Over a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization. This corresponds to about 15 % of the world's population.

But accessibility is not just about disabilities. When you add in the elderly, parents with small children and even those with minor injuries, it is clear that accessibility is an issue that can affect us all.

How do ISO standards help?

Organisations are increasingly required to make their premises and products non-discriminatory - and that means accessible to everyone.

ISO standards are an important tool, because they give manufacturers, service providers, designers and policy makers the specifications and guidelines on how to design products and services that are accessible to all.

Our wide-ranging portfolio of accessibility-related standards includes those addressing the physical environment and information technology as well as more specific aspects such as mobility devices.

Did you know that there are more than one billion persons in the world with a disability?

Check out our infographic about accessibility facts and how ISO standards help to bring down the barriers

Useful publications

Guide 71

Guide for standards developers addressing accessibility in standards

ISO Focus+, September 2010

ISO Focus+, September 2010

Accessibility for all

Useful articles

Tourism for everyone with accessibility standards

by Julian Theseira

As much as it is enjoyable, tourism also has it’s challenges. Think back to the last time you faced difficulties when travelling, whether you had to climb what seemed like millions of stairs to get anywhere or you struggled to ask for food or catch a taxi because of the language barrier. Maybe crossing a busy street was a scary experience, or you felt lost half the time. Now imagine how much harder it would be to travel with a disability.

Read the full entry

Breaking barriers for people with disabilities

by Clare Naden

Over a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization. Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology is the theme of this year’s United Nation International Day of People with Disabilities and now more than ever ISO standards can play a big part.

Read the full entry


Standards on accessibility

Accessibility covers wide range of areas, from construction of buildings to the development of mobility products and assistive technology. In fact there are so many things to take into account that ISO even has guidelines for standards developers to address accessibility when writing standards.


In the planning, design and construction of buildings and constructions, a sufficient degree of accessibility is a basic human right. This is being reflected in recent developments in government policies all over the world. ISO 21542: 2011, Building construction - Accessibility and usability of the built environment specifies a range of requirements and recommendations for many of the elements of construction, including accessibility management.

Information technology

ISO's Technical Committee for Information Technology JTC 1 develops standards that guide both manufacturers and designers of technology and others such as e-learning providers. Click on the links below to see the standards published by them or their subcommittee:

Other Technical Commitees

In addition, ISO has a wide range of other TCs involved in developing accessibility related standards. These include:

ISO is working together with its partner organizations, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to raise awareness of accessibility solutions. Guide 71 is the first ISO/IEC guide to have also been adopted by the ITU. Its publication is accompanied by a new joint policy statement by IEC, ISO and ITU on standardization and accessibility.

ISO Store

  • ISO 14289-1:2014
    Document management applications -- Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility -- Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1)
  • ISO 21542:2011
    Building construction -- Accessibility and usability of the built environment
  • ISO 7001:2007
    Graphical symbols -- Public information symbols
  • ISO/IEC 13066-1:2011
    Information technology -- Interoperability with assistive technology (AT) -- Part 1: Requirements and recommendations for interoperability
  • ISO/IEC 24751-1:2008
    Information technology -- Individualized adaptability and accessibility in e-learning, education and training -- Part 1: Framework and reference model
  • ISO/IEC 40500:2012
    Information technology -- W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
  • ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014
    Guide for addressing accessibility in standards
  • ISO/IEC TR 29138-1:2009
    Information technology -- Accessibility considerations for people with disabilities -- Part 1: User needs summary

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