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The work of ITU in promoting ICT Standards for Accessibility


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Title: The work of ITU in promoting ICT Standards for Accessibility

The work of ITU in promoting ICT Standards for
International Telecommunication Union
WorkshopAccessibility to ICTs, Shanghai,
China, 23 July 2010
  • Wisit Atipakayoon,
  • Advisor, Regional office for Asia and the
    Pacific, ITU
  • Alexandra Gaspari,
  • TSB Accessibility Coordinator Officer

ITU Overview
Accessibility and Standards and the Work of ITU-T
e-Accessibility and the Work of ITU-D
Planned Activities and Invite for Partnerships
Overview of ITU
ITU Overview
  • Founded in 1865
  • Leading UN Special Agency for ICTs
  • HQs in Switzerland
  • Three sectors (ITU-T, ITU-D, and ITU-R)
  • 4 Regional Offices 7 Area Offices
  • 192 Member States and 750 Sector Members

Established to help spread equitable, sustainable
and affordable access to ICT.
Managing the international radio-frequency
spectrum and satellite orbit resources
ITUs standards-making efforts are its best-known
and oldest activity.
Brings together the top names from across the ICT
industry ministers and regulators for a major
exhibition, a high-level forum a host of other
ITU Asia-Pacific Region
ITU Asia-Pacific
  • Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
    Bangkok, Thailand
  • Area Office for South East Asia Jakarta,
  • The offices serve for 38 Member States and 68
    Sector Members

Low-Income States (10)
The Rest (10)
LDCs (13)
D.P.R. Korea India Indonesia Mongolia Pakistan Phi
lippines Sri Lanka Vietnam Timor Leste
Australia Brunei China/Hong Kong Iran Japan Malay
sia New Zealand R.O. Korea Singapore Thailand
  • Fiji
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Tonga

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan Cambodia Lao,
PDR Maldives Nepal Myanmar
Kiribati Samoa Solomon Is. Tuvalu Vanuatu
SIDS (11)
Key Areas of work of ITU
  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Stewardship of the radio spectrum
  • Adopting international standards to ensure
    seamless global communications and
  • Building confidence and security in the use of
    Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)
  • Use of ICTs to mitigate the detrimental effects
    of climate change
  • Emergency communications
  • Accessibility

Accessibility and Standardsand the Work of ITU-T
Some numbers
  • Statistics Worldwide
  • More than 650 million people with disabilities in
    the world (Source UN)
  • 80 of persons with disabilities live in low
    income countries (Source UNDP)
  • Low income countries, 90 of children with
    disabilities do not have access to school
    (Source UNESCO)
  • Among people living below the poverty level, 1
    out of 5 is a person with disability (Source
    World Bank)

Accessibility and Standards
  • Standards describe how equipment interacts and
    defines the quality necessary for media to be
    usable for all. This is particularly relevant for
    accessibility features
  • In accessibility, standards should also describe
    suitable methods of media delivery for people
    with disabilities, and are therefore essential
    for the provision of services accessible for all
  • Standards are created wherever the critical mass
    of participants can be assembled

ITU-T and Accessibility
  • ITU first to start accessibility studies in 1991
  • Since then, many other standards (i.e.
    Recommendations) have been written for
    accessibility and for mainstreaming accessibility
    within telecommunication/ICT systems.
  • ITU-T has seen the work on accessibility increase
    over the recent years. It should be noted that
    the ITU-T has been promoting accessibility with
    the concept of Total Communication and the
    principle of Design for all since 2000 with
    its Recommendation ITU-T F.703.
  • These two elements promoted the concept of
    Universal Design enshrined in the Convention,
    eight years before its adoption by the UN.
  • The Standardization Sector of the International
    Telecommunications Telecommunication Union -
    (ITU-T) has been seeking to become accessible
    within itself in line with the United Nations
    Convention on the Rights of Persons with
    Disabilities (UNCRPD).

