FORUM: Disability Rights Treaty and ICT Standards

Posted on 15 April 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Human Rights, Opportunities, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies
An Advocacy Initiative of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development

In conjunction with the



Joint ITU and G3ict Forum 2008
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities for ICT Standards

Monday, April 21, 2008
ITU Headquarters, Geneva

Please find a detailed agenda for the Forum on the subsequent pages of this invitation.

For further information, please contact:
Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Director of External Relations, G3ict
By Phone: +1 404-446-4160 By E-mail:

Advanced registration kindly requested

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest human rights treaties ever adopted. It was developed with the active participation of country delegations and NGOs representing persons with disabilities, and includes a number of detailed mandates related to accessible and assistive Information and Communication and Information Technologies (ICTs).

Today, ICT devices such as personal computers, fixed and mobile telephones and television are widespread, with over one billion people, globally, having access to the Internet. An increasing number of applications and services for e-commerce, e-government, transportation, public services, health services, cultural life and leisure are delivered electronically. However many of these services are developed without consideration of the needs of the 10 per cent of the world population with disabilities. This directly impacts the rights of these persons. The Forum will explore the likely impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the evolution of ICT standards with the active participation of industry, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), NGOs, and other interested parties. It is addressed to leaders overseeing accessibility standards issues, representatives from the industry, SDOs, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, research institutions, assistive technology developers, governments and academia.

* Review existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies.
* Discuss the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
* Identify follow-up actions to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Expected Outcome of Meeting
Review and document the areas of standardization which match the mandates of the Convention and explore critical gaps. Receive feedback and suggestions from industry, policymakers and NGOs to explore how they can best support the work of SDOs in fostering greater accessibility of ICTs.

Information and Documentation
Registration for this event will be carried out exclusively online at the following URL:

ITU-T Web site for the event:

G3ict Web site:

ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland (Rue de VarembÈ 2)


8:30 ñ 9:00 Registration
9:00 ñ 10:00 Opening Session

Session Chair: Pierre-AndrÈ Probst, Chairman ITU-T Study Group 16

* Welcome address, Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector
* Remarks, Yury Grin, Deputy to the Director, Telecommunication Development Sector (BDT)
* Importance of accessible ICTs to developing countries, ITU Standardization Development Sector (TBC)
* Greetings from G3ict supporting organizations
* The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the context of global market demographics, Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict
* Latest developments in harmonization and standardization of accessible and assistive ICTs and the SWG-A standards inventory, JosÈe Auber and Alex Li, ISO/IEC SWG-A

10:00 ñ 11:00 Session 1 – Human interfaces: design for accessible ICTs.
Recent evolution of accessibility features and standards, standards supporting assistive technologies, gaps, and opportunities.

Session Chair: Whitney Quesenbery, President, Usability Professionalsí Association
* ISO work on Ergonomics for accessible ICTs, Tom Stewart, Chairman, TC 159/ SC†4, “Ergonomics of human-system interaction”

* Pluggable user interfaces and virtual AT and RTF initiative: a new approach to user interface, Gregg Vanderheiden, Ph.D., Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chair, INCITS/V2 and Vice-chair, ISO/IEC, JTC 1/SC35
* ETSI Human Factor activities in the European context, Stephen Furner, Chairman, ETSI Technical Committee Human Factors
* Designing for universal accessibility, Bill Curtis-Davidson, Business Development and Solutions Leader, IBM Worldwide Human Ability and Accessibility Center

11:00 ñ 11:15 Coffee break

11:15 ñ 12:30 Session 2 – Accessible contents and services: addressing information deprivation
W3C initiatives, globalization of web standardization efforts, issues in ensuring compliance with accessibility standards (lack of awareness, speed of technology development, lack of training of web developers etc.); digital television and digital radio opportunities.

Session Chair: Eric Velleman, Director, BartimÈus Accessibility Foundation

* An analysis of the effects of content deprivation, Martin Gould, Director of Research and Technology, National Council on Disability
* DAISY Consortium, Hiroshi Kawamura, President, DAISY Consortium
* Web Accessibility Initiative, WAI/W3C, Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium (WAI/W3C) (via Web cast from Beijing, P.R. China)
* IPTV standardization, features and gaps, Clive Miller, Technical Broadcasting and Engineering Consultant, RNIB

12:30 ñ 14:00 Lunch break and knowledge fair

14:00 ñ 15:00 Session 3 – Mobility: Wireless Devices and Phones, accessibility and assistive functionalities.

Session Chair: Jim Tobias, President, Inclusive Technologies

* A mobile operatorís perspective in Japan, Yoshinobu Nakamura, NTT DoCoMo
* Windows Mobile, Sean Hayes, Incubation Lab Accessibility Business Unit, Microsoft
* Open source opportunities for accessibility and assistive functionalities – Android, Clayton Lewis, Ph..D., Professor of Computer Science, Scientist in Residence, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, University of Colorado
* Perspectives from hand-sets manufacturer (TBC)

15:00 ñ 16:00 Session 4 – Product development methodologies.
Ensuring that products are designed with accessibility features at an early stage, use of universal design methodologies.

Session Chair: Chiara Giovannini, Program Manager, European Association Representing Consumers in Standardization (ANEC)

* ITU-T SG 16 work on accessibility guidelines in standards, Gunnar Hellstrˆm, ITU
* Good practices perspective: development methodologies can take into account accessibility, Roman Longoria, Vice President, Computer Associates
* Extension of ISO 9000 product quality standards for accessibility in products, Sean McCurtain, Head, Conformity Assessment, ISO

16:00 ñ 16:15 Coffee break

16:15 ñ 17:15 Session 5 – The role of government in supporting accessibility standards.
Public procurement, regulations, and incentives in support of accessibility standards for ICTs.

Session Chair: Kevin Carey, Director, humanITy, and Vice Chair, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

* Survey of government actions in supporting accessibility, Cynthia D. Waddell, Executive Director, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)
* U.S. Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) work on accessibility standards, Jim Tobias, Co-chair, TEITAC and President, Inclusive Technologies
* EU work on accessibility standards, Inmaculada Placencia Porrero and Martina Sindelar, European Commission Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities

17:15 ñ 18:00 Conclusions, recommendations and suggested follow-up

Session Chair: His Excellency Luis Gallegos, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States; Past Chair of the UN General Assembly Ad-hoc Preparatory Committee for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and Chair, G3ict

1) Conclusions by session chairs
2) Feedback from Industry, Frances West, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center
3) NGOs, Standards Development Organizations and Government leaders on follow-up steps

Summary of conclusions and recommendations, His Excellency Luis Gallegos, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States and Chair, G3ict

G3ict is a Flagship Advocacy Initiative of the
United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development
led by the Wireless Internet Institute
50 Hurt Plaza SE, Suite 806 Atlanta, GA 30303, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 404 446-4160 Fax: +1 404 446 4173
Web site:

The above announcement is taken in full from a notice circulated recently on the <a href=” Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) listserv.

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