This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
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>> ROBERT BODLE: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the workshop "Rights Issues for Disadvantaged Groups," and the hashtag on Twitter is #WS276, organised by the Dynamic Coalition of Internet Rights and Principles; Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability, and the Dynamic Coalition on Public Access Through Libraries, a consortium of Dynamic Coalitions. I'm Robert Bodle at the University of Mt. Saint Joseph in Ohio, United States, and I have been active with the IRP since 2008.
This workshop sets out to address particular challenges for disadvantaged groups in enjoying a people-centered inclusive and development-oriented information society on the Internet and proposes ways of meeting these challenges in support of universal access, effective use and specialized services for disadvantaged populations that include the physically disabled, non-technical and oral cultures, and the digitally disadvantaged within rural and remote communities.
This workshop is part of a nexus of interrelated workshops building on the charter -- Charting the Charter that took place yesterday and feeds directly into the workshop tomorrow, toward the IRP charter 2.0, Human Rights and Principles for the Internet in Practice at 9:00 in Room 9. Please come join us then as well.
I'm very happy to introduce our distinguished panelists. I'll start with Stuart Hamilton, Director of Policy at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions who will also co-moderate with me.
Next I'd introduce Catherine Easton, lecturer of law at Lancaster University and her research interests include Internet Governance Domain Name Regulation, Intellectual Property and Access to Technology and Human and Computer Interaction.
On my right is Konstantino Komaitis, Policy Advisor at the Internet Society, focusing on the field of digital content and Intellectual Property.
To my left at the end is Julia Morinetz, member of the NGO, together Against Cybercrime and focuses on access of marginalized groups at the European level.
Then on my far right is (inaudible)who is presenting in place of Jac sm Kee, Association for Progressive Communications.
And remotely is Jim Tobias, President of Inclusive Technologies which provides free and paid consulting services to companies public agencies consumers, researchers, purchasers and policymakers on how accessible and usable technologies can better meet the needs of all users, including users with disabilities and elders.
We also have Deirdre Williams as remote moderator.
A quick word about the format of our session. Participants will be asked to make brief introductory statements indicating the context and circumstances for their own groups focusing on how disability and/or marginalization affect access and then open it up to participants in the audience to answer directly pointed questions and comments to the panelists who will answer immediately. Then we'll close with ways forward.
So I think we should start with Stuart Hamilton.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you, Robert.
So I'm here representing the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions or IFLAI, really the global body representing Libraries and their users. We have members in over 150 countries and there are quite a variety among the membership of the types of libraries and types of library users that we serve. For example, we have some parts of the world where there are great networks of public libraries and yet quite significant parts of the world where the concept of the public library doesn't really exist at all.
Libraries have always existed to serve all groups in a community so when we think about sort of people-centered Internet for everybody but in particular for marginalized and vulnerable groups libraries have a very, very important role to play. We're serving remote populations, been working closely recently with librarians in the Federated States of Micronesia where there are issues related to connectivity and access to information.
We serve disadvantaged groups, and without wishing to be flippant, I think I could say something like "You name them, we serve them."
At the moment, one of the big disadvantaged groups would be -- call it the unemployed. We have a ton of austerity, we have a lot of work to do, particularly we're finding at the moment in Europe by helping people use public libraries to find work and jobs.
We serve the visually impaired, we serve people with reading difficulties. We have a long and proud tradition of making available services for those groups and I know Konstantinos will talk about work that IFLAI and other groups have been involved in to secure better information for those groups.
I think one thing I want to talk about quickly in my opening statement would be what are the elements of a human? Centered Internet Society. I think in some respects I have the easiest job because I can state a respect for human rights. Article 19 is one of the guiding principles of librarians worldwide, freedom of access to information, expression, we would want to see that front and center for any information society that looks at helping disadvantaged groups. We firmly believe there should be public access to ICTs in the community so everybody can benefit. Free to very low cost. And IFLA has been involved in an initiative called beyond access, find out more at beyondaccess.net which looked at the role public libraries can play in providing access in the community.
With access comes training, media and information literacy will be a key element, we believe in any people-centered Internet and libraries of course have a long history of being able to provide this training at the community level.
I think we also need to think in flexible terms. Sometimes when we are at the IGF and looking at new technologies and how they help the disadvantaged, very often the word mobile comes up as if it will solve everybody's problems. I think we really need to be aware of a much bigger approach. We know, for example, through research that in South Africa where there's a huge penetration of mobile phones, there is still a great deal of need for traditional PC access for people to get information they need. We see that in other countries as well.
Couple other things. Open access to things like government data, to actually help our groups become engaged in civic participation processes and engage more in the democratic processes and access to accessible format technology. Again I'm going to leave that to Konstantino Komaitis to talk about.
Then quickly how do we get around to making this happen? From our perspective, we need more cross sectoral cooperation. We particularly want to see governments and policymakers working with development organisations and practitioners and libraries to solve these problems because with those three groups together we will end up with quite a formidable partnership and already I can share information through the beyond access programme on how that's happening in countries like Philippines, Georgia, and Peru.
To finish I would suggest one thing really, which I keep thinking about in every single workshop. We're coming up with great policy ideas within things like IGF, open government partnership, within even post-2015 development framework but unless these consider last-mile delivery, bringing benefits of policies to the people in the community, then I don't feel we'll make much progress and these things will remain just words on a page.
