The Integration of Web Accessibility Courses in ICT Programmes
The Integration of Web Accessibility Courses in ICT Programmes (IWAC) project establishes a unique partnership between higher education institutions and the private sector, with the overarching goal of mainstreaming accessibility skills in higher education curricula for ICT disciplines.
Across the EU, there is an increasing demand for web accessibility skills. Anyone who works with digital interfaces - whether as a developer, an editor, a designer, or a procurer – will soon require such skills. A major driving force behind the project is the EU’s Web Accessibility Directive that was recently implemented in national legislations across the EU. The Directive imposes accessibility requirements on all public sector websites and apps. Another driver of demand is the growing insight among view that accessible websites are better for everyone. Yet there is not yet a corresponding supply of skilled professionals. Web accessibility is usually not included in ICT programme curricula in higher education. As a result, many entry-level ICT professionals are unfamiliar with web accessibility. There is therefore a gap between demand and supply that must be closed.
Since this is a new development, there are at the moment very few university courses that include web accessibility in teaching. In this project funded by Erasmus +, Mid Sweden University, Stuttgart Media University and the University of Genoa will join together with Funka and the IAAP to address the lack of teaching on the subject.
The aim is to provide universities around the EU with practical tips and tools for introducing web accessibility into the curricula of all relevant educational programmes. In addition, the project will encourage the exchange of experiences and lessons learned. The kit will include both online courses and case study material, as well as guidance and recommendations for how the universities can develop and adapt their own courses.
During the project, workshops will be held in Sweden, Germany and Italy. IAAP Nordic will also hold a conference in Stockholm in the spring of 2021, where insights, recommendations and good examples will be presented to the public.