Democracy and participation, Social inclusion

Micro Municipality Web Accessibility

Web Accessibility (WA) enabling process & awareness raising in micro municipalities

Creators

Who is behind this?

Maša Malovrh

Beletrina Academic Press

https://beletrina.si/

Slovenia

Who is joining forces?

National Council of Disability Organizations of Slovenia - NSIOS

http://www.nsios.si/

Slovenia


Idea

Idea pitch

About 15 % of Slovenia’s residents is disabled and the elderly population is rapidly rising. This is especially true for densely populated rural areas far from Slovenian urban centres. Pomurje represents one of those regions. Its residents are facing daily challenges of digital and social divide. It is crucial for digital information, products and services to be accessible to all its residents. Accessible websites would enable them to assert their rights and improve their quality of life.

Where will your project idea take place?

Dobrovnik, Moravske Toplice and Lendava, micro municipalities in Pomurje, far northeast Slovenia.

What is the local challenge?

Pomurje is next to the Hungarian border. Its geographical position and inferior infrastructure puts it at a disadvantage as the region of Slovenia with the lowest GDP per capita and the highest registered rate of unemployment. It is made up of towns and villages with about 3000 or less inhabitants and a predominantly agricultural economy, s.c. micro municipalities. They are ‘civic deserts’ with little chance for social and democratic engagement or education. Thus, it is crucial that digital information, products and services are accessible to all residents. The project is trying to overcome the digital divide contributing to stratification in WA and ICT services for different social groups. Accessible websites would enable them to assert their rights and improve their quality of life.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

The project aims at asserting the right to equal digital access for persons with disabilities, which is included in the UNCRPD, EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Directive (EU) 2016/2102 on accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. This is also important for the elderly, Hungarian minority and those not skilled in ICT and internet use. Furthermore, it will raise WA awareness, empower people for asserting their civic rights to participate and influence society development. Without proper participation mechanism, the essence of democracy can be lost. The project is therefore ensuring that digital information is available to all. With local public bodies’ WA awareness raising, we are striving for inclusive and resilient society where every voice is heard.

Who are you doing it for?

Given the participatory nature of contemporary ICT it has been shown that digital engagement is a prerequisite to equal and full societal participation. The project aims to empower digitally excluded society members such as the disabled and elderly populations in Pomurje. Statistical data shows the target groups are represented in: Dobrovnik – 17,5%, Lendava – 26,8% and Moravske Toplice – 24%. Their exclusion is still present due to convictions of their social inferiority. Round table discussion featuring community actors, the elderly and disabled societies’ members, representatives, and WA experts will include a range of opinions on WA, social, digital and civic participation and consequently raise municipality authorities, local public bodies and general public WA awareness & knowledge.

How do you plan to get there?

1. 3 municipality website WA analyses by Beletrina’s WA experts & analysts with different disabilities with written reports;
2. One day regional event in two parts: A) WA awareness raising workshop & educational seminar and WA Analyses Reports’ presentations to the heads and employees of municipalities and local public bodies; B) Round table discussion on social and equality rights and WA with municipality leaders, WA experts and local and regional societies of persons with disabilities and pensioners’ representatives;
3. Engaging municipalities’ in making their websites’ WAD and WCAG 2.1 compliant;
4. Production of WA Guidelines for micro municipalities (Slo - Eng): WA methodologies for awareness raising, enabling, evaluating, maintaining and reporting;
5. Project promotion & PR

What are the expected results?

1. Higher WA awareness & improved knowledge of the subject for local authorities in three Pomurje municipalities and their local public bodies;
2. Three municipal websites compliant or in the process enabling of WAD and WCAG 2.1 compliance;
3. A higher level of WA awareness & empowerment of the disabled and the elderly in three municipalities for asserting their rights to social equality;
4. Bilingual WA Guidelines for micro municipalities: production & dissemination of established methodology tool for WA in micro municipalities will be sent to all Slovenian micro municipalities, their local public bodies, NSIOS will distribute the Guidelines to its members, to the European Disability Forum (EDF), the Slovenian Ministry for Public Administration and to EU WAD Expert Group.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Democracy entails the right of individuals to participate in and influence the development of society. By promoting and protecting equal rights and the right to participate for all, the project aims to create inclusive and resilient society where everyone’s voice is heard and no one is left behind. Non-participation in the modern digital world could lead to a feeling of social exclusion for some vulnerable groups. With properly implemented mechanisms for participation in the digital age, the project will have a positive impact on daily lives of citizens in Pomurje, especially the disabled and the elderly and will ensure that digital information and public ICT services will become available to all its residents.

What is your story?

Beletrina strives to make society aware of needs of people with different disabilities and the various technical solutions that can be implemented to create accessible service and ICT products. It has been active in the field of WA for the last decade, but in Slovenia WA is still a deficit area of expertise and the Slovenian public is still lacking in WA awareness. NSIOS and Beletrina have therefore developed the NSIOS WA Certificate to help make WAD subjects’ websites WCAG 2.1 compliant and to educate and raise WA awareness for all involved in WA processes. Our intention is to establish good WA awareness raising, enabling, evaluating, maintaining and reporting practices. We strive to develop project that enable and empower vulnerable groups to assert their social and democratic rights.

€ 45582,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 45582,-

Total budget

Major expenses

assistance 100,00 €
catering 1.000,00 €
design 500,00 €
dissemination 500,00 €
editing 500,00 €
fees 4.450,00 €
PR campagne and media coverage 6.500,00 €
printing 2.500,00 €
promotional materials 1.500,00 €
proofreading 200,00 €
sign language interpreteur 300,00 €
social media advertising 1.000,00 €
technical support 400,00 €
travel costs 1.300,00 €
venue hiring 400,00 €
WA analysts 3.600,00 €
staff costs 17.850,00 €
indirect costs 2.982,00 €
TOTAL 45.582,00 €

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to get feedback from organizations that are involved in Web accessibility and work with developing inclusive digital solutions. We welcome feedback, advice or suggestions from organisations that work with persons with different disabilities and the elderly.

Team

Masa Malovrh

MARIJA R. DOVC

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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