  • In 2008, the World Standardization
    Telecommunication Assembly (WTSA-08) built on
    the momentum for mainstreaming accessibility and
  • the need for advancement on standards for
    accessibility and
  • the need to include persons with disabilities in
    the standards making process
  • This milestone text is the Resolution 70
    Telecommunication/information and communication
    technology accessibility for persons with

ITU-T Resolution 70
  • to work collaboratively and cooperatively with
    other standardization organizations and entities,
    in the field of accessibility
  • to work collaboratively and cooperatively with
    disability organizations in all regions to ensure
    that the needs of the disabled community are
    taken into account in all standardization matters
  • to consider the development of an internship
    programme for people with disabilities who have
    expertise in the field of ICTs, to build capacity
    amongst people with disabilities in the
    standards-making process
  • to create a disability coordination point within
    ITU-T to assist the Director of ITU-T in
    reporting the findings of the review of ITU-T
    services and facilities

ITU-T and the Joint Coordination Activity on
Accessibility and Human Factors (JCA-AHF)
  • Objectives
  • to assist ITU-T Study Groups on how to provide
    accessibility for persons with disabilities in
  • helping to increase awareness on accessibility
    and human factors
  • The JCA-AHF invites recognized organizations and
    individuals with experience in accessibility and
    human factors to share best practices and join
    the work
  • How to participate http//

Study Groups Questions
  • There are two specific Study Groups that have
    specific Accessibility and Human Factors
  • The first one is ITU-T Study Group 2
    (Operational aspects of service provision and
    telecommunications management), parent study
    group of the JCA-AHF. Study Group 2 has a
    specific Human Factors group, namely Question
    4/2, Human factors related issues for improvement
    of the quality of life through international
  • Question 4/2 covers more than just the needs of
    persons with disabilities usability for all
    covers the needs of children, the elderly and
    persons who may or may not have a disability.

ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia coding, systems
and applications)lead study group on
telecommunication/ICT accessibility for persons
with disabilities
  • Question 26/16 is the group specifically
    designated to deal with Accessibility to
    Multimedia Systems and Services for persons with
  • Q26/16 is responsible for developing (or
    assisting in the development of) multimedia
    technical standards addressing accessibility
    needs of persons with disabilities.
  • It also reviews accessibility features included
    in telecom standards developed in other Study
  • ITU-T is launching this year under SG16 a Focus
    Group on Accessibility, in order to group a
    standardization experts working on how to make
    ICTs accessible. More information will be
    available at http//

ITU-T Recommendation F.703 Total conversation
  • A Total Conversation service is an audiovisual
    conversation service providing bidirectional
    symmetric real-time transfer of motion video,
    text and voice between users in two or more
  • This gives the user the feel of real-time
    communication, just like voice or video systems
    that transport streaming media over IP
  • It has uses for people who are not only deaf or
    disabled but people who cant communicate in
    either of the two mediums or do not have the
    command of the spoken language used

Total Conversation puts the user in the center of
the communication society
Real-time text, video, voice is desirable for
all. Desirable for everyday calls and in the
workplace. Essential for emergency calls
Multimedia is essential for people with
Example A deaf-blind woman in a Total
Conversation call, producing sign-language and
receiving text.
ITU-T Recommendation F.790Telecommunications
accessibility guidelines for older persons and
persons with disabilities
  • It intends to provide general guidelines for
    standardizing, planning, developing, designing
    and distributing all forms of telecommunications
  • The goal is to ensure the accessibility for
    people with the widest possible range of

Telecommunications Accessibility Checklist
  • It is a living list/technical paper that should
    be used at the beginning of the standardization
  • It provides a set of reminders for standards
    writers in the area of ICTs and accessibility
  • It helps to ensures that services and features
    are designed and are usable by as many
    individuals as possible with different abilities
  • It should be applied to every work item before
    the work commences, during the work and at the
    completion of the work
  • http//

