WTSA-16 Highlights: Mainstreaming ICT accessibility in technical standardization (+VIDEO)

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Roughly a billion people live with some form of disability, making accessibility crucial to the promotion of an inclusive ICT environment.

IEC, ISO and ITU have published a “Guide for addressing accessibility in standards” to assist standards experts in mainstreaming the consideration of accessibility in technical standardization work.

ITU standards detail the accessibility terminology to be applied universally across the ICT industry (ITU-T F.791) as well as the technical foundations of accessible IPTV systems (ITU-T H.702).

ICT accessibility was in focus at a side event during the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-16) in Hammamet, Tunisia this week.

Masahito Kawamori, Project Professor at the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Japan’s Keio University and Rapporteur for Question 28 “Multimedia Framework for e-Health Applications” in ITU-T Study Group 16, explained how ITU standardization supports ICT accessibility in an interview with ITU News.

“ICT is everywhere. Unless you have very good accessibility, ICT doesn’t mean anything to people,” said Mr. Kawamori. “Mainstreaming ICT accessibility means that everyone actually doesn’t think about accessibility at all, so accessibility becomes normal.”

“In standardizing technology, we have to take into account accessibility in every detail … from the very beginning of drafting of standards as well as the implementation as well as actually in developing applications and technologies,” said Kawamori.

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