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This informal workshop, jointly organised in collaboration with BSI (British Standards Institution) and JISC CETIS, takes advantage of the presence in the UK of a number of international standards developers and strategists to foster discussion and exchange between communities around recent and ongoing international and UK work in Accessibility Standards.
This workshop will be held on Monday 28th February, 2011 in London and will include presentations from both the UK and international accessibility communities.
This is a unique opportunity with confirmed speakers from the following organisations: Axelrod Access For All, BBC, BSI, Information Technology Industry Council, Microsoft, UKOLN, and the University of Saskatchewan.
Further information, including registration details, is available here.

The EU eAccess+ thematic network is developing a range of support systems for co-ordinating, supporting and improving the implementation of eAccessibility throughout Europe. The network has a special focus on three topics within eAccessibility (Web accessibility, Accessible convergent communications and accessible digital audio-visual systems, Self-service terminals (SSTs) and devices for banking and financial services, public transport, tourism and cultural heritage, e-government).

The network will involve all stakeholder groups (including legislators, regulators, policy makers, commissioners, owners and deployers of systems, developers of hardware and software, user organizations, researchers, accessibility and usability experts, educators), analyse the state of the art on eAccessibility, and analyse the obstacles and missing links hindering the uptake of eAccessibility

To address the current problems of improving eAccessibility, the network will develop online resources such as a website, wikis, and podcasts to address key eAccessibility topics, gather and review relevant information such as standards and guidelines, seek out examples of good practice and relevant case studies, and provide initial advice and links to appropriate more detailed advice services when needed.
More information on the project website.

On 3-4 November 2010, the WSC will organize an international workshop in the premises of the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland, on “Accessibility and the contribution of International Standards”.
Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, environment or facility is usable by as many people as possible, including by persons with disabilities. Its importance is signified by the fact that the number of persons with disabilities, either congenital, acquired or as a result of age is estimated to be around 650 million worldwide.
International standardization can be a powerful tool for strengthening accessibility in all these areas by setting the same standards around the world for accessible products, devices, services, environments and facilities.
The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) brings together the three leading international standards bodies, namely the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The workshop takes up the topic of the 2010 World Standards Day, celebrated each year on 14 October, which is “Accessibility”.
Workshop structure and expected outcome
The workshop will address three key subject areas:

  • accessibility in the field of everyday products
  • accessibility and buildings
  • eAccessibility and eInclusion (in Information and Communication Technologies)

In a combination of plenary and break-out group meetings these three subject areas will be discussed and the potential of standardization – and in particular international standardization – to contribute to strengthening accessibility aspects in the design of products, services, environments and facilities will be addressed.
Key stakeholder groups participating in the workshop will include disability organizations, governments and regulators, product designers and manufacturers faced with accessibility requirements, consumers and standards developers from around the world. Under discussion will be the current and future needs in the field of accessibility as well as the possible contributions international standardization can make in facilitating the development of accessible solutions around the world.
The expected outcome of the workshop is a better understanding of both the work on accessibility issues in standardization in the various areas and the needs of those most concerned. It is hoped that the groundwork will be laid and a road map drawn up for future standardization initiatives with the involvement of the key stakeholders.

More information at the event website.

On March 17, the U.S. Access Board released for public comment a draft of the the “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines.” The released draft includes proposed revisions to various performance criteria and technical specifications that are designed to improve accessibility, add clarity to facilitate compliance, address market trends, and promote harmonization with other guidelines and standards. Products and technologies covered by this rulemaking include telephones and cell phones and other telecommunication products, computer hardware and software, websites, media players, electronic documents, and PDAs, among others. Access is addressed for various disabilities, including those that are sensory, physical, or speech-related in nature. As part of this rulemaking, the Board proposes to supplement its ADA Accessibility Guidelines, which cover access to facilities, to broaden coverage to include certain types of interactive transaction machines such as point-of-sales machines and self-service kiosks.
More information at the U.S. Access Board website.

ACCESSIBLE project is organising its first Workshop on “accessibility simulation technologies and standards issues”, within the frame of the 12th ICCHP conference in Vienna. The Workshop will be held on Tuesday 13 of July 2010, in the context of the ICCHP pre-conference in Vienna.
The ICCHP, International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, 2010 wants to highlight the progress of the issue of Interfacing the existing and emerging Human-Computer Interface as well as its achievements, and plot a R&D-roadmap towards such challenges, which will ensure even higher product and service usability.
The invitation and the program of the Workshop will be published soon.
For more information visit the event website.

STAND4ALL project has been underway since January 2009, when a partnership of 7 organizations was formed to deliver STAND4ALL (Standards for All) – “Training of Stakeholders on consultations on standardization”. This project will promote the use of CEN/CENELEC Guide 6 – ‘Guidelines for standards developers to address the needs of older persons and persons with disabilities’ within the European standardization process. The Guide is a tool to give those involved in standards development a broader understanding of these needs and how they should be addressed.
STAND4ALL is about including the needs of people with disabilities, not only during standards development but also considering the final use of the standard.
The primary objective of STAND4ALL is the development and implementation of training courses addressed to standardization experts and consumer representatives in order to promote the use of CEN/CENELEC Guide 6 within CEN, CENELEC and ETSI Technical Committees.
The impact of STAND4ALL will be an enlarged European network of experts and accessibility specialists in the field of standardization so that the essential requirements for elderly people and those with disabilities are taken into account in the field of standardization.
The primary activities of STAND4ALL is the Collection of information in the field of disability and standardization, therefore they would like interested parties to complete a questionnaire aimed at:
- identifying the current knowledge of those organizations participating in the standardization process
- collecting feedback about the current situation regarding the participation of disabled people in the Standardization process.

The STAND4ALL consortium consists of seven partner organizations from five different European countries and will be coordinated by NEN.
- Netherlands Standardisation Institute (NEN) – The Netherlands
- Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR) – Spain
- British Standardisation Institution (BSI) – United Kingdom
- Vilans – The Netherlands
- German Working Party for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities and Chronic Diseases (BAG Selbsthilfe) – Germany
- German Research Institute Technology and Disability (FTB) – Germany
- Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) – Belgium