It will come as no surprise I think libraries can play a great and positive role in bringing benefits of our wonderful new policies on these issues to the people in the community who need them most.
>> ROBERT BODLE: Thank you, Stuart.
It seems like a natural progression to now go to Konstantinos.
>> KONSTANTINOS KOMAITIS: Thank you.
Hello, everyone. And thank you for the invitation. I'm Konstantino Komaitis and I am a Policy Advisor at the Internet Society. So I would like to talk about the Internet Society, a governmental organisation established in 1992 and one of its key missions is to make sure that the Internet is accessible by everyone and that users around the world are able to engage with the tools and platforms on the Internet and be able and reap all benefits.
That of course includes disadvantaged people and actually more importantly includes disadvantaged people because when we are talking about -- no barriers, not just referring to geographical but also barriers concerning the ability of people to get access to the medium.
Accessibility is a key issue. Accessibility should be at this stage and as we start discussing today those issues just bear in mind accessibility is -- means no discrimination in terms of access at a very high level and also issues of inclusiveness. It's quite surprising, and disappointing, that we are in 2013 and still dealing with issues of disadvantaged people on the Internet. If there is one platform, there is one tool where those barriers should be broken down and eliminated it's the Internet because there is technology behind the Internet that really allows everybody to be able and engage.
So I think Stuart touched upon those issues, really various reasons why we see this happening. There are issues of affordability, Internet is still extremely expensive and it's expensive especially for some disadvantaged people and minorities.
Also cultural issues, we don't really understand what sort of -- when we are talking about disadvantaged people, everybody has a very different understanding and to a certain extent we all agree but we don't know what their problems are really. Don't know their culture, where they're coming from in their cultural issues they have to face.
The other one is availability. Stuart talked about mobile. Yes, it is important and fantastic and we see mobile penetration in some parts of the world increasing but mobile won't solve our problems. It will assist certainly but we definitely need to start providing and creating the infrastructure.
By "infrastructure," I mean both physical which will allow access but also beyond that, many, many years ago we were all very excited with the $100 laptop that MIT was doing, this was a fantastic initiative that -- lot of hopes were built around this initiative.
It moved to the extent it could move but then due to lack of many reasons including corporation, it didn't continue. I happen to -- couple years ago that I was watching CNN and they had a report on how India is dealing with Internet access. So in India, New Delhi, the case study there, they had put up computers in major streets and you could see 10-year-olds going there and playing with Internet, accessing the Internet. And they were following those 10-year-olds over the course of two or three months and their ability to connect over those months, their ability to grasp things was incredible. Before that, they were literally on the streets begging for money. We really, really see the Internet can be a remarkable tool for everybody and especially for these people to actually become part of this global village that we are all referring to.
Last, but certainly not least, there is a lack of awareness. We need -- and I'm very glad we have initiatives like this and workshops like this, especially in this space where we have so many participants from different stakeholder groups because we need to raise awareness. We take for granted in many parts of the world, including part of the world I am, in Europe, that everybody gets access to the Internet. Even in Europe there are people that do not have access to the Internet because of what they consider or they're being categorized, siloed as disadvantaged, and we need to start looking beyond that.
Internet is for everybody. It should be for everyone and especially for this category of people, I would think we can expect wonderful things because they are really keen to engage. I don't want to be all doom and gloom. I really think on a positive note we see increasingly various organisations taking a step up and doing things. We see it in the regulatory front, less slower but that's to be expected because regulation is always slower. Technical Community has really stepped up and I will talk about it later because I don't want to monopolize opening remarks now but what is lacking is cooperation. And I believe and hope that in this forum where multi-stakeholderism is celebrated and we are promoting an inclusive model, we will try to bring all these initiatives together and try to put them in sync because some of them are either detached or the organisations involved are ignorant as to the tools.
So especially in that -- I will close with this. Especially Technical Community can provide great district attorney of input to regulators and policymakers and can actually -- to businesses who need to step up and provide financial support for disadvantaged people to get in line. Thank you.
>> ROBERT BODLE: Thank you. Terrific. Now we have a natural progression to Catherine Easton.
>> CATHERINE EASTON: Hi. I'm a legal academic and researcher at Lancaster University in the UK. Konstantinos and Stu were talking and there were wide issues raised, some to do with physical access to an Internet connection. I have to say the area I look at specifically focuses on regulatory accessible code level. So what I look at basically is accessible design for disabled people. In this sense what I would like to say is basically we have this sphere that is the Internet, a world in which there is unprecedented level of interaction. Now taking it at a wide level, the notion of a disabling society so a society that actually makes people disabled due to barriers it sets down in design was being discussed around the end of the 1980s, and the 90s before this huge growth in the Internet and before the Internet actually was seen as something so important to our every day lives.
So what am I starting to look at? From a legal perspective, discrimination, anti-discrimination statutes to find actually laws are there, in 2001, there was a large case you may be aware of, McGuire and the Sidney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games. The website supporting the para-Olympics was not accessible to disabled people. The Australian Human Rights Commission fined the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games quite a large sum of money and throughout the case they said we can't actually make this accessible. It would be too much money. Expert testimony said no, it would be easy to make this website accessible and it would have been easier if you had thought about this from the outset instead of retrofitting, changing the design. If you had thought about your end user to be inclusive, to support universal access from the outset it would have been easy to design this website.
