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ITU-T SG 16 Work on Accessibility - Guidelines

ITU-T Question 26/16 developed the ITU-T Recommendation F.790 for telecommunications accessibility guidelines for the elderly and people with disabilities. The original proposal submitted by Japan, November 2004, was progressed and started the approval process in November 2006.

The spectacular growth in information communication technology (ICT), in particular the rapid proliferation of the Internet, means that people are required to use telecommunications equipment and services much more frequently than before. Although the new technology has provided substantial benefits, there is a possibility that older persons and persons with disabilities cannot enjoy these benefits due to a lack of accessibility provided to consume those telecommunication services. This issue is becoming more serious with the increasing percentage of aging persons worldwide. In response, some nations started to develop their own guidelines for telecommunications accessibility. In today’s world, however, telecommunications equipment moves freely across national borders. Thus, in order to enhance telecommunications accessibility, guidelines are indispensable not only domestically but also internationally.

The ITU-T Recommendation on telecommunication accessibility guidelines is intended to provide general guidelines for standardizing, planning, developing, designing and distributing all forms of telecommunications equipment and software and associated telecommunications services, to enhance their accessibility for older persons and persons with permanent or temporary disabilities, ensuring accessibility for people with the widest possible range of abilities.