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IGF workshop no. 136: “Implementing good practices in accessibility for an inclusive society”
Nairobi, Kenya, 28 September 2011


Abdoulaye Dembele, Sotelma, Mali
“Presentation of the Accessible Cybercafé in Bamako, Mali”

ITU has been funding a new Multipurpose center or cybercafe in Bamako, the Malian capital to be accessible for persons with disability, first time users and senior citizens.

Following the lead of this specialized UN agency, ITU (International Telecommunication Union), all non-governmental organizations should encourage third-world countries to equip themselves with multipurpose centers/cybercafés.

Gerry Ellis, Feel The BenefIT, Ireland
"Cloud Computing - silver lining or impending storm for people with disabilities?"

The term "Cloud Computing" was only coined in 2007, yet it is already being seen as a revolution rather than an evolution in ICTs. This presentation will define what it is and, more importantly, what we need to do to ensure that the needs of people with disabilities and other disadvantaged people are included in its development. If included, we can gain disproportionately, but if excluded, we stand to lose disproportionately.

The presentation will also describe an initiative called "Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure" which aims to make accessible products and services widely available to us far more cheaply than at present.

The presentation will conclude by detailing where the author believes immediate actions are required, particularly amongst UN bodies, to ensure that our needs are taken into account when standards and international agreements are drawn up to support the development of Cloud Computing.

Peter Major, DCAD, Switzerland
“Implementation of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability: the Role of the UN and other international organizations”

The main tasks of International Organizations in the implementation of the CRPD are monitoring states parties, setting standards, publish guidelines and give assistance to stakeholders. In the presentation the specific activities of the UN, specialized UN agencies and other international organizations are discussed. Examples of bilateral and multilateral cooperation of the international organizations are given in the implementation of the CRPD. The need to strengthen the role of the UN Inter-Agency Support in coordinating these activities is also emphasized. It is underlined that, conformity with the CRPD all international organizations should assure that their meetings are accessible for persons with disability.

Jorge Plano, ISOC, Argentina
“Update on Web Accessibility Regulations”

Year after year, an increasing number of countries have been producing legal regulations on Web Accessibility and have published and updated technical standard about its implementation. This presentation will show a recopilation of the new regulations that make mandatory the Web Accessibility that have been issued in the last years in different countries. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the technical regulations elaborated by the W3C, producing the version 1.0 in 1999 and the version 2.0 in 2008. In the presentation it will be particularly focused the pace of adoption of the WCAG 2.0.

Cynthia Waddell, International Centre for Disability Resources on the Internet, USA

This is a brief update on the country reports filed with the UN Secretariat regarding compliance with specific Internet provisions under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It will also highlight the new U.S. legislative and regulatory provisions impacting the Internet as enacted under the new 21st Century Commissions and Video Accessibility Act.

Arnoud van Wijk, Real-Time Text Taskforce, The Netherlands
“The role of the Real-Time Text Taskforce Foundation”

Having a disability often leads to social exclusion. To prevent this it is essential that persons with a disability have the same rights and opportunities with focus on equality with persons without disabilities. We are moving away from the traditional medical approach of special needs and rehabilitation where a problem needs to be “fixed” to the approach where the social participation in all aspects in life is central, personally and professionally. The care and attention needs to guarantee their rights as a human to have a good life and be able to be part of and contribute to society.

The big question what many people have now is: ”How to do that”?

In this presentation I will cover the equal communication for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

- Telecom: Using a Text or Sign Relay service, what kind of Internet technology can make this possible? How should such Relay Services work in enabling the communication between voice and non-voice users?
- Participation to meetings, conferences, presentations. In what way can text and sign language users participate to such events where voice dominates? This also applies to remote participation of such conferences and meetings and conference calls.
- Video over Internet. YouTube offering closed captions, but many on-demand video services don’t do that yet. Room for improvement: add captions; make captions visible if they are present and not hidden.

Announce clearly before the video is purchased or downloaded that it indeed has captions.

Arun Mehta, Bidirectional Access Promotion Society, India
“ICTs for those with multiple or cognitive disabilities”

Universal access cannot mean access for almost all. While significant progress has been made through the use of ICTs in the empowerment of persons with certain disabilities, such as deafness or blindness, for those with combinations of disabilities such as the deaf-blind, the hardware needed to connect to the Internet has been unaffordable for most. While persons with cognitive difficulties often prefer computer-mediated communication to face-to-face interaction, little effort has been made to even understand how Internet content and the tools for content production might be made more accessible for them. In particular, tech companies that form such a crucial part of the information society need to pay attention to this, for not only do a disproportionately high number of their employees have cognitive disabilities, their children show even more alarming statistics.






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