We had that. That was in 2001. A recent EU report stated that across the European Union in Private Sector sites there is 34% of compliance with accepted accessibility standards. And in public sector-provided sites so in e-government sites as well there was about 44% of compliance so actually the public sector, governments of EU Member States, European Union itself aren't providing accessible websites even though their laws mandate this.
So what is the difference here? Why is this happening? What I'm fascinated to look at is the difference between the actual substance of the law and the reality of inaccessible design. Quite a few different themes come out. One is standardization. We now have the web contact accessibility guidelines moving to now Internet -- international standard. They have been developed through a process followed by the W3C, this might be criticized in some way but I believe it's a very positive move that the standards are now being seen as the actual ideal standard for accessibility.
Another area we look at is public/private divide in relation to accessibility. We have governments that are trying to move more and more of their services online and in particular in the UK we're now focusing on a government that says it would be digital by default. Trying to get people to apply for benefits to interact with the government online but actually a lot of these aren't fully accessible to disabled users. And finally we have the international level that I like to look at. So the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, UN Convention actually specifically enshrines a right in its Article 9, accessible technology. Now the way in which this contention actually sits and interacts with governments and its signatory parties is to have a need for focal groups to be developed within each of its signatory parties so I'm hoping that this particular convention with its specific enshrining of the right to accessible technology will actually bring about tangible change.
The last thing I want to mention is that I have carried out quite a lot of empirical work looking at website designers. What are their actual approaches to the notion of accessibility. What you do find is a real fallback on normalcy, so designers are often able-bodied white males who perhaps have not got the end user in mind when designing these websites. What I have found worrying is the response, well, when you talked -- when you talk about accessible design you're thwarting our creativity. We want to design interactive sites that move and have colors and actually to have it be accessible you're making it boring in a sense. I think that takes away a lot of the need for inclusive nature of the Internet.
Finally, I'm doing quite a lot of work trying to push designers, governments, and particularly private businesses towards the need for accessible design. One thing is that money talks in this area. In the EU we have the Accessibility Act that is going through, also a lot of the actual legislation linked to accessible design does not link to the general anti-discrimination policies and legislation provisions but to the internal market provisions so the provisions which actually talk about buying and selling and making money, and there is a huge market, looking at about 80 billion Euros was actually estimated at the market that disabled people in order to buy services, to spend money in the European Union.
At Private Sector level, again, when there's been large-scale redesigns of sites the traffic has gone up. People have spent more money, more people have actually engaged and it's getting this message out to bring about change is what I'm here to talk about.
>> ROBERT BODLE: I'd like to now turn to Ulia Morinetz. Thank you.
>> Could the speakers please speak directly into the microphone because the broadcast doesn't work very well when you move your head. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Deirdre.
>> ULIA MORINETZ: I will try to do my best.
Good morning, I'm with the organisation TaC, Together asainst Cybercrime International. I would speak from my of course area of expertise from my perspective, our perspective. So when we speak about the rights of marginalized vulnerable groups of course it's first of all the right to access the Internet and it was already underlined by Konstantinos but I think it's a right to access information and the information in the language comprehensible to these groups and here we have a question of course of multilingualism. When I say access to information is basic human right, this is part of the universal convention, European Convention on Human Rights, when I speak about the access to information I would say speak from our perspective, access to information on how to be safe and responsible online because Internet and ICTs will bring and can bring great opportunities especially for marginalized, vulnerable groups.
But at the same time, and an example given by Konstantinos is a great one, a boy in India using Internet and the computer but at the same time I think he needs to have the information in the language comprehensible to him on how to use safely the Internet, how to be safe and responsible. I would like to bring this to the table.
Now, how have we arrived to the area and why do we work on vulnerable groups and marginalized groups? This is because when we start to women work in the area of cybercrime and child online protection but when we started to work being in the field I would say we just realized that particular target group marginalize, vulnerable people they simply don't know, don't have the information not get information doesn't exist but they can't access the information for different reasons on how to be safe online. They are fragile. They can be involved in illegal activities online, they can become easily victims of legal activities. We need to do something with this. Afterwards we had a look and we said you know not only they don't have the information on how to stay safe and responsible but at the same time they are not fully or included at all in the information society.
We don't hear their voice concerning information society issues. We started to work in the field with this initiative we discussed where are during the last year and year before, issue of vulnerable people or marginalized people in ICTs, how to include them in the information society and to have their voice heard.
So to be sure, when we speak about rights I would say from our perspective, it is right to have the access to information how to be safe and responsible online because at the same time ICTs will offer great opportunities for this target group.
I would like to share a possible solution because we believe working in the area of vulnerable or marginalized groups and ICTs that we probably need a kind of strategy, national strategy on the inclusion by and for marginalized groups.
We somehow naturally -- I had a discussion last year and workshop during the IGF and came out with the Working Group on vulnerable people which was created and the group engaged to work on the kind of recommendations for a strategy at national level for countries on how to better involve vulnerable people in the information society and how ICTs can bring them new opportunities at the same time being safe online. We'll present this this afternoon at half past two in this room so please join us and we'll go more into details. My two cents for the moment to discussion. Thank you.
>> ROBERT BODLE: Great, thank you, and we'll now turn to Nadine Malala. Thank you.
