Model ICT accessibility

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DIGITAL INCLUSION Model ICT accessibility POLICY REPORT Report Telecommunication Development Sector November 2014 This International Telecommunication Union report was prepared in cooperation with the
DIGITAL INCLUSION Model ICT accessibility POLICY REPORT Report Telecommunication Development Sector November 2014 This International Telecommunication Union report was prepared in cooperation with the G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, under the supervision of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) Special Initiatives Division. Lead Authors: ITU expert Mandla Msimang was the lead author of this report. G3ict experts Dónal Rice and Clas Thorén authored the model accessible ICT public procurement policy framework module. Contributors: Axel Leblois, Founder and Executive Director of G3ict Susan Schorr, Head, Special Initiatives Division Reviewers: The development of the ITU-G3ict model policies would not have been possible without the input of experts involved in developing, promoting and implementing ICT accessibility solutions as regulators, advocates or industry participants, and the following reviewers are gratefully acknowledged for their invaluable contribution, advice and support: Gunela Astbrink, GSA InfoComm (Australia) Francesca Cesa Bianchi, G3ict, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs Judy Brewer, W3C WAI Simão Campos, ITU-T David Capozzi, U.S. Access Board Kevin Carey, Royal National Institute for the Blind (U.K.) and World Blind Union Monica Duhem, Hearcolors (Mexico) PJ Edington, IBM Chiara Giovannini, ANEC (Belgium) Larry Goldberg, Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH (United States) Sven-Eric Hargeskog, Swedish Development Agency (Sweden) Alex Li, Microsoft Corporation Peter Looms, Danish Broadcasting Corporation (retired), Chair of the ITU-T Focus Group on Audio Visual Accessibility (Denmark) Ileana M. Martinez, Standards Coordination Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States) Phosa Mashangoane, Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (South Africa) Susan Mazrui, AT&T Mary Jo Mueller, IBM Research, Human Ability & Accessibility Center Pilar Orero, HBB4All (Spain) Robert Pearson, Accessible Media Inc. (Canada) Andrea Saks, ITU-T Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility and Human Factors Karen Peltz Strauss, Federal Communications Commission (United States) Anne Marie Rohally, Microsoft Corporation James Thurston, Microsoft Corporation David Wood, European Broadcasting Union (Switzerland) Please consider the environment before printing this report. ITU 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means whatsoever, without the prior written permission of ITU. Foreword ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities is a priority for ITU members. At the last ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) ITU members recognized the need to ensure that the one billion people living with some form of disability can use information and communication technology (ICT) for their empowerment. How do we make ICT accessibility a reality? ICT accessibility means removing barriers so that persons with disabilities can use ICTs. The barriers faced depend on a person s disability/ Our previous publications, Making mobile phones and services accessible and Making television accessible have documented the accessibility needs of persons with visual, hearing, mobility, dexterity, and cognitive disabilities. One of the key steps to make ICT a reality is to establish an enabling environment for ICT accessibility, just as nations have established enabling environments to authorize competition in the provision of ICT services. A little over ten years ago, countries around the world created policy and regulatory frameworks that unleashed unprecedented growth in mobile and Internet use. These frameworks led to universal access and service levels beyond the imagination of policy-makers in earlier years: by the end of 2014, we expect nearly 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions and almost 3 billion Internet users. Despite these advances, very few nations today have acted to ensure that persons with disabilities are part of this technology revolution. Persons with disabilities continue to face barriers in using ICTs. I believe that creating and implementing national ICT accessibility policy frameworks will lead to unprecedented growth in accessible ICTs and the empowerment of persons with disabilities. The impact of these policies will be enjoyed by many others, including immigrants, aging and illiterate populations, and will open doors to inclusive education, employment and health services. This Model ICT accessibility policy report is designed as a tool for national policy-makers and regulators to create their own ICT accessibility policy frameworks. It includes six modules focusing on different aspects of ICT accessibility (amendments to the existing ICT legal framework, public ICT access, mobile communications, television/video programming and public procurement of accessible ICTs) so that countries can prioritize implementation. In all modules the approach is to develop national policies in consultation with persons with disabilities. ITU members, in the Final Report of WTDC-14, requested ITU to assist them in formulating national and regional policy and regulatory frameworks on ICT accessibility. It is my hope that this report will serve as a valuable resource for ITU members and all stakeholders as they strive to implement successful ICT accessibility policies in their countries. My sincere appreciation goes to our colleagues at G3ict with whom we developed this report, along with the authors and all the stakeholders who provided invaluable comments on the report. I am convinced that we can make ICT accessibility a reality. Let us now move from words to action and begin formulating, implementing, and monitoring ICT accessibility policies in close consultation with persons with disabilities. Brahima Sanou Director Telecommunication Development Bureau iii Publisher s note This report represents the culmination of seven years of cooperation between the International Telecommunication Union and G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, in gathering good practices and facilitating exchanges among policy-makers, organizations of persons with disabilities representatives and industry leaders promoting the accessibility of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in compliance with the dispositions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Translating those dispositions into policies, laws and regulations requires a carefully crafted ICT accessibility enabling framework. Different types of ICT equipment and services, ranging from public ICT access points, mobile devices and services, television and video programming and equipment, web sites as well as all ICTs purchased via public procurement require distinct accessibility solutions involving different groups of stakeholders. These solutions can be achieved through common approaches, leveraging technological innovation and the adoption of international standards that ensure economies of scale that offer considerable opportunities for persons with disabilities. Each module calls for a common