Gould, Martin_USA_G3ict_Advancing ICT

“What is Accessibility?”
ICT Accessibility for E-Participation
United Nations
Vienna, Austria 27-28 February 2014
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.
Slide 2
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.
Slide 3
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
 A computer program may not allow use of alternative
input/output devices for persons with motor impairments
Slide 4
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."
Slide 5
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.
Slide 6
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
Slide 7
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
Content discipline
Spatial information
Slide 8
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?
Slide 9
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
Slide 10
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.
Slide 11
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.
Slide 12
Thank you for your attention
[email protected]
Slide 13

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