>> NADINE MALALA: So I want to speak a bit today about a different form of disadvantaged groups. The panel was talking about technicality and access especially for people with disabilities.
I work on a programme called Erotics and I brought in some brochures to give out if you are interested in learning more. We are a project part of the women's programme in APC that works on intersections of sexuality and ICTs. It's a very interesting, very huge world to explore. One issue we keep trying to raise as feminists working on gender and the Internet is that these issues of disadvantage and vulnerability are all intersectional. We can't talk about one thing without talking about the other. We can't say "woman" and you have a rich woman living in Scandinavian countries and you have rural women living in countries with a lot of poverty. You have got women who face particular disadvantage and women who kind of have access, can afford it. When we say women in ICT a lot of people roll their eyes because they think my sister is on the Internet all the time, smartphone, she's fine. Like they only think of women in their immediate circle.
But what we want to talk about more than just women in gender because that's a component we need to factor in when we are discussing access, geography, limitations, vulnerabilities, security threats, openness, activism, who is using Internet. How is gender affecting that?
When we think also of people with disabilities, hearing or visual impairments or lack of mobility access, almost all research always says that women with disabilities in particular face double discrimination, right? Because they not only have to overcome disabilities but they are also women so they are more inclined not to use technology or forced to not be as mastering of the tools as men are.
The same way when we talk about people who can't afford it so where Internet is expensive or just there's no access, no infrastructure, in these communities as well women will suffer more than the men because if the Internet does come to some town or village it will come first for the men and brothers and then for the sisters and women. That's when we talk about factoring gender in.
To add to that as well most work we do is targeted specifically at sexual minorities and rights activists so we look at people who are working on access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, LGBT activists working on --
-- around the world, women working on access to safe and legal abortion, we work with people, young people, trying to put sex education content on the Internet, people trying to reimagine what does it mean to talk about sexuality. Imagine the Internet would be such a breakthrough space for people with disabilities; that was the initial thinking and, you know, it will be awesome. But what happened is people got left out because we didn't think about it, and same for sexual rights activists.
In 2000s there was an explosion of people who wanted to talk about sex in ways they couldn't talk about in offline because of censorship and taboos so they made use of anonymities to edge their way into public consciousness using Internet and you see what it did for feminist and gay rights movements and huge push it gave those mainly because of privacy and anonymity and the ability to have a battle from a safe distance, the argument for sexual rights.
Right now there is a survey with activists and when I hand these out to you you'll see some of the results in here. We asked close to 400 people from really everywhere in the globe about monitoring and regulation and access and discrimination they feel they face online. They were two kinds of discrimination. Things you face everywhere if you are gay. So or if you are a young woman talking about sexual rights you face it everywhere and also on the Internet. There were types of threats that were very particular to Internet and sort of intrinsic to technology. The one stat I find super interesting is that 99% of the people surveyed, sexual rights activists, said that Internet is absolutely crucial to their work. 99%. So almost everybody. I don't know who that 1% is and why it's not crucial but they said it's important to the work they do.
They can't do the work they do. The work they do is really important because they're helping, getting -- promoting health, human rights, dignity for people around the world.
If we recognize it is super important we need to recognize we want to eliminate discriminatory factors that put these people at a disadvantage in accessing and freedom of expression and talking about issues and their rights. (Inaudible) is with us and maybe you can make a small comment afterwards, she runs a project that talks about the intersection of sexuality and disability because often we don't think of people with disabilities as sexual beings or wanting to access information about sex or any of that. To that end, you'll see in the results of the survey and you can go to a website, one of APCs is gender IT.org and read the full results and see the amount of people documented threatening messages, violent, stalking, bullying, because of the type of work they do and these are things we need to think how to reduce them to give more empowerment and enable more people to use the Internet without discrimination.
>> ROBERT BODLE: Thank you, Nadine, for deepening and broadening the discussion.
Can we now turn to Jim Robias remotely.
>> ROBERT BODLE: We lost him, okay.
Well, now we'll start. I'd like to thank panelists for opening comments and just a mini summary if that makes sense. I'm hearing a lot of issues from Stuart on open access information, role of libraries front and center. So we're hearing expanding issues as well as what roles are important. Konstantino Komaitis, barriers, costs as well as cultural and need to break down those barriers and emphasizing role of cooperation among Technical Community and Private Sector. Catherine suggests the roles of policymakers at the state level, at the larger international level and designers as well and of businesses. We have the rights listed to the role of advocacy and cooperation.
So let's open it up to the audience for direct questions to direct panelists or to more than one panelist and what we'll leave it, we'll open it up and expand upon that.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I'll be the wandering man with the microphone, I believe.
Robert, we did mention that in order to move some conclusions forward from this workshop, we might try something a little bit interesting with the way we approach this discussion session. We had a workshop yesterday where panelists actually asked you questions in order to frame debate because that way we might actually get some concrete stuff. I have asked our panelists to think very quickly of a question they would like to ask you in the context of this workshop. So when we get into this discussion you can come back and perhaps enlighten us on a couple issues.
>> What would you free up and what would you still want to regulate? What do you think is harmful and what do you think should not be considered harmful?
>> STUART HAMILTON: That's interesting. As we get into the discussion traditional rules, introduce yourself and your organisation and where from you are from. You, sir.
>> Hello, I'm Taurek here with ISIF and I work with University of Malaysia and we are working mainly with the remote communities in different parts of Malaysia.
