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Updated no 1 - 2019

News from Funka
Gavel in front of row of law books. Photo

Nine months to meet the European regulations

The European-wide Web Accessibility Directive means that public sector needs to meet accessibility demands. There are nine months left until the first interfaces must comply with the requirements - how can we help you?

A person uses a tablet  at European Commission Brussels

EN301549 is harmonized!

The EN-standard with accessibility requirements for ICT products and services can now be used to demonstrate compliance to the Web Accessibility DIrective. We explain how it works.

An office. Photo

Necessary differences and unnecessary problems

We have compared how experts from different countries interpret requirements for accessibility within the framework of an EU-funded project that is now ending. An open learning platform was the result.

A person using a smartphone. Photo

Increased knowledge about e-health

The EU funded research project IC-Health is finished. Courses aiming to raise awarenes and competence when it comes to e-health in different target groups have been created together with users.

A house with apartments. Photo

Accessibility competition in the built environment

Funka's Ebba Myrsten has been chosen to be part of the jury assessing accessibility and innovation in the property portfolio of the municipal housing company Stockholmshem.

A group of people working with computers. Photo

Survey on procurement of accessibility

To help and support procurers to buy accessibility, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is developing a certification exam for procurers. You are welcome to contribute to the content by answering an important survey.

Madeline is swimming through a tunnel filled with water. Screenshot.

Games for everyone

Funka’s Danne Borell tells the story about computer games who add accessibility thinking in a good way and how the job as an accessibility specialist affects his whole life.

Three questions
Emilia Ojala, Viena Rainio, and Johanna Koskela. Photo

Three Questions for the team Emilia Ojala, Viena Rainio, and Johanna Koskela, Regional State Administrative Agencies in Finland, monitoring agency for the Web Accessibility Directive in Finland

Your organisation is responsible for both monitoring and supporting the implementation of the new legislation. In your opinion, which one of these parts is most important for the regulations to be successful?

We definitely see our supportive and informative role prominently, especially now as the whole concept of web accessibility is relatively unfamiliar to many here in Finland and as the law has many issues that need our defining guidelines. Our central aim is to help public sector organs improve the accessibility of their digital services. To reach this goal, we want to provide information and advice that gives a clear idea of what web accessibility is all about and how it is achieved in practice. In other words, we aim to raise general awareness and give specific advice, mainly about the requirements of the law. We are also planning to give good case examples to help other organizations with their efforts in improving accessibility.

Of course, focusing on our informative role now doesn’t mean we are forgetting all about our monitoring task: we have started discussions about the possible tools and methodologies for monitoring accessibility. Planning the monitoring task in practice will be one of our main projects next year. We hope to have a close cooperation with our colleagues in Europe in this area. We think that all of us face the same challenges, so we can learn from each other and share best practices. The EN301549 requirements also leave room for interpretation and our wish is to have a common understanding of these in Europe. We are keen to start discussions with our co-parts in other EU member countries.

Does the Finnish legislation in any aspect go further than the minimum requirements of the Web Accessibility Directive?

Yes, it does: some service industries, which are considered of crucial importance to all citizens, have been included in the purview of the law. Thus, the accessibility requirements also concern financial and insurance industries, as well as postal, energy, and transportation services.

What would you say is the biggest challenge in making the Finnish society more accessible?

We think that there are challenges in various levels. Probably the most important aspect is the attitude: people working in the public sector bodies need to start wanting to give good and accessible services and contents to all people. This is central if we really want to succeed in making the society more accessible. And then, of course practical information and advice is also needed to give organizations tools to improve the accessibility of their services.

Other news
Visitors testing smart captioning glasses at a theatre play. Foto

Smart captioning glasses help deaf theatregoers follow the action

London's National Theatre has launched smart captioning glasses to make shows more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Person using an ATM. Photo

Pakistan to make ATMs accessible to blind

The Pakistan government has directed the State Bank of Pakistan to take necessary measures for making the banking system, and especially the ATMs, accessible to blind and visually-impaired persons.

Man in running outfit. Photo

Nike signs runner with cerebral palsy to pro contract

Nike signs runner Justin Gallegos to a pro contract. He is in the running club at the University of Oregon and now he’s Nike’s first pro athlete with cerebral palsy.

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