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:
ITU-T Study Group 16 (Multimedia and digital technologies) is the lead ITU study group on human factors and ICT accessibility for digital inclusion and it works to mainstream the consideration of accessibility in the development of multimedia standards, technologies and services. SG16 organizes accessibility work under
Question 24/16 "Human factors for intelligent user interfaces and services" and
Question 26/16 "Accessibility to multimedia systems and services". See "SG16 work on accessibbility" and "Accessibility and standardization".
ITU-T SG9 Question 11/9 "Accessibility to cable systems and services"
ITU-T SG20 Question 2/20 "Requirements, capabilities and architectural frameworks across verticals enhanced by emerging digital technologies" - has Work Items on accessibility requirements for IoT systems
- ITU-T Focus Group on metaverse (FG-MV)
WG8 "Sustainability, accessibility and inclusion"
Joint Coordination Activitty 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, ISO, IEC, regional and national SDOs, industry groups, academia, disability organizations and telecommunication user groups for persons with disabilities. Reporting to TSAG, JCA-AHF works to ensure a comprehensive approach to accessibility in close collaboration with ITU’s various expert groups, especially Question 24/16, 26/16 in ITU-T Study Group 16, and Question 7/1 in ITU-D Study Group 1.
Intersector Rapporteur Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (IRG-AVA) 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).
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.
ITU Mainstream Accessibility - Flyer