I would just like to add some of the perspective from the Indigenous Communities in this forum and participation before giving them access to Internet and let them think about after access what will happen, what are strategies they can come up with as a sustainable for the future time?
One other thing that access maybe can be easily done and provided them with technology but their participation and to understand this whole -- I call it holistic system where the participation is really important from the start till to the effective use of Internet and yes ICT can be -- Internet can be a good tool for local innovation.
Innovation doesn't mean only in terms of hardware system but in terms of services. In term of tourism and in terms of multilingualism and in terms of traditional tools and stories and, I mean there could be different ways. So this is only my two cents. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Panelists, hold some of those thoughts because we'll come back to them and we'll take two questions and go back to the panel and then over there.
>> Thank you. I'm from the Digital Opportunities Foundation in Germany and I wanted to answer to two of the questions. First with regards to accessibility, we are following in a new project which is called cloud for all, a new approach based on accessibility provided via the cloud which means you can have your individual preferences all start in the cloud and then when going to any device like you're asking me maybe your smartphone doesn't work, could you borrow mine, then you get your individualized interface on my smartphone just when you start using it because it's coming from the cloud.
You can do that with any device. ATM, for example, or ticket machine anywhere in the world then it could work. I have to say it's research project so it will take several years till we are there at that situation but what we have learned from the first piloting session was people with disabilities is that it can work and it can be beneficial especially for people with disabilities and then it could be a step further with accessibility where we so far faced like the problems you've been describing for the para-Olympics website.
Then to the question from Julia, we are also running a project which is based on working with libraries all over Europe which is called digital literacy spread around some of these enveloped with an invitation to that project because the idea is that usually in Libraries people are going there to obtain information but also there is a threshold that especially disadvantaged groups in some of the European countries do not want to go to the library because of fear that they don't fulfill the expectation they have to bring in there and so it's trying to lower this threshold and telling people that Web 2.0 with social media, it's so easy to get involved with the Internet. You don't have to subscribe to lodge, take time taking courses or something, just come in and try out these little steps to learn how the Internet can play a role in your daily life. Even if you are a homeless person, for example, you can go to the library and have these little steps and that might be an easier way because people are reluctant to commit themselves to courses or something like that.
But if they have this small experience that it can really help them, their interest might grow and they might become motivated. Thank you.
>> I'm Bishaka and I work for a non-profit in Mumbai and I wanted to comment on three questions. So one is the disability and strategy actually, wanted to link those. We run a site called sexualityanddisability.org and what I find interesting is that like we worked with a developer specializes in making sites accessible to the disabled but more people in India are making certain sites accessible to the disabled but not assuming people with disabilities need to see everything. Right. Only to access everything so there's a little bit of a divide there.
I certainly think, and we do that, too, we run a bunch of sites and still we started sexuality and disability, didn't occur to us we should also make other sites accessible. We are in the same boat, to be honest.
To link it to strategy, I think it's a good idea to have some sort of strategies to include marginalized groups but what is important is that those groups play a role in setting strategy and also sometimes what happens is -- I just got an e-mail. Sometimes strategy becomes way for heavy funding push with very, very sort of short-term goals, so I just answered an e-mail about grant proposal which is a six-month thing to work with cell phone operators to provide access to women. Truth is we have to -- we said we can't actually do this because there's no way to even build up a relationship with a cell phone provider in six months, let alone show impact.
Strategy should not sort of end up in resources being spread around in this manner which is actually not effective and also in terms of I think one really big hidden disadvantage is actually language. So if you were to imagine the people who come to our sexual website because it's in English, they can still get some infrastructure but think of the person who is disabled and speaks like thousands of other languages there in India, they have practically no information at all. That's a big barrier. Finally, in answer to Nadine's question, I definitely think that we should really not rely on policy framework that looked at pornography or sexual content as intrinsically harmful. I don't think it is.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Let's go back to the panelists for reflections. Catherine and then Konstantinos.
>> CATHERINE EASTON: If I could make a few points to link the final two questions. Key issue and the key to look at would be universal access so the actual scheme you're talking about, excellent, cloud for all, settings are remembered and then you can have easier access through mobile device. That's a fantastic initiative, but again, placing the onus on the end user rather than on the initial designers of the websites. Again, not really -- quite a wide group as well, difficult to regulate. While it's helpful it would be easier if the focus were coming from those producing information and wanting to communicate information and also not to see disability as a niche issue. Trying to see the world and online users as a community of individuals with many different characteristics and wanting to communicate information to get as far as possible penetrate as far as possible.
Tiny example. I just spent quite a lot of time helping my 65-year-old auntie get used to her new smartphone. If the design were more intuitive, then she would be able to interact with it at a much easier level. In many economies we have population that is significantly aging. Again, there are key issues about access and exclusion in relation to design and how individuals can actually interact with the information and how it's presented so a strong theme I would say would be to get away from individual characteristics in relation to disability and just focus upon the need to communicate that information to as many people as possible.
If it means telling people they will earn more money if they do this -- I'm actually getting quite cynical in my research, I pushed anti-discrimination agendas quite far but now it seems to be, if you design it you will actually get more money from your websites. Yeah.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Julianna, did you want to say something quickly before you leave?