ITU-T, IGF and DCAD Dynamic Coalition on
Accessibility and Disability
  • Aim
  • The Internet Governance Forums Dynamic
    Coalition on Accessibility and Disability, will
    facilitate interaction between relevant bodies,
    and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in
    the key debates around Internet Governance in
    order to build a future where all sectors of the
    global community have equal access to the
    Information Society.
  • ITU-T sponsors the IGF DCAD with
  • website support.
  • a secretariat
  • a DCAD coordinator
  • Captioned conference calls
  • Organizes the workshops on Accessibility for
    IGFwith the expertise of DCAD members

ITU Standards are Free
  • Since beginning of 2007, ITU-T
    Recommendationsare available without charge.
  • With only a small number of exceptions all
    in-force ITU-T Recommendations are available in
    PDF form at
ITU-T Recommendations and References
  • V.18 - harmonization of text telephony
  • V.151 - text relay end-to-end connection of
    analogue PSTN text telephones over IP
  • T.140 - the general presentation protocol for
    text conversation
  • T.134 - text conversation in the T.120 data
    conferencing environment
  • H.323 - Annex G for text conversation in H.323
    packet multimedia environment
  • H.248.2 - gateway procedures between Text
    Telephony in PSTN and real-time text in IP H
    Series Sup.1 - Video communication requirements
    for sign language and lip reading
  • E.121 - Pictograms, symbols and icons to assist
    users of the telephone service
  • F.910 - Procedures for designing and selecting
    symbols, pictograms and icons
  • E.135 - Human factors aspects of public
    telecommunication terminals for persons with
  • E.136 - Specification of a tactile identifier for
    use with telecommunication cards
  • Y.1901 IPTV requirements that include
    accessibility features mainstreamed in the
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

  • Bringing Accessibility into the standards work
    requires efforts from ITU and its Membership
  • Standards are not enough because without
    Implementation, we do not have Accessibility
  • Without Universal Design being used from the very
    beginning of the standard making process,
    Accessibility implementation becomes expensive
    with retro refitting
  • ITU-T is opening and look forward to new
    opportunities for academia, research bodies and
    persons with disabilities to participate to the
    accessibility standard work.

ITU Accessibility Events in 2010
  • Joint WIPO-ITU Accessibility WorkshopGeneva,
    Switzerland, 2 - 5 February 2010
  • ITU workshop on Accessibility to ICTsExpo-10,
    Shanghai, China, 23 July 2010
  • DCAD workshop on From Athens to Vilnius beyond
    the UN Convention on the rights of persons with
    disabilities IGF, Vilnius, Lithuania, 14 17
    September 2010
  • DCAD - EBU workshop on Can mobile Apps create
    a new golden age of Accessibility?, IGF,
    Vilnius, Lithuania, 14 17 September 2010
  • Joint ITU-EBU Workshop Media access to all,
    Geneva, Switzerland, 24 25 November 2010
  • World Standard Cooperation (ITU, ISO, IEC)
    Workshop on Accessibility and ICTs, Geneva,
    Switzerland, 3 5 November 2010

e-Accessibility and the Work of ITU-D
World Telecommunication Development Conference
  • Serve as forums for free discussion by all
    concerned with the Development Sector. Results
    are reported and new projects are launched.
  • Set the agenda and the guidelines for the
    following four-year cycle, while the Regional
    Conferences review "work-in-progress" towards the
    overall objectives and ensure that goals are met.

