Accessibility Guidelines and Standards for Persons with Disabilities

12 November 2007 - A Workshop on Diversity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The thematic workshop on "Web Accessibility Guidelines Development and UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" is designed to revisit internet accessibility guidelines and standards to meet the requirements of persons with disabilities in the light of the first human rights convention of the UN adopted in 21st Century to enrich the discussion of the main sessions on Diversity. 

Based on the Global Forum on Disability in the Information Society held in both WSIS in Geneva and Tunis, the workshop invites Mr. Buntan, President of Thailand Association of the Blind, who worked for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and WSIS process in collaboration with all those concerned around the world including Ms. Bieler, Director of the Inter-American Institute on Disability, and Ms. Caras, President of People Who. Those three speakers will address the requirements for the Internet Governance to comply with the Convention and WSIS Plan of Actions from the view point of persons with disabilities. Mr. Abou-Zahra, W3C web accessibility expert will talk about harmonization of web accessibility standards and W3C Web Accessibility Initiatives with special reference to best practices on national web accessibility guidelines development. Mr. Shore, Autism Society of America, and Ms. Osorno, National Association of the Deaf of Colombia, will address further challenges for the development of accessibility standards. The modertor will encourage interactive discussion for brain storming to generate a real multi-stakeholder participation. Practical approaches for the internet governance to promote Universal Design and Assistive Technologies will be the key focus.


Hiroshi Kawamura, President, DAISY Consortium
Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative, W3C
Margita Lundman, Program Director, The Swedish Handicap Institute
George Kerscher, Secretary General, DAISY Consortium
Stephen Shore, Board, Autism Society of America
Shadi Abou-Zahra, Web Accessibility Specialist, W3C
Phill Jenkins, Accessibility Program Manager, IBM
Deborah Kaplan, Deborah Kaplan Consulting
Monthian Buntan, President, Thailand Association of the Blind
Mary Frances Laughton, Director, Assistive Devices Industry Office, Canada


Monthian Buntan, President, Thailand Assoication of the Blind

Shadi Abou-Zahra, Web Accessibility Specialist, W3C
Shadi Abou-Zahra joined the W3C in 2003 and coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, and accessibility evaluation techniques. He is the Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office, which includes groups that are responsible for education and outreach, coordination with research, general discussion on Web accessibility, coordination with the WAI Technical Activity, and WAI liaisons with other organizations including standards organizations. Shadi chairs the W3C Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), is a staff person of the WAI Ageing Education and Harmonisation (WAI-AGE) project, and is a participant in good standing of the W3C Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG).
Prior to joining W3C, Shadi was a lead Web developer and managed the design and implementation of Web productions, online community platforms, and online games. Shadi also worked as a Web Consultant for the International Data Centre (IDC) of the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as for other international organizations. During his computer science studies, Shadi actively participated in the Austrian national student council at the Technical University of Vienna as a representative for students with disabilities, where he advocated for equal opportunities in education and employment.

Stephen Shore, Board, Autism Society of America

Rosangela Berman Bieler, Director, Inter-American Institute on Disability

Rosangela Berman Bieler is a Brazilian journalist, publisher and disability rights advocate with 30 years experience in the field. In September 2004, she completed her Masters Degree on the “Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities” through the University of Salamanca, Spain. Rosangela’s most recent jobs have been for the World Bank and other international agencies, on Disability and Inclusive Development
Rosangela is known internationally for her expertise on Latin American disability issues, especially Inclusive Development & Public Policy, Media, Gender and Human Rights issues. In 1988, she received the title of “Brazil Ambassador of Tourism” for her work on accessibility in the field. In 1989 she was named a Lifetime Fellow by Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. In 2004, she was honored with the Kessler Award from Rehabilitation International.
Founder of the Independent Living Movement in Brazil, Rosangela is also a founding member and former president of many organizations. During the 80’s and 90’s, she served as the Brazilian representative to Disabled People's International (DPI) and Rehabilitation International (RI). In several occasions, she served as an expert on disability issues to the UN Family organizations.

Martha Lucia Osorno Posada, Board, World Federation of the Deaf

Sylvia Caras, President, People Who

Moderator: Hiroshi Kawamura, President, DAISY Consortium