>> I actually have another question and related to just said something amusing. How -- Private Sector to actually design these websites, and to show them listen you can even from the commercial perspective be more successful by design and having this design so would be my question to the audience and I would invite everybody to join us to help us in this room to discuss strategy on that.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Konstantinos.
>> KONSTANTINOS KOMAITIS: Thanks, Stuart. So I am very glad you brought up Indigenous People. I think that's exactly what I'm talking about. We don't even have a very clear understanding what we mean by that. We need to start having a ser use discussion about what it is that we are trying to achieve even beyond that. But I will go back to issues of inclusion so the disadvantaged especially the disabled people are saying nothing about it without us. I don't think there is a more spot-on motto on this and we saw it very clearly and I'm going to use we have the United Nations conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
First of all, there are many countries that have not signed or ratified but even beyond that it is an issue of trying now to take regulation and take legal frameworks and engrain them into technology out there and enable technology to go back into the regulation and we saw this actually happening and I will go to WIPO negotiations relating to treaty for visually impaired persons and persons with print disabilities that myself and Stuart were attending and it was disappointing to say the least.
It wasn't disappointing because we have a successful treaty so we are, this is a fantastic outcome but throughout the negotiations, the disabled people found it very, very difficult, there was -- find it very, very difficult to engage. And we were always talking to Member States and finally it was at the very last minute actually Member States opened up and they actually heard what are the tangible needs, that is what we are lacking, tangible issues that disadvantaged people, disabled or otherwise, is facing on the day-to-day basis.
I do not know because I am not one of them but they are able to provide that input and unless we create inclusive frameworks whereby we understand and we have a very, very clear picture of what those needs are we cannot proceed. Multilingualism is very clear. It took us disappointing 20 plus years to introduce ideas which is internationalized domain names everybody is able to write on their own script.
Now, of course we are there again but it is very important that we start thinking when we are trying to under rule technology plays that there are other people they need it more. So it's used for disadvantaged people and should become default settings if you want in most cases. They should really try to be engrained in the technology. I will take a step back from what you said because yes design is important but governments should really start supporting the creation of figures call infrastructure in their own countries, IXPs is very clear example. That will make travel locally which means the costs will be much lower which will also mean people will have opportunity to use Internet and as a very last point, yes, we need to protect how children and you know using my Indian example using the Internet but for me one of the key issues that was done has enabled all of us to also acquire filtering mechanisms, vast amount of information there.
Just we need to trust a little bit also people that are doing it but in order for them to acquire those filtering mechanisms they need to have access to the Internet. I'll stop there.
>> STUART HAMILTON: We have one more question over here. Is there any remote participant questions at this point? Okay. So I have Marianne afterwards.
>> I'm with UNESCO, very interesting discussion and I see the person who asked the question regarding the strategy is not here but this is what I would like to comment because during last few years we carried out a number of research projects in the world and we analyze five regions and looked how policies at top level in France includes persons with disabilities and looked at well what kind of initiatives at bottom level are and observed it is policy but not really used or efficient, which are more effective and we provide more benefits for persons with disabilities, we try to UPB what are success factors and challenges, one thing was replying to the question where there is a need to have national strategy I would say yes of course especially in the convention it has to have some specific actions taken at national level and even if it's not ratified it still should have a national strategy but --
-- for classrooms and we could as observe as well what were a lot of specialized schools were shut down, closed so most of the children with disabilities who could go to mainstream education right now included and we don't have assistive technologies, teachers are not trained and normally it's cheaper to purchase assistive technologies if you really purchase together with everything else what you do.
This kind of thing -- at the same time you could see there is no coordination between ministries, same as with communication information but websites are not accessible so public information is not accessible. That is a finding what we discovered from different regions. Basically it's more systematic, ministers do not work together and usually those issues are dispersed among different ministries.
I have one question, very specific question, that is actually there is a need we just finished formulation of model policy for inclusive ICTs and education, and UNESCO has top priority agenda equality and I can tell you we were really short of data how women and men use ICTs in general terms differently and this policy model is very short in terms of gender equality so if there were any thoughts where we can find more I would say reliable data, reliable data, not just -- which could be used to enhance policy, I would be very much interested to hear it. So thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you. Very good question.
Nadine, you might pick up on that. Maybe you could also share, maybe tweet the links to that study which would be very useful.
>> On Friday it will be one of the sessions we'll speak more so around 11:00 so you are welcome to join us. Room 5.
>> Plug for an additional session for those of you interested. Marianne I am sure you have comments to make. Remember to introduce yourself.
>> MARIANNE FRANKLIN: I'm co-chair of Internet Rights and Principles Coalition which of course Stuart and Robert are also involved with.
Now, in terms of disabilities this conversation is very important because in the charter of human rights and principles we have a clause 13 which directly relates to convention of rights of disabled persons. Simply a beginning but thing is my point here about the questions that we have been getting is how we can be specific. What tends to happen about technology, latest generation of computers, latest generation of data storage or cloud being the answer to the problems. Problems are not technical. Problems are political, economic, and they are social.
We need to turn the conversation around, just as charter tries to frame these very technical issues in a human rights perspective, quite specifically not generally we need to turn the conversation around.