World Telecommunication Development Conference
2010 (WTDC-10)
  • ITU Fifth WTDC took place in Hyderabad, India
    from 24 May to 4 June 2010
  • Adopted Hyderabad Declaration and Hyderabad
    Action Plan (HAP) for ITU-D activitied to be
    implemented in the coming 4 years i.e. 2011-2014

For outcomes of the WTDC-10, please visit
ITU-D Objectives
  • The Hyderabad Action Plan (HAP) for 2011 2014
    identifies six (6) objectives of the
    Telecommunication Development Bureau (ITU-D) for
    the next coming 4 years.
  • One of the objectives relates to Persons with

Objective 5
To build human and institutional capacity in
order to improve skills in the development and
use of telecommunication/ICT networks and
applications, and to foster digital inclusion for
people with special needs, such as persons with
disabilities, through awareness raising, training
activities, sharing information and know-how and
the production and distribution of relevant
ITU Development Programs (2011-14)
Information and communication infrastructure and
technology development
Programme 1
Cybersecurity, ICT Applications and IP-based
network-related issues
Programme 2
Enabling Environment
Programme 3
Capacity Building and digital inclusion
Programme 4
Least developed countries, countries in special
need, emergency telecommunications and climate
change adaptation
Programme 5
ITU Development Programs (2011-14)
Programme 4 Capacity Building and Digital
  • To assist the membership in developing and
    implementing national strategies, plans, policies
    and practices to achieve digital inclusion for
    people with special needs, including fostering
    accessible telecommunications/ICTs, such as
    making assistive technologies available for PwDs,
    and ensuring basic ICT literacy training and use
    of telecommunications/ICTs for economic and
    social development, poverty reduction and wealth
  • To support the membership in providing greater
    availability, development and usage of local
    content, languages and corresponding websites for
    people with special needs, taking into account
    accessibility for persons with disabilities
  • To raise awareness among governmental and
    private-sector decision-makers on the importance
    of digital inclusion for people with disabilities

ITU-D Study Group 1 2011-2014
Study Group 1 Chairman Roxanne McElvane (USA)
Vice-Chairmen Regina Fleur Assoumou (Cote
dIvorie) Blanca Gonzales (Spain) Muwaffaq Abu
Aqola (Jordan) Kirill Balov (Uzbekistan) Nguyen
Quy Quyen (Viet Nam)
WTDC-10 maintained two study groups and
determined the Questions to be studied by
them. Among Questions adopted at the conference,
one Question is related to Persons with
  • Study Group 1
  • Question 20-1/1 Access to telecommunication
    services and information and communication
    technologies (ICTs) by persons with disabilities

WTDC Resolution 58 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010)
Access to ICT by Persons with Disabilities,
including persons with age-related disabilities
  • Invites Member States to
  • Ratify the Convention on the Rights of PwDs and
    to take the relevant measures to effectively make
    ICT services, equipment and software accessible
    to PwDs
  • Develop national laws, regulations, policies,
    guidelines or other mechanisms for ICT
    accessibility for PwDs under the principles of
    equal access, functional equivalence,
    affordability and universal design, by taking
    full advantage of available tools, guidelines and
  • Collect data on ICT accessibility by PwDs, in a
    disaggregated manner, aimed at creating
    e-accessibility statistics and in the near
    future relevant indicators that contribute to
    the policy-making process
  • Consider introducing ICT accessible services for
    PwDs such as telecommunications/relay services
    (hearing and speech disabilities), accessible
    websites, public phones with accessibility
    features (e.g. volume control, information in
    Braille), public schools, institutions and
    community centres with various accessible
    equipment including screen readers, Braille
    printers, hearing aids, among others

WTDC Resolution 58 (Rev. Hyderabad, 2010)
Access to ICT by Persons with Disabilities,
including persons with age-related disabilities
  • Invites Member States to (contd)
  • Encourage and enable active participation by
    PwDs, both as individuals and as organizations,
    in the policy-making process for ICTs and related
    areas where ICTs have an impact, by ensuring that
    the consultation process, meetings and/or surveys
    are accessible to participation by persons with
  • Promote and undertake research and development of
    ICT accessible equipment, services and software,
    with emphasis on open-source software and
    affordable equipment and services
  • Envisage establishing a programme that considers
    ICT accessibility priorities, to be periodically
    reviewed in order to ensure its relevance to the
    specific local conditions of a country/region,
    with a view to progressive implementation
  • Mainstream ICT accessibility for PwDs, which
    involves taking into consideration accessibility
    principles in a cross-cutting manner
  • Consider exemption from taxes and customs duties
    on ICT devices and assistive equipment for PwDs,
    in accordance with the national regulations on
    this matter and,
  • Establish ongoing and permanent collaboration
    between developed and developing countries in
    order to exchange information, technology and
    best practices related to ICT accessibility for

