototypes for user testing
The WE4Authors Clusters consortium are creating prototypes that will be tested with start in October. The prototypes are based on the outcomes from the previous phases of the project and are created in an iterative way with great feedback from all involved in the project. Testers are being recruited via the consortium’s own networks and in other channels for example:
Phase 5: User testing
In the project we will conduct user testing with both web authors to check that they understand how to use it and that it helps them in their daily life. On the other hand, we will also do testing with end users to check that the features are really increasing the level of accessibility. The tests will be conducted online and on the spot. Due to Covid-19 most of the tests will be conducted online. The tests will be done in an environment that is created by the consortium and will be at a prototype level in an open environment. The testers will have the opportunity to come with inputs on the features presented to them and be able to give their thoughts and inputs on how the features can be better.
Dissemination and outreach
JoomlaDay in Chicago 16-17th October
It´s an online event where the industry presenters share their expertise and passion for Joomla! and cover a wide variety of topics for both new and experienced Joomla users. Attendees have a professional and friendly environment with opportunities for broadening their knowledge, networking with the Joomla! community, and connecting with current and potential clients. Brian Teeman who is part of the WE4Authors Cluster will talk about the project and how people can learn more about what we are doing in the project. There will be an opportunity to see the event in replay, but then you would need to pay a fee to be able to see it.
The event attracts SiteVision clients as well as partners and other key players. This year it will be held online. You will learn about the latest digital trends, technical solutions and the latest news from SiteVision. It is also an opportunity to learn more about WE4Authors Cluster and what we are doing in the project.
At DrupalCon you will have the possibility to attend sessions, BoFs, keynotes (including Driesnote) from your home, office or anywhere convenient as it is an online event. On the conference platform you will be able to meet attendees in various formats.
On the 17th of June Sitevision and Funka presented the project as one way of supporting our clients in meeting the requirements in the Web Accessibility Directive. The webinar gathered 179 participants from existing partners and new prospect. After the webinar, many clients have expressed their interest in contributing to the project.
On the 28th of September Funka presented the project for over 200 people in a webinar. The target audience was clients and people from the A11y community. One goal was to get people to volunteer in becoming testers to the project. Over 30 people signed up as testers during the webinar which was held in Swedish and live captioned.
Sigma is spreading the word about WE4Authors Cluster
On the 28th of September Sigma talked about Accessibility from A.Net developers’ perspective. You can also learn more about accessibility with Rachel Breeze and hear about WE4Authors Cluster in this webinar.
WE4Authors Cluster project on Wordpress Accessiblity Day
WordPress Accessibility Day was a 24-hour global event dedicated to addressing website accessibility in WordPress. WE4Authors joined the event in order to spread the news about the project and what´s to come. There were presentations from all around the world with focus on accessibility.
On the 2nd of October the DF20 was arranged with around 300 participants as a virtual event with also a live-studio session which included expert round-table sessions around various Umbraco subjects. WE4Authors Cluster where represented by the subcontractor Sigma who talked about the project.
With funding from the European Parliament, we have got the chance to build upon one of our most innovative research projects. This time we will work together with authoring tools producers to make models for accessibility by default.
The team at Tiny have put a lot of work into improving web content accessibility for the last couple of years. The team is now joining up with the WE4Authors Cluster project and is acting as observers and advisors to help CMSs produce more accessible content, alongside other experts and organizations.