My question back to the panel is specifically examples of how you get Technical Communities talking to disabled groups. And to think my mother at 82 is now disabled because she discovered when her operating system was upgraded that she could not find her Skype access. So now we can't talk to our mother. She's fed up. She says she's a very -- you become disabled after a certain age. This is completely wrong. So how can we get the technical solutions thinking first the needs, how do you get tech kicks to talk to the groups, get them to see there are creative ways to design. My point is there are people doing this, hackers, already creating platforms to help disabled. Come to our workshop at 9:00 in the morning.
>> STUART HAMILTON: We're taking plugs as long as you ask questions and respond.
Nadine, would you say anything to the point and then you may want to pick up Marianne's point.
>> I'm wondering, I don't know if it's I haven't thought of this question in a long time, how do men and women use it differently. I doubt we would find any research, any hard data that tells us some thing that is not like an essentialist approach because I don't think they use it differently. I think your gender results in you facing particular challenges of using the Internet, right, also intersectionality again, right, always intersectionality, you are not either a woman or man, you are socioeconomic, you are able-bodied or not, your sexuality, where you are from, global north, south.
So I think what is more interesting is to look at certainly women's rights programme at APC has done a lot of this research and I'm happy to share it with the UNESCO group working on this. But it tells us things I think are interesting in terms of removing barriers and empowering marginalized groups rather than what is intrinsic. For me like asking how do Indonesians use the Internet differently than, I don't know, people from Switzerland. Like I don't think there's a different usage, I think there's different challenges or access issues, something like that. We do have a launch of the latest report over lunch if you would like.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I've opened the floodgates.
Catherine, anything to advertise or --
>> CATHERINE EASTON: Nothing to plug here!
I'm completely fascinated by the point that was made here about different ministries taking different approaches. I did quite early research about UK government departments and you are so right, social and community departments that seemed to have policies but then bizarrely and crucially as was then the business industry and skills ministry had very few set policies in relation to access and inclusion and obviously that is a crucial area of the government's role as well.
Again, it's kind of reflecting this idea of disabilities as a niche area that only needs to be addressed in through certain particular measures. Yet certain areas, communities, social -- rather than things that I think even defense industry, these kind of things. Looking at Marianne's point here I am quite in favor of using the law in order to take forward regulation make change and talk about turning the conversation around.
win the UK and quite a lot of EU Member States, there has been a focus on trying to get a particular public sector website to be accessible. And I know UK does and Spain does reference the W3C web content accessibility guidelines and there are targets set and different layers, levels that should be achieved and still change is not happening! It is very, very difficult to get designers, even within arguably controllable sectors such as public sector to think about who is actually using their end product. They communicate information and do not think about the end user. Quite often they rely upon technical testing, using electronic tools to talk about accessibility and don't actually interact with disabled people.
Now, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was drafted in a innovative way and had participation from groups of disabled people. This was part of its focus in drafting. At a UK level we have not actually put this into our specific legislation on accessibility; however, accessibility act at European level which to be -- should have been passed in December of 2012 but still stalling, has a strong focus on participation and people, disabled people actually talking about experiences and feeding into the process of access so I think that's a huge way of bringing about change but not yet trickled down where I am in the EU. Not trickled down to the national policies and it should.
Just before I stop, I would like to thank Cynthia for your tweet, basically saying that if people can't be creative and accessible, then they are not very creative in the first place. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I'm a panelist so I'll jump in. Some things (inaudible) said are things we've been paying attention to in the library community. Kind of importance of the joined-up thinking, some departments moving in one direction and others in another certainly from the libraries' perspective as we moved through the whole WSIS process and we remember back in 2003/2005 with the heady rush of new technology and rush to find new things to implement the new technology, we've always been slightly concerned governments and policy makers weren't taking advantage of existing institutions and we've got over 330,000 public libraries worldwide and there was a slight rush to bring in the (inaudible) movement, others of which have had less sustainability.
But this entire infrastructure of libraries that exist within government budget lines and within existing policies really needs to be taken advantage of particularly in relation to giving access to disadvantaged groups.
Then just to pick up the point about data on how people use Internet. Well actually in the Libraries people are coming in using it all the time. We've had very big studies over at the University of Washington in Seattle has looked at public access to the Internet through various community institutions and there is data in there you might find it useful but take advantage, if you are going to look into it, work with us and we can get you access to any number of different countries and different access points, that could be something to consider. Konstantinos, I know you had something else and then I think we have to think about Robert's sum-up at some point.
>> KONSTANTINOS KOMAITIS: Very briefly. Reacting to what Nadine asked about how to raise awareness. At a political level that's the million dollar question isn't it, but a good starting point is to incorporate accessibility criteria built in public procurement processes. Doing so really encourages companies to that stand for supply of hardware and software to governments to offer products that are more accessible for persons with disabilities in order to win contracts.
The pioneer in this is actually the United States government, Section 508 for guidelines for suppliers, European Union also is doing it. I know that this is not an all-inclusive solution; however, it is a very good start. We need to encourage those, we need to make sure that governments through public procurement which are now part of almost everything actually incorporate this provisions on accessibilities because then you incentivize companies in order to be able.
>> STUART HAMILTON: If there's more questions in the audience we have time. Go over here.