e-Accessibility Toolkit
ITU/G3ict launched e-accessibility Policy
Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities -
  • ITU jointly with ESCAP and various partners
    organized the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on
    Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with
    Disabilities on 25-27 Aug 2009 in Bangkok,
  • The event welcomed some 140 participants from 21
    countries, including policy makers, regulators,
    operators, industry representatives, NGOs and
    disabled persons organizations, as well as
    experts and ICT professionals including disabled
    persons from across the region and beyond

Planned Activities and Invite for Partnerships
ITU-D Invites Partners to
  • Develop and update tools and guidelines for
    use/reference by Member States in mainstreaming
    ICT accessibility issues in their
    national/regional policies and regulations, and
    provide the necessary capacity building
  • Identify and document examples of best practice
    for accessibility in the field of
    telecommunications/ICT for dissemination, sharing
    of experiences and provision of information among
    ITU Member States and Sector Members
  • Hold seminars, symposiums or forums for
    policy-makers, telecommunications regulators and
    Sector Members at which ICT accessibility
    policies are presented and discussed, and also to
    promote the elaboration of books, reports or
    literature that address ICT accessibility for
  • Collaborate and cooperate with relevant United
    Nations entities and disability organizations in
    all regions in order to generate awareness of the
    need for the design and implementation of
    policies or self-regulatory approaches that will
    make ICTs accessible for PwDs

ITU Asia-Pacific Planned Events in 2011
No Title Partners Host Country(potential )
1 Digital Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities and Ageing Societies MCDYS/IDA, UNESCAP Singapore
2 Regional Training/Workshop on the Use of Telecommunications/ICTs for Emergency Communications UNESCAP, CTO, TSF, PITA/SPC, APT, UNDP, ISDR Mongolia
3 Joint Cross-sectoral Ministerial Forum for the Pacific SPC / PITA / USP / PIFS / ESCAP / WB New Caledonia / Marshall Islands
4 Regional Event for Cyber-security e.g. for prosecutors judiciary UNODC / IMPACT Thailand / Korea R.O.
5 Regional Symposium for Digital Broadcasting ABU/AIBD Singapore / Malaysia
6 Regional Workshop on workshop on Developing a National Cyber-security Framework IMPACT / APT Malaysia
7 Joint ITU/PITA/USP Training Programme for the Pacific USP / PITA / SPC Fiji Islands
8 BDT/TSB Joint Meeting (e.g. standardization matters IPv6) CTO  tbc
9 BDT/TSB/BR Study Group Meeting    tbc
10 ITU/MIIT Seminar (CIS) MIIT China
11 Asia Media Summit AIBD Viet Nam
12 Cross-regional Broadband Access Seminar CIS / ADB Russia
13 Partnership Platform for Private Sector AIFI / COAI / PITA / ITU-AJ India
14 ITU/UNESCO Training Workshop on ICT Applications UNESCO / Thailand
15 Sub-regional Telecommunication Meeting for CLMV ADB tbc
ITU Accessibility websites
  • More information
  • ITU-T accessibility portalhttp//
  • Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility
    and Human Factors (JCA-AHF)http//
  • Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and

Thank you!
  • For more information, please contact
  • Wisit Atipakayoon, Advisor, ITU office for the
    Asia and the PacificEmail wisit.atipakayoon_at_itu.
    intTel. 662 574 8565       
  • Alexandra GaspariTSB Accessibility
    Coordinator Officer
  • Email
  • Tel.41 22 730 5158