Access to information by people with disabilities has been widely recognized by many WSIS and IGF declarations. On 3rd May 2008, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) entered into force, turning the intent of these declarations into an internationally recognized human right. Access to information by everyone, including by people with disabilities, is no longer an option.
At the same time, the Internet has become the backbone of our information society, and has rapidly displaced traditional media and communication; commerce and employment; education and research; health; civic participation; and much more. The Internet has also become a key channel for critical information regarding personal safety, emergencies, and disaster management.
But, after five years of IGF, what is the current situation with regard to implementation of accessibility around the world? What are the lessons learned, and what good practices are there to be shared? How can we steer accessibility to the forefront of our rapidly changing world, making it a source of innovation and inspiration?
This panel explores good practices in implementing accessibility for people with disabilities in a world of unprecedented opportunities for people with disabilities to participate equally in an inclusive society.
Workshop no. 136:
“Implementing good practices in accessibility for an inclusive society”
organized by Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability
28 September 2011, UNON Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
The workshop was organized as an activity of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD). ITU is one of the founder Members of the DCAD and the aim of the DCAD is to 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. The event was held on 28 September 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, in the premises of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON). Workshop 136 was a feeder workshop to the Main session on Access and Diversity, which took place on 29 September 2011.
The following panelists presented ongoing projects which are taking place in Japan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, India and USA:
Satish Babu, InSight Project, India
“The InSight Project: Mainstreaming Access to ICTs for the Differently-abled”
Fernando Botelho, Literacy Bridge, Brazil
“Low-Cost Assistive Technologies that can Scale to Meet the International Accessibility Challenge”
Martin Gould, G3ict, USA
“G3ict 2010 Survey - CRPD ICT Accessibility Progress Report”
Hiroshi Kawamura, DAISY Consortium, Japan
“Implementing Accessibility in Published Knowledge DAISY4 and EPUB3 Development”
Christophe Oulé, UN-ABPAM, Burkina Faso
“Cybercafés as a tool for Inclusion: a project in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso”
The workshop was moderated by Mr Shadi Abou-Zahra, from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Mr Shadi reported the findings and the conclusions of this panel to the IGF main session on Access and Diversity, which took place on 29 September 2011.
This workshop continued the DCAD discussion on accessibility issues that have been carried out and advanced in the five year work of IGF. The workshop analyzed the current situation with regard to implementation of accessibility in different countries. Most of the world regions were presented with experiences from Asia, South and North America and Africa. The lessons learnt are several and the workshop panelist shared some good practices. The panel explored good practices in implementing accessibility for people with disabilities in a world of unprecedented opportunities for people with disabilities to participate equally in an inclusive society. The experience in Burkina Faso showed how an accessible cybercafé was built with the support of the Government of Burkina Faso and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ITU played a crucial role for its success by providing the equipment that enabled the organizers to make the cybercafé equipped with computers designed for the sight-impaired the equipment.
One representative from G3icit and the President of the DAISY Consortium contributed to the workshop, presenting the work done around the planet by these two international non-profit organizations.
The workshop was attended by some 30 participants from IGF, including many members of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. Remote participation was provided by the IGF secretariat using different tools like webex, real time captioning was also provided to the participants. Among the most active remote participants, DCAD coordinator Andrea Saks who could participate to the workshop from Europe. The remote participation was ensured and coordinated by the DCAD secretariat and ITU-T Accessibility Coordinator Mrs Alexandra Gaspari.
All the presentations of the workshop can be found on the DCAD website at: http://www.itu.int/themes/accessibility/dc/workshops/201109/136/index.html
The DCAD meeting report as well as all the activities that were organized during the IGF event at can be found on the DCAD website at: http://www.itu.int/themes/accessibility/dc/index.html