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“What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation “What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation G3ict United Nations Vienna,

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Presentation on theme: "“What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation “What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation G3ict United Nations Vienna,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation “What is Accessibility?” ICT Accessibility for E-Participation G3ict United Nations Vienna, Austria February 2014

2 Slide 2 Accessibility for E-Participation "The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.“ - Sir Tim Berners-Lee This quote represents Tim Berners-Lee reacting to news that even when a resource could be found, and be delivered to a particular user, it was not in necessarily in a form that a user could access.

3 Slide 3 What is Meant by Accessibility as it Relates to Information and Communications Technology (ICT)? Accessibility is a measure of extent a product or service can be used by person with disability as easily as used by person without disability. If a blind person can use all functions of airline kiosk just as easily as a sighted person, kiosk said to be fully accessible to blind people. A person who uses a wheelchair might find the same kiosk difficult or impossible to reach. It’s then described as partially accessible or inaccessible to wheelchair user.

4 Slide 4 Issue: Accessibility Barriers Limit the e-Participation of Persons with Disabilities  ICT barriers affect persons living with sensorial, mental, intellectual and physical disabilities including the elderly  For instance:  A television program or emergency announcement may not be signed or captioned for a deaf person  A web site or government data base may not be accessible to a screen reader user  A bank ATM may be too high for a person in a wheel chair to operate its keyboard  A mobile phone may not offer alternative user interfaces for persons with dexterity issues, low vision or cognitive challenges  A computer program may not allow use of alternative input/output devices for persons with motor impairments

5 Slide 5 Accessibility Barriers Can Limit e-Participation of People without a Disablity For me “ICT accessibility” has meaning. As a user, I’m pretty mainstream. I run Safari or Internet Explorer on Windows with a big, full-color screen. I don’t exactly fall into category most people think of when worrying about "ICT accessibility" but accessibility problems still crop up. Server is down? I can’t access a site. Connection dies between client and server? No access. Internet Explorer can’t see the site? I can’t find it. Flaky browser chokes on a piece of code? No access. Lose my new “computer” eyeglasses? I can’t read screen. What I'm getting at here is, strictly speaking, phrase "ICT accessibility" for me is “ability of people to access information being presented."

6 Slide 6 Does Accessibility Mean Anything Else? When legislation or policy require ICT products and services to be accessible, a recognized accessibility standard is usually referenced.  ICT accessibility standards try to quantify accessibility in measurable ways listing required attributes, objective tests and pass/fail criteria.  Example: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) specifies testable “success criteria” for three compliance levels (A, AA or AAA), so possible to say objectively if site accessible to recognized level.  Whether web page is “accessible” can be answered by stating if it complies with agreed level (A, AA or AAA) of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.  But for many types of ICT products, there are no internationally agreed, objective and complete accessibility standards. So compliance with standards often cannot be relied on as a measure of accessibility.

7 Slide 7 What Principles Should We Follow Regarding ICT Accessibility?  Three principles to follow: a user must be able to perceive, understand, and operate every control, instruction or output.  Perceiving a control, instruction or output means being aware of its existence and able to access its information  Understanding means knowing what it means and how to use it  Operating means able to reach a control, and interact with it in required way; might mean pressing, moving, twisting or pulling

8 Slide 8 What Considerations Should We Take Into Account for ICT Accessibility?  Five considerations can affect accessibility may need to be addressed when designing, buying, or using ICTs  Related to age  Language and Culture  Location  Content discipline  Spatial information

9 Slide 9 Other ICT Accessibility Issues to Be Aware of?  One of the most important lessons we are learning in the area of ICTs is that accessibility is a cultural practice. We’re often faced with circumstances and conditions requiring us to answer questions like:  How do we design a mobile money service for people in rural Uganda who’ve never had a bank account?  How do we test ability of a mobile phone’s address book for users in rural India who’ve never had an address, much less an analog address book?  How do we find right balance in designing accessible digital technologies and eSystems for local communities located in low resource environments?

10 Slide 10 What Are Implications for Use of ICT Accessibility Best Practices?  Need to Incorporate a Methodology When Considering Replicating Transfer of a Best Practice  Consider a Framework with Multi-level Focus on: Community Environment, Policy and Program, and Individual Person  Need to Think Beyond Typical Supply-Side Issues of: Affordability and Availability  Consider Critical Dimensions of:  Applicability  Acceptability  Adoptability/Adaptability

11 Slide 11 ICT Accessibility and Universal Design  As inexpensive PCs and mobile phones flood global market, usability and user experience professionals encounter similar questions that challenge: our policy tools; assumptions about how people engage with digital technologies; and, how to design ICTs for accessibility for maximum set of specified users accommodated..which is basically Universal Design.  Two prevailing definitions of Universal Design: (1) “The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” (Ron Mace, 1985); and (2) “The design for human diversity, social inclusion, and equality.” (Design for All Europe, 2008). The first, and most widely used, definition reflects its roots in disability rights movement. The second is more relevant to all citizens without ignoring people with disabilities. This is ICT accessibility for all.

12 Slide 12 What Should We Expect From Focus on ICT Accessibility, Universal Design (UD)..and Zero Project 2014?  A primary objective: of UD is empower people with disabilities, people who are elderly, all people, so they can participate as 1st class citizens in knowledge society, and make lives more productive within a tightly knit "national family.”  To be certain: Accessibility initiatives are part of a global investment strategy to join social policy to economic policy to human rights to the benefit of all three.  For this reason, I believe, the projects highlighted by Zero Project 2014 are made up of serious economic and social change agents. This conference not just nod to good intentions – it is about taking action and paving new roads ahead.

13 Slide 13 Thank you for your attention


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