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ITU 150


ITU works to increase access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) for persons with disabilities: by raising awareness of their right to access telecommunications/ICTs; mainstreaming accessibility in the development of international telecommunications/ICT standards; and providing education and training on key accessibility issues.
The ITU Secretariat offers an advocacy platform with global reach ( ITU and Accessibility). In addition, the Secretariat oversees the accessibility work undertaken across ITU’s three Sectors, thereby ensuring the efficient coordination of activities carried out in the spheres of development (ITU-D and Accessibility), radiocommunication ( ITU-R and Accessibility), and standardization.

ITU-T and Accessibility:  

  • New - Joint IEC/ISO/ITU Policy Statement on Standardization and accessibility - ITU and IEC, ISO encourage the development of standards that take account of the widest range of characteristics and abilities of persons, including in particular those of older persons, children and persons with disabilities.
  • New - Joint ITU and IPC IPTV Application Challenge "Better Quality of Life with Global Standards: an Accessible World for All" - a Call for interest and a Call for sponsors are now available. The Challenge wishes to raise awareness and increase media and audiovisual accessibility for persons with all abilities.
  • IRG-AVA - Intersector Rapporteur Group Audiovisual Media Accessibility studies topics related to audiovisual media accessibility and aims at developing draft Recommendations for "Access Systems" that can be used for all media delivery systems, including broadcast, cable, Internet, and IPTV. The IRG also addresses matters contributing to the coordination of the standardization work of the involved ITU-T and ITU-R groups and collaborates with other SDOs and other audiovisual media organizations (e.g., forums and consortia, research institutes and academia). 
  • ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia) is the lead ITU study group on telecommunication/ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities and it works to mainstream the consideration of accessibility in the development of multimedia standards, technologies and services. SG16 organizes is accessibility work under Question 26/16 “Accessibility to multimedia systems and services”.
  •  ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ITU-T Study Group 2 (Operational aspects) works to encourage “universal design” and to ensure that developments in telecommunication/ICT do not create new barriers to accessibility and usability. SG2 organizes its accessibility work under Question 4/2 “Human factors related issues for the improvement of the quality of life through international telecommunications”. 
  •  ITU-T Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) worked to stimulate the development of international standards that improve the accessibility of audiovisual (AV) media to persons with disabilities. FG AVA enjoyed a strong relationship with its parent group, ITU-T Study Group 16, and particularly with its Question 26/16. It was successfully concluded in October 2013.
  • Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility and Human Factors (JCA-AHF) acts as the first point of contact for those interested in ITU’s accessibility-related activities, with its chief responsibility being the coordination of accessibility work undertaken within ITU (across ITU-D, ITU-R and ITU-T) and in concert with other United Nations organizations, activities and specialized agencies. Reporting to ITU-T Study Group 2, JCA-AHF works to ensure a comprehensive approach to accessibility across ITU’s various expert groups – a task it carries out in close collaboration with Question 26/16 in ITU-T Study Group 16, Question 4/2 in ITU-T Study Group 2, and Question 20/1 in ITU-D Study Group 1.
  • Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) is a body that works to ensure that ICT accessibility is included in discussions related to Internet governance. DCAD came into being at the 2007 annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and remains a crucial mechanism to ensure that persons with disabilities are consulted and included in meetings of the IGF.

Meetings, Workshops, Events and Panels

Basic tools to assist standards makers

Calendar of Events