The recommendation concerning standards on eAccessibility and eInclusion was developed in the framework of the IN LIFE project and presented by the “IN LIFE project consortium” to AAATE for being endorsed. It was initially drafted at the IN LIFE Workshop “Strategic Standardisation Issues Concerning eAccessibility & eInclusion” at the 15th ICCHP – the International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs-, in Linz, Austria, in July 2016).
Increasingly R&D projects and the software industry – especially for mobile technologies – consider the “Recommendation on software and content development principles 2010” whereby “decision makers in public as well as private frameworks, software developers, the content industry and developers of pertinent standards /should be/ aware that multilinguality, multimodality, eInclusion and eAccessibility need to be considered from the outset in software and content development. These considerations are required in order to avoid the need for additional or remedial engineering or redesign at the time of adaptation, which tend to be very costly and often prove to be impossible”.
Since 2010, hundreds of standards about eAccessibility and eInclusion were developed or revised by technical committees in standards organisations at international, European, or national level – not to mention many industry standards developed by other standards developing organizations (SDO). In addition, there are possibly thousands of standards that have a bearing on persons with disabilities (PwD). In particular, ‘accessibility‘ in a broad sense rarely occurs in the title or in the body of these standards.
“Recommendation 2016” addresses critical issues identified in recent conferences, initiatives and projects dealing with eAccessibility and eInclusion and related topics concerning the difficulties faced by system developers, their customers, health care providers and end-users when trying to find and apply pertinent standards.
Standards development processes and monitoring in conjunction with standards about eAccessibility and eInclusion and related aspects, should allow the coordination of standardizing activities across technical committees and SDOs, leading to content coherence among standards about similar themes. This would help industry and other organizations to comply with standards’ requirements referring to corporate social responsibility and risk management, as well as with the latest legal regulations on accessibility in eProcurement and public websites.
Supportive measures may be worthwhile pursuing, to (a) promote certification schemes based on standards about eAccessibility and eInclusion, (b) encourage education and training activities regarding such standards, and (c) enhance the positive role that media (both institutional and social) and civil society can play here.
Why endorsing the recommendation ?
The organizations endorsing Recommendation 2016 call upon stakeholders of eAccessibility and eInclusion, in particular standards developing organizations (SDOs) to:
- develop a more refined classification or keywording approach to identify content in standards with a bearing on eAccessibility and eInclusion
- register the potential relevance for eAccessibility & eInclusion of an emerging standard right from the beginning of a standardization activity
- cross-reference standards having a bearing on eAccessibility and eInclusion
- encourage the formulation and use of consistent vocabulary / terminology
- implement search functionalities that ease the use of standards
- facilitate the active involvement of PwD as end-users in standardizing activities among others by providing standards documents in an ‘accessible’ format
Implementing the above measures would enhance interoperability of eAccessibility&eInclusion related products and services and thus benefit users of standards and standardization at large.
In order to endorse the recommendation please complete the online endorsement form below or, alternatively, send an email to Hoogerwerf (at) aaate (dot) net.