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On 28 September 2011, the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability workshops at the Internet Governance Forum will take place in Kenya.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. The Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies, and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. It organises two workshops at the Internet Governance Forum: “Mainstreaming the disability perspective for an inclusive society” and “Implementing good practices in accessibility for an inclusive society”.
More information.

on 25 November 2011, the ITU Workshop on “Telecommunications Relay Services for Persons with Disabilities” will be organised in Geneva, Switzerland.
One very important mechanism to provide equal access for persons with hearing disabilities are relay services, where an intermediary typically provides a conversion typically between voice and text or sign language. An increasing number of countries are adopting the UNCRPD and will need advice on the provision of relay services. Also, it is expected that more relay services will be deployed in Europe with the passing of new versions of the Telecommunications Framework Directives; similar regulatory activity and increase in relay service offerings are also expected in other parts of the world. In developing countries, where higher percentages of the population face disabilities, the need for relay services is greater. At the same time, it should be noted that, as the Internet infrastructure develops, it may be used to provide high-quality relay services without the need to build services using older technologies. Finally, relay services today entail operation costs higher than those of normal telephone calls; technical and regulatory solutions are needed to reduce those costs towards the equal basis access to telecommunication services prescribed by the UNCRPD. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.
More information.

The main objective of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) is to address the need to make audiovisual media accessible for persons with disabilities. The Focus Group encourages participation of all standards development organizations (SDOs) working in this area. The FG AVA is open to ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia. It is also open to any individual from a country which is a member of ITU and who is willing to contribute to the work. This includes individuals who are also members or representatives of SDOs as well as other interested stakeholders. The third meeting will be held on 17 November 2011 in Barcelona.
More information.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability.
Users of telecommunications and information technology have a varied capability of handling information and the controls of their presentation. The source of this variation lies in cultural and educational backgrounds, as well as on age-related functional limitations, in disabilities, and in other natural causes.
The Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies, and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. We are convinced that the entire community can benefit from an “accessible ICT world,” as people can be permanently or temporarily disabled due to personal, environmental (e.g., a phone call in a noisy environment) or cultural (e.g., spoken language diversity) conditions. Moreover, we will all grow old and lose abilities that we take for granted now, thus enlarging the part of the population that would benefit from accessible communication. We cannot allow isolation of a part of the population due to lack of appropriate functionality that prevents the use of ICT resources by everybody to the fullest possible degree.
The coalition is open to any organization entity or individual working on the field, including Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs), and i coordinated by Andrea Saks (TDI Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc.)

Official Web site: Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability

This European Conference on 9-10 November 2011 is organised in the framework of the project ImPaCT in Europe—Improving Person Centred Technology in Europe, funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of DG Education and Culture.
The conference programme has been designed to deliver an exciting agenda bringing together key people from across Europe to demonstrate how assistive technology can significantly support independence for people with disabilities in a person centred way.
Key speakers hail from all relevant stakeholder groups to debate the issue from all perspectives and to reach a consensus on how to bring the PCT agenda forward.
Key topics that will be debated include Ethics in PCT service delivery, Training needs for care staff, Areas of PCT use and related challenges, and PCT in education and at work.

Conference venue:
Hotel Crowne Plaza
Rue de la loi 107 Wetstraat
1040 Brussels

Registration details: on www.impact-in-europe.eu and www.easpd.eu.

The Urbaccess conference on assistive technologies, accessible transport, mobility and urban environment takes place in Paris, France on 19-20 January 2012.
More information at the event website.