GAAD 2017: Advancing accessibility through international standards – “Recommendation 2016 concerning standards on eAccessibility and eInclusion”


Brussels, 18 May 2017: International standards are the basis for our global economy. For this reason, AAATE and Infoterm endorse the Recommendation 2016 and invite all other organisations wanting to promote the mainstreaming of accessibility to join in.

If we are serious about mainstreaming accessibility, we need to make sure that eAccessibility and eInclusion are waved into the fabric of standards from the very beginning. The “Recommendation 2016 concerning standards on eAccessibility and eInclusion” provides good guidance on how to achieve that and calls upon all stakeholders in general and standards developing organisations (SDO) in particular 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


“The Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe wholeheartedly supports the Recommendation 2016 concerning standards on eAccessibility and eInclusion”, says Peter Cudd, AAATE president. “Its implementation will help to identify relevant standards on eAccessibility and eInclusion, and so avoid major breaches of the European Accessibility Act. A more comprehensive consideration of these standards in products and services will contribute to including persons with disabilities not just in the use of technology, but also from the life and work opportunities that eInclusion can deliver.”

“Hundreds of standards are focusing on eAccessibility and eInclusion – thousands of other standards have or should have an impact on barrier-free living. How can persons with disabilities (PwD) or their representatives participate in standardization activities, if even the information on standards and standards developing activities is a barrier to them?” wonders Christian Galinski, Director of Infoterm.

The Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE), through its participation in the IN LIFE project, was actively involved in the elaboration of this Recommendation 2016 and together with the International Information Centre for Terminology (Infoterm) leads the way by officially endorsing it.

On the occasion of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day on 18 May, AAATE and Infoterm invite all other organisations with an interest in accessibility and inclusion to follow suit and give their official endorsement. The implementation of the Recommendation 2016 will help enhance the interoperability of eAccessibility & eInclusion related products and services and in this sense benefit end users, industry, administration as well as standards developing organisations at large. A win-win for all.


More information

An overview of organisations who already officially endorse the Recommendation 2016 and the link to sign up can be found here:

The full text of the “Recommendation 2016” can be found at:

The “Recommendation 2016” will also be presented at the 14th international AAATE Congress, to be held in Sheffield on the 12th of September 2017 in the framework of the IN LIFE consortium activities.




The Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) is the interdisciplinary pan-European association devoted to all aspects of assistive technology, such as use, research, development, manufacture, supply, provision and policy. The AAATE’s mission is “to stimulate the advancement of assistive technology for the benefit of people with disabilities, including elderly people” and over 250 members from all over Europe and throughout the world are already taking part in AAATE’s activities.


About Infoterm

Infoterm promotes and supports the cooperation of existing and the establishment of new terminology centres and networks with the general aim to improve domain communication, knowledge transfer and provision of content with a view to facilitating the participation of all in the global multilingual knowledge society.



The IN LIFE concept is to address the challenge of turning existing research efforts to reality for real people across Europe. Existing flexible ICT solutions could assist elderly users with cognitive impairment in organising, carrying out and completing everyday tasks and constitute essential factors for continuing to be and feel independent. IN LIFE will offer all-around, personalised, multi-faceted existing ICT solutions and services addressing diverse daily activities (eating, physical activity, commuting, mental stimulation, communication, social interaction, etc.) to users with cognitive impairment living in their own home or in sheltered homes, as well as to their formal and informal carers. Emphasis is placed on elderly and carer interactions, communications and care scheduling and monitoring.