Dissecting the WAD, part 5

This is a 10 parts series examining the WAD. In this 5th part of the series we finish off going through the introductory recitals, starting with recital 47. The previous parts of this series are:

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The complete official text of the WAD is available here.

(47) Member States should take the necessary measures to raise awareness of, and promote web training programmes relating to, the accessibility of websites and mobile applications, for relevant stakeholders and in particular staff responsible for the accessibility of websites or mobile applications. Relevant stakeholders should be consulted or involved in preparing the content of the accessibility-related training and awareness-raising schemes.

There is an obligation to ensure staff responsible for web content are appropriately trained and that relevant stakeholders (such as disabled people) have been involved in the creation of the training material.

(48) It is important that Member States, in close cooperation with the Commission, should promote the use of authoring tools that allow better implementation of the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive. Such promotion could take passive forms, such as publishing a list of compatible authoring tools without a requirement to use those tools, or active forms, such as the requirement to use compatible authoring tools or to fund their development.

Authoring tools (eg web content management systems) that enable the creation of accessible web content should be promoted by member states. They could do this by publishing lists of compatible tools, requiring their use and funding their development.

(49) In order to ensure the proper implementation of this Directive, and in particular the implementation of the rules on conformity with accessibility requirements, it is of the utmost importance for the Commission and the Member States to consult with relevant stakeholders on a regular basis. Relevant stakeholders within the meaning of this Directive should be understood as including organisations representing the interests of persons with disabilities and of the elderly, social partners, industry involved in the creation of accessibility software relating to websites and mobile applications, and civil society.

The Commission and member states should regularly consult with relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the directive. These would include, amongst others, organisations representing the elderly and persons with disabilities.

(50) Conformity with the accessibility requirements set out in this Directive should be periodically monitored. A harmonised monitoring methodology would provide for a description of the way of verifying, on a uniform basis in all Members States, the degree of compliance with the accessibility requirements, the collection of representative samples and the periodicity of the monitoring. Member States should report periodically on the outcome of the monitoring and at least once on the list of measures taken in application of this Directive.

It is required for member states to monitor the conformity of the web sites of public service bodies. A uniform method of monitoring and reporting will be defined by the European Commission. This “harmonised” monitoring and reporting method has now been published in the official journal.

(51) The monitoring methodology to be established by the Commission should be transparent, transferable, comparable and reproducible. The reproducibility of the monitoring methodology should be maximised while taking into account the fact that human factors, such as testing by users, might have an influence on that reproducibility. To improve comparability of data between Member States, the monitoring methodology should describe the way in which the outcomes of different tests need to be or can be presented. In order not to divert resources from the task of making content more accessible, the monitoring methodology should be easy to use.

The monitoring methodology must easily reusable and simple to use, taking into account that accessible testing involves manual tests by users which may hamper the reproducibility of the methodology. A common method for presenting the resulting data should be defined, in order to improve the compatibility of relevant data generated by the member states.

(52) In order not to hinder innovation as regards ways of measuring the accessibility of websites and mobile applications, and as long as it does not hinder the comparability of data across the Union, Member States should be able to use more advanced monitoring technologies based on the monitoring methodology to be established by the Commission.

Member states may use more advanced methods of monitoring and thereby foster innovation, however this should not hinder the compatibility of the data across the European Union.

(53) In order to avoid systematic recourse to court proceedings, provision should be made for the right to have recourse to an adequate and effective procedure to ensure compliance with this Directive. This is without prejudice to the right to an effective remedy as set out in Article 47 of the Charter. That procedure should be understood to include the right to submit complaints to any existing national authority competent to adjudicate upon those complaints.

An adequate and affective procedure should be provided to ensure websites not conforming to the directive, are made to do so without having to resort to court proceedings. This procedure should include the right to submit complaints to relevant existing national authorities.

(54) In order to ensure the proper application of the presumption of conformity with the accessibility requirements laid down by this Directive, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of amending this Directive by updating the references to European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04). It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making (10). In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States’ experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

The Commission is allowed to update this directive in order to refer to any new versions of the Harmonised European Standard that is used to web sites conform to the this directive. Appropriate consultation with the European Parliament and the Council should be assured. The current standard offers a presumption of conformity with the WAD is Harmonised European Standard EN 301 549 v2.1.2 (PDF).

(55) In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of the relevant provisions of this Directive, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. The examination procedure should be used in order to establish: technical specifications for the accessibility requirements; the methodology that Member States should use for monitoring the conformity of the websites and mobile applications concerned with those requirements; and the arrangements for reporting by Member States to the Commission on the outcome of the monitoring. The advisory procedure should be used for the adoption of the implementing acts establishing a model accessibility statement, which does not have any impact on the nature and scope of the obligations stemming from this Directive but serves to facilitate the application of the rules which it lays down. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and the Council (11).

The Commission should develop implementing decisions to establish a number of standards and requirements to cover:

(56) Since the objective of this Directive, namely the establishment of a harmonised market for the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, because it requires the harmonisation of different rules currently existing in their respective legal systems, but can rather be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective,

The European Union may adopt measures regarding this directive, since these are better dealt with at Union level and not national level. This directive does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve its objectives.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Finally we get to the actual decisions of the directive, which we will start cover in the next part.

Continue to the sixth part of this series.

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