>> I'm from Indonesia and regarding to question good how woman and man use ICT differently. I used to do research in central setting. It is mostly Boarding School and just a brief description about the way they access ICT especially telecenter is that telecenter differently because telecenter located near the male section of the Boarding School because in Boarding School, mostly Boarding School they are boys and girls section and they are separated. Because the telecenter is located near the male section then they are more boys accessing the telecenter and then second telecenter have two separate room for boys and girls. But in order for the girls to get into the girls' section they have to pass the boys' section and they don't want -- they are reluctant to pass the boys' section so actually what they need is they want another door so they can go directly to their section.
And then the other thing is that boys and male users, they usually directly go to the computer and just by trial and error practice and access the computer but different to the girls because they usually want operator to explain about what is it you, how to use it. So they need to have more explanation before they can use it because they are afraid that they might break down the -- something like that. Brief description because this is only a part of the finding of the research. So I think maybe in the future there are more research about this because it is also about finding cultural background that make them behave like that. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: All hands are going up when we are running out of time. There's no -- okay. So let's take all three at once very quickly if you can because we're running out of time.
>> I feel once again as it is with most sessions at the IGF I learned so many things and realize how much I don't know. The question that I have is while I understand challenges for visually impaired I probably do not begin to understand other disability groups and their special needs on the Internet and I think it might benefit all in the general public if we did have a better understanding and this would help create a greater sensitivity so I am wondering if there are resources to which we as members of the general public can consult so we do get a better understanding of challenges before us.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Resources.
>> Hi, I'm Cynthia, a law student from Victoria, Canada and on exchange at the National University of Singapore. Three things, more points than questions, first two are building on designs for disability idea where I actually just tweeted an article I happened to read and it is addressing this issue exactly. How do you get designers to design for disability. Two main points that were compelling. First is get rid of the normative divide between who is and is not disabled. I wear contact lenses because my sight isn't perfect but because you can't see them nobody reads it as being disable. Even if you do have glasses, people now wear glasses even when they don't need them because they think it looks good.
So if you could kind of get that breakdown happening with hearing aids that opens up a new world for designers and people consuming, using these devices. For instance, in this article they had pictures of hearing aids that looked like jewelry so maybe if you held a contest because people need to see something before they believe it. Contest saying who can design the prettiest devices, that might be a way to get designers thinking about that.
Second -- so that was first two points. Last was in terms of how men and women use Internet. There isn't -- I don't know anything about data but just for information and a more anecdotal level there are articles out there online about people who got online as the other gender and then writing about the experiences that happen to them, this goes back to what Nadine said, so two specific cases that were more high profile was a blogger and he wrote a blog called "Men with Pens" and it was a top, very high-profile writing blog, blog about blogging, and after years of this blog James came out and said, I'm actually a woman
And that this was just her pen name and then detailed all the challenges she faced in trying to become an established blogger and after she changed to a man all the differences that happened afterwards.
Other example is a video game, gamer who decided he and his wife, both were very prolific expert gamers, and he decided to go on under his wife's account one day. He just received an extraordinary amount of vitriol and hostility from other players on his team just by virtue of the fact he was a woman. Then she was actually apparently a better player than he is. When he showed he actually had -- first of all, they were complaining because they thought this player would bring the team down. Then when he showed he was actually better than all of them under his wife's avatar, the vitriol got worse.
So it's not data in terms of statistics but it is definitely very revealing information that you can incorporate.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So we'll go to Deirdre and then I think we'll go back to Robert with how you want to handle the wrap-up.
>> DEIRDRE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much. I'm Deirdre Williams from the West Indies and I would like to identify myself as an end user because I think the end users are very often severely disadvantaged. Everybody forgets about them in a flood of technology. In this particular case I want to make a plea for the fact that if you are remote, you are disabled. This morning we had a remote participant. He was there but it wouldn't work. I'm not trying to criticize the technical people who have been working really hard to make things happen but surely if the Internet can do anything -- we keep talking about a global village, so remote shouldn't exist any longer.
The person who is -- I had a very dear friend who subsequently died. She had Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS; she was completely remote because she couldn't communicate at all except blessedly through a computer.
I just wish that the things technology is most gifted to do, it could perhaps concentrate on and achieve. Thank you.
>> ROBERT BODLE: All right. Great. Thank you, Deirdre, for that comment.
I would like to be to be self-efficient as well as inclusive at the same time and share some summary comments of all the comments I've heard in responses from the panelists and to synthesize it in a way we can have takeaway here.
So just summary comments. We've been defining who is marginalized and how, what actors are needed to be part of the solution and strategies for moving forward.
So, first of all, defining and broadening understanding of disadvantaged groups and informing definition of inclusiveness, to include, for example, gender and sexual minorities, Indigenous, oral communities, homeless, youth, remote participants and the elderly, identifying the role of users needing to be involved from the ground up in terms of accessibility technology and policy in order to identify tangible problems and solutions, and to identify the needs in Marianne's words. We also have the notion in terms of strategy or understanding how these actors can work together the notion of intersectionality that Nadine offered, problems and solutions intersect among marginalized groups and solutions can intersect as well.
Stuart mentioned -- he called that joined-up thinking, a term used so we need the see for coordination between policymakers, ministries, designers, users, affected populations and perhaps identifying the role of Internet Governance to help as well as NGOs and research groups, technical, existing institutions, specifically libraries and including disadvantaged end users as the most important stakeholders to answer how you get technical. For example, Technical Communities talking to disabled groups or future disabled. As Marianne pointed out, we are all future disabled ultimately to make access and inclusiveness a default. Thank you.
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.