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Accessibility Policy making - An international perspective

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Unprecedented opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in society ... Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) enacted in1992 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Accessibility Policy making - An international perspective


1
  • Accessibility Policy making - An international
    perspective
  • Nirmita Narasimhan
  • Centre for Internet and Society, India

2
Agenda
  • The Information Age
  • Barriers
  • UNCRPD
  • Accessibility policies around the world
  • Considerations for a Good policy

3
The Information Age
  • Unprecedented opportunities for persons with
    disabilities to participate in society
  • Access to knowledge, information and services
  • Possibility of ensuring equal opportunities for
    all
  • Inclusion and participation in society
  • Involvement in social, cultural, business and
    administrative processes

4
Barriers
  • Inaccessible and unaffordable technologies
  • Inaccessible web sites
  • Unsupportive laws
  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of accountability on the internet

5
UNCRPD
  • Recognises that accessibility to information and
    services is vital for persons with disabilities
    to enjoy a complete inclusive and participatory
    life in society
  • Recognises accessibility on the internet as a
    fundamental element for persons with disabilities
    to exercise their rights
  • Art 9 requires all information technologies to be
    accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Various countries have recognised the need for
    accessibility, even before the coming into force
    of the UNCRPD and formulated laws and policies to
    give effect to this.

6
Accessibility Policy Study
  • Key step in policy making
  • Researching available options in neighbouring
    countries
  • Learning from past mistakes and best practices
  • Cut your cloth to suit your needs

7
Accessibility policies around the world
  • We now examine the policies across seven
    countries to give us an idea of the
  • modalities involved in formulating a policy on
    internet accessibility
  • the implications and repercussions in different
    countries
  • effective implementation and monitoring models
    and
  • possibilities for improvement
  • Countries examined Australia, Germany, India,
    Japan, Korea, UK, USA

8
Accessibility policies Australia
  • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) enacted
    in1992
  • DDA Advisory notes for web accessibility
    published in 2002 applicable to all service
    providers
  • Guide to minimum website standards in 2000 and
    revised in 2003
  • Guidelines compliant with WCAG 1.0
  • Advisory notes and guidelines not legally
    enforceable but DDA provisions are (case law
    Maguire vs. SOCOG, 2000)
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
    (HREOC) promotes DDA objectives and provides
    advice on implications and monitoring

9
Accessibility policies Germany
  • Act on Equal Opportunities for Disabled persons
    (2002)
  • Web Accessibility covered by Barrier free
    Information technology Ordinance (BiTV)
  • Federal BiTV based on WCAG 1.0 state level
    standards non uniform
  • Barrier free environment also includes
    communication, living environments etc.
  • Applicable to authorities, health insurances and
    other bodies, foundations and public institutions
  • Legally enforceable
  • Federal govt appoints a commissioner for the
    Interests of persons with disabilities
  • Ordinance effectiveness to be reviewed
    periodically

10
Accessibility policies India
  • Generic legislation Persons with Disabilities
    (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights Full
    Participation) Act 1995
  • No accessibility specific legislation or policy
    yet
  • Policy is work in progress government working
    with NGOs and disability rights groups to frame
    policy
  • Signatory to both UNCRPD (2006) and Biwako
    Millennium framework towards an Inclusive,
    Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for PWDs in
    Asia and the Pacific (2002)
  • In absence of domestic law on accessibility,
    international conventions and norms are read into
    domestic law where they do not contradict enacted
    domestic law

11
Accessibility policies Japan
  • No overall legislation, web and electronic
    accessibility covered by Japanese Industrial
    Standards (JIS) X 8341
  • Not legally binding, open to substantial
    interpretation
  • Guidelines mandatory for government agencies,
    optional for others
  • Some guidelines borrowed from WCAG with
    compliance issues arising from nature of Japanese
    language and character set

12
Accessibility policies South Korea
  • Disability Discrimination Act (2007) provides
    rights, reasonable accommodations, agencies and
    defines web accessibility obligations
  • Informatization act (2009) covers ICT access and
    usage for PWDs and the elderly
  • Guidelines for improving accessibility (2002)
  • Guidelines based on WCAG 1.0 and 2.0
  • 5 policy groups - Developing and supplying
    assistive technologies for PWD, operating ICT
    accessibility programs, developing ICT
    accessibility standards, conducting research and
    increasing awareness

13
Accessibility policies UK
  • Generic legislation - Disability Discrimination
    Act (1995, amended 2005), no accessibility
    specific legislation
  • Code of Practice outlines duties under the DDA
    and provides best practice guidelines
  • PAS 78 (2006) guide to commissioning accessible
    websites, partial reference to WCAG
  • Applicable to any service provider both public
    and private

14
Accessibility policies USA
  • Generic legislation like Americans with
    Disabilities Act (ADA 1990), Rehabilitation
    Act(1973)
  • Sec 508 of Rehabilitation Act (1973 amended
    1998), covers web accessibility but is not
    compliant with WCAG
  • Sec 251 (a)(2) and 255 of Telecommunications Act
    (1996) require communications services and
    equipment to be accessible by PWDs
  • Sec 508 applicable to federal government websites
    and agencies receiving federal funding state
    government requirements and standards vary
  • Signed UNCRPD only in 2009

15
Accessibility Policies Summary
  • Chart depicting the position of countries with
    respect to the types of accessibility policies
    (legislation vs. policy) and scope of coverage
    (whether only generic or web or covering other
    aspects of accessibility as well). The countries
    best placed score high on both aspects.

Japan USA Germany Korea
India UK Australia
High (covers web other infrastructure)
Scope of Coverage
Low (only generic or web)
High (Legislation and guideline or policy)
Low (only guideline or policy)
Type of policy
16
Accessibility Policies Key Features
  • Coverage types of accessibility included e.g.
    web, electronic, other
  • Scope - legislation vs. policy
  • WCAG compliance
  • Applicability public sector only or private
    sector as well
  • Mechanisms for review, monitoring and compliance

17
Considerations for a Good Policy
  • Futuristic
  • Interoperable with other policies
  • Leave room for modification
  • Unambiguous and clear in its mandate
  • Determine accountability
  • Ensure a smooth and effective mechanism for
    implementation and evaluation
  • Involve both the public and private sector
  • Have a definite time frame for implementation
  • Involve persons with disabilities in every stage
    of the policy formulation and implementation
    process

18
Thank You !
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