This study maps the various methodologies used for monitoring the accessibility of websites in the European Union and supports the implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive.

On 26 October 2016 the European Parliament approved the directive on making the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies more accessible. The text of the Directive covers websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies with a limited number of exceptions, refers to the standards to make websites and mobile apps more accessible and requires regular monitoring and reporting of public sector websites and mobile apps by Member States.

The study SMART 2014/0061 on monitoring methodologies for web accessibility in the EU analyses the situation of monitoring the accessibility of websites in Europe and outside, and provides recommendations on how to monitor web accessibility in a meaningful and reasonable way across Europe. It presents recommendations regarding methodology for monitoring websites, to be used for the monitoring of compliance with the Directive.

The study proposes also that a European web accessibility monitoring methodology should combine automatic and manual web accessibility monitoring methods. It should also combine self-declaration with expert evaluation and end user involvement and base the sample of web pages to test on WCAG-EM. Monitoring methodologies for mobile applications are outside the scope of this study, as it had been launched before the mobile app accessibility got introduced into the Directive.

(Study reference: SMART 2014/0061)

Read also the Statement by Vice-President Ansip and Commission Oettinger welcoming the adoption of the first EU-wide rules to make public sector websites and apps more accessible.