Standards and Law - Twins to be Aware of


Increasingly legislation concerning accessibility must be observed in public eProcurement, websites of public institutions, mobile devices to access public information, ICT development etc. This situation strongly supports the important role of assistive technology (AT) and its applications in eAccessibility and eInclusion.

As legislation regularly refers to standards, compliance to standards is highly relevant in risk management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and other aspects of decision making. The EU pursues a standardization policy to comply with its own and its member states' obligations as signatories to the UN's Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This policy is strategically tied into the EU's innovation, R&D and industrial development strategies.

Several major EU-projects in the field of eAccessiblity and eInclusion have collected information on standards and analysed pertinent standards, information on and access to standards. It was found that looking for standards is very difficult for those not engaged in standardization activities. Given the fact that standards can be strong enablers for PwD in societal and work environments, not knowing about standards can lead to frustrating experiences up to management risks.

Still, standards are often perceived as a barrier hindering or even preventing persons with disabilities (PwD) and their representatives as well as researchers and developers in the field. Thus, they are reluctant to contribute to the development of pertinent standards. The EU project IN LIFE condensed this concern in the "Recommendation 2016 concerning standards about eAccessibility and eInclusion".

The ICCHP2018 STS on "Standards and Law – Twins to be aware of" will focus among others on:

  • How to engage in standardization and the benefits drawn from it?
  • Major gaps in standardization: e.g. regarding the needs of PwD in daily life, AT adoption processes, etc.
  • Benefits of standards-based certification schemes: e.g. for (skills as well as competences of) experts working in the field of eAccessibility and eInclusion, AT tools and devices, web content accessibility, etc.
  • Management aspects: compliance to legal and standards' requirements, facilitate risk management, (standards-compliance as) marketing argument, cost savings (incl. lower insurance fees), promotion (incl. avoidance of bad news in the media), CSR (corporate social responsibility)
  • Recent developments in legislation and standardization
  • Results of major projects in the field
  • Standards-based certification schemes: benefits for users, such as 
    • persons with disabilities (PwD) and their representatives (e.g. to be able to engage in standards development)
    • pertinent industry to find information on standards and standardization activities (e.g. for the sake of 'investment security')
    • researchers and developers (e.g. for the sake of scientific discussion and to avoid duplication of efforts)
    • care-giving organizations/institutions (e.g. to avoid conflict over contracts with tool or service providers)
    • policy makers and legislators (e.g. to keep legal regulations and standards coherent)
  • Standards and certification helping PwD: e.g. for entering professional life and making a career
  • The AAATE/SIG "Standardization": mission, aims and plans, platform for sharing expertise and efforts

Contributions to the STS have to be submitted using the standard submission procedures of ICCHP.

Christian Galinski
Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf
ICCHP 2018
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