Accessibility

other choike reports
Source: U.N. Enable
Countries are to promote access to information by providing information intended for the general public in accessible formats and technologies, by facilitating the use of Braille, sign language and other forms of communication and by encouraging the media and Internet providers to make on-line information available in accessible formats. August 2007. [see more]
"Disability isn't something you have, it is something that happens when one group of people create barriers by designing the world only for their style of living."

In the world as it is designed today, lack of accessibility to the physical environment -including housing, buildings, streets and other outdoor environments, public transport services and other means of transportation- is still a major barrier for persons with disabilities. Similarly, the new information and communication technology (ICT) developed over the last ten years, despite creating opportunities for people with disabilities in networking, solidarity employment and independent living, has also widened the gap between disabled and non-disabled users. The digital divide includes inaccessibility to infrastructure for ICT, Internet, and ICT skills by people with disabilities.

International standards exist which stress the overall importance of accessibility in the process of the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities, and make recommendations for the creation non-handicapping environments and ensuring access to information and communication. Nonetheless, national governments, particularly in the South, have been slow to adopt such measures, and few substantive initiatives have been taken at policy level.

However, an active and globally linked movement of disabled people’s organizations is making sure that the issue of accessibility remains firmly on the agenda. They have shown that universal design approaches benefit all people in society, and make economic sense, too. They press for accessibility requirements to be included in the design and construction of the physical environment from the very beginning of the planning process, and promote adaptive technologies and design practices that would help improve access to Internet resources. Fundamental to achieving these goals is the input and participation of disabled users themselves.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
August 2006


After five years of negotiations, countries meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York have agreed on a new treaty to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The convention will be formally sent to the General Assembly for adoption at its next session, which begins in September 2006. It will then be open for signing and ratification by all countries. Convention's Article 9 agees on accessibility:

ARTICLE 9
ACCESSIBILITY


1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:
  • (a) Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces;

  • (b) Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.

2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:
  • (a) Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public;

  • (b) Ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;

  • (c) Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;

  • (d) Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;

  • (e) Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;

  • (f) Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;

  • (g) Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communication technologies and systems, including the Internet;

  • (h) Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.
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UPDATES
Thursday, August 23 2007
Accessibility on the Convention
(Source: U.N. Enable)
Friday, December 08 2006
E-accessibility is theme of International Day of Disabled Persons
(Source: U.N. Press Release)

Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (U.N.)

Accessibility on the Convention (U.N. Enable)

Civil society: internet accessibility initiatives

WWW Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative

WorldEnable

International Commission on Technology and Accessibility

Access of disabled persons to communications in the Dominican Republic (DPI)

Disability and media: Real Live Media project

Digital Accessible Information SYstem (DAISY)

The UN Standard Rules

Implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

United Nations' Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

The Standard Rules and Internet accessibility (World Enable)

Design manuals for a barrier-free environment

Accessibility for the disabled: a design manual for a barrier-free environment (UN DESA)

Promotion of non-handicapping physical environments for disabled persons (UN ESCAP)

Guidelines on other accessibility issues

Mobility for all: accessible transportation around the world (Institute of Independent Living)

Access for all: helping to make participatory processes accessible for everyone (Save the Children UK)

International Day Of Disabled Persons Information Kit (Disabled People South Africa)

Debate

Global human rights efforts of women with disabilities (Feminist International Radio Endeavour (FIRE))

Beijing + 10: position paper on women with disabilities (WHRNET)

An interview with Dinah Radtke (WHRNET)

Report of the Working Group to the Ad Hoc Committee (United Nations)

Resources divide delegates drafting disabled rights text (IPS)

Information resources

Mobility for the disabled poor

Peru: towards an accesible tourism

Disability World

Internet accessibility in Central and Eastern Europe (World Enable)

International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC)

Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE)

Accessible travel

Accessibility on the Internet (UN DESA)

Alliance for Technology Access (ATA)

Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI)

Introduction to web accessibility (WebAIM)

The Curitiba transport system: an example of universal design within developing economies (Disability World)

Civil society: promoting non-handicapping environments

Building non-handicapping environments

Association for the Development of People with Disabilities (Asociación Pro Desarrollo de la Persona con Discapacidad)

Disabled People's Association Singapore

The Disability Network

Advocating for universal design support from the World Bank (Disability World)

Accessibility progress in the "Rio City Project" (Disability World)

Promotion of non-handicapping environments for persons with disabilities in India (Disability World)

Auditing access in India (Voices for ability)

'Accessible cities' project in Ekaterinburg, Russia (Disability World)

Nicaragua: accessibility for all (Disability World)

Global Forum on Disability in the Information Society

Developing the gender dimension in India’s disability rights movement (Voices for ability)

Civil society: other accessibility issues

Election access

Access to the banking system (Disability World)

Other international norms and programmes

Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons 1993-2002: Agenda for Action

ESCAP Promotion of non-handicapping environments

Council of Europe Resolution on universal design

Inter-American Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (1999)

United Nations' World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons

E-accessibility is theme of International Day of Disabled Persons (U.N. Press Release)

Accessibility guidelines

Creating accessible HTML (Deaf Resource Library)

Web site accessibility (Land Grant Training Alliance)

Web content accessibility guidelines (WWW Consortium)

Regional instruments

Ensuring full participation, equality and empowerment of persons with disabilities in Africa (PAFOD)

Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) (APCD)

Discussion lists

Forum on access and universal design

Forum on accessibility


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