Evaluation of Accessibility Support and Integration (EASI) tool

the objective of the Evaluation of Accessibility Support and Integration (EASI) tool is to provide a comprehensive and easy to use toolbox for developers and other stakeholders in the ICT field that facilitates the analysis and improvement of accessibility and adaptability compliance for Web 2.0 applications.

It must be stressed that the goal of the project is not to develop a new compliance accessibility analysis tool, but to integrate the results of an existing tool like imergo® into the proposed development environments. It is also important to highlight that EASI is independent in its functionality of imergo® and that any tool implementing our compliance REST interfaces could substitute it.

The functionality of the tool is quite ambitious, as it must satisfy the requirements of 3 different stakeholder groups: developers, accessibility experts and commissioners.

Welcome page of the EASI tool.

Target user groups for the application

The EASI application is targeted to three user groups:

  • Web site commissioners
  • Web developers
  • Accessibility experts

They are part of a chain of stakeholders who need to be both aware of accessibility issues and able to play their appropriate role in creating accessible Web content and Web 2.0 application and services.

The first link in this chain is the individuals who commission, own and manage websites and Web 2.0 applications. In this deliverable we will refer to these individuals as “web site commissioners” for brevity. These individuals may not understand a great deal about the technicality of the websites and applications, and in particular, they may not understand the technicalities of how these are created to be accessible. But they do need to be able to understand the general issues of accessibility and to monitor whether the websites and applications they are responsible for are indeed accessible. This might involve running or understanding the output from accessibility testing of websites and applications, and discussions with web developers and web accessibility evaluators.

The second group in the chain is individuals who design and develop websites and Web 2.0 applications (we will refer to this group as web developers for brevity). Some of these individuals may do only the design of a website or application, such as the layout and colour schemes. They should know about aspects of accessibility such as easy to read fonts and good colour contrast for partially sighted people, colour combinations not suitable for people with colour vision deficiencies and line length and spacing requirements for people with dyslexia. They need tools to help them assess whether their designs are going to be accessible. Developers are those individuals who actually code a website, application or service. They need to understand all the “nitty gritty” of how to code for accessibility, from marking up tables correctly to ensuring that Flash animations are coded appropriately.

The third group in the chain are the accessibility experts, who may well advise the first two groups in the chain, and who test websites, applications and services for accessibility. They may be retained by commissioners or developers or they may be working for external services that are benchmarking websites and applications, such as government agencies or representatives of disabled and older people. They need to understand all the complexities of technical accessibility. Nonetheless, they need tools to support them in assessing the accessibility of websites and applications effectively and efficiently, and also to be able to communicate the results of these assessments to commissioners and developers in ways that will be understandable to these individuals who may have different levels of understanding of accessibility.