International Workshop “Accessibility and the contribution of International Standards”
organized by the World Standards Cooperation (WSC)
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” followed by an additional meeting for standards developers (but also open to other stakeholders) on 5 November 2010.
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.