approach of defining detailed implementation plans and execution of well-defined targets based upon ongoing consultations among industry, service providers, organizations of persons with disabilities, standards development organizations, and policy-makers and regulators. Thus, the six modules of this report, while offering policy frameworks inspired by existing good practices and available technologies from around the world, all emphasize the critical importance of setting up processes involving relevant stakeholder in developing and monitoring ICT accessibility policies with persons with disabilities. Within the UN System, the ITU leadership in promoting ICT accessibility plays an important role in realizing the promises of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The development of this report would not have been possible without the strong commitment to ICT accessibility of the entire ITU executive team, the support and encouragements of Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) and the energy and dedication of Ms Susan Schorr, Head of ITU-D Special Initiatives Department who oversaw this project and ensured that its contents meet ITU membership needs. The editing and review process of this report, after the successful completion of the joint ITU-G3ict e- Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities, demonstrate once more the benefits of multistakeholder participation. Our sincere appreciation goes to all contributors and module reviewers who have contributed their wisdom and experience to this report and to Ms Mandla Msimang, our lead author, who has applied her energy to completing this monumental task with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of regulatory and policy development processes. It is our hope, that these model policies will facilitate faster, more effective ICT accessibility policy developments around the world, and set the stage for effective multi-stakeholder engagement in promoting accessible ICTs, an essential enabler of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in our digital world. Axel Leblois President and Executive Director G3ict v Table of contents Module 1: ICT accessibility legal, policy, and regulatory framework... Page 1. Options for regulation Technology and standards Review of definitions in existing ICTs Promoting participation by persons with disabilities in policy-making Recommendations Universal access and service (UAS) framework Quality of service for ICT accessibility Recommendations Emergency services Recommendations Targets and reporting requirements Changes to disability/disability rights legislation Recommendations Periodic review Module 2: ICT accessibility framework on public access National mandate Objectives Awareness Provision of public access communications services Physical environment accessibility Emergency services Training Targets and reporting requirements Periodic review Annex A: Model licence conditions/universal service obligations on public ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities Annex B: Checklist on accessible public access facilities Module 3: Mobile communications accessibility policy framework Definitions Effective date and application National mandate Sales, retail outlets, customer care and public awareness Products, services and devices Applications Special and/or discounted rates and plans Emergency services vii Page 9. Assistive technologies Funding and incentives (universal service and access fund) Targets and reporting requirements Periodic review Annex A: Model code of conduct on mobile communications accessibility for persons with disabilities Annex B: Regulations in terms of section [X] of the [ICT law] for mobile communications accessibility for persons with disabilities Module 4: Television/video programming accessibility policy framework Definitions Effective date and application National mandate Objectives Awareness and customer service Television/video programming access Captioning Signing Audio description and audio subtitles Quality of service Equipment Electronic programme guides Emergency services Funding Exemptions Representation and portrayal of persons with disabilities Targets and reporting requirements Periodic review Annex: Sample regulations Module 5: Web accessibility policy framework Definitions Preamble Effective date and application National mandate for web accessibility Objectives of the web accessibility policy Awareness Compliance of public sector websites with web accessibility standards viii Page 8. Assessment of existing public sector websites and accessibility transition plans Conformance levels for public websites Retroactive application and existing content of public websites Electronic documents available on public websites Dispositions for the private sector and civil society Responsibilities for the implementation of the policy Targets and reporting requirements Periodic review Annex A: List of public sector web sites and responsible agencies or organizations covered by the web accessibility policy as of its publication Annex B: Resources for policy implementation and technical references Annex C: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Module 6: Accessible ICT public procurement policy framework Definitions Introduction to accessible ICT public procurement policy Objectives Roles and responsibilities Training, capacity building and awareness raising Defining accessibility as an attribute in the procurement of ICT Accessibility in the preparatory study Requesting information in the Call for Tender on a supplier s accessibility capability Use of standards for formulating accessibility requirements Including accessibility as a criterion in the all for Tender for off the shelf products Including accessibility requirements in procurement for the development of products and services Verification of compliance with accessibility criteria in the Call for Tender Accessibility in contract clauses Accessibility in contract management Exemptions Monitoring and evaluation Periodic review Annex A: Standards Annex B: Functional performance statements Annex C: Example of product accessibility template Annex D: Training materials and resources for use in awareness raising, capacity building and training in public procurement of accessible ICT ix Objectives of this report The Model ICT accessibility policy report is developed for information and communication technology (ICT) policy-makers, regulators and other stakeholders active in ICT and/or disability issues, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), organizations of persons with disabilities, and parliamentarians. This report addresses a range of facets of the ICT sector and is designed to assist in policy making in public ICT access, mobile communications, television/video programming 1, web accessibility and public procurement. It also provides a framework for countries to develop policies, through legislation, regulations, standards, and guidelines, to provide an institutional framework for ICT accessibility. It recognizes that in many instances, and in particular with reference to a disability policy framework, soft law or voluntary initiatives, negotiated roadmaps, codes of conduct, and compliance can also be effective in promoting equitable access to information and communications technologies for persons with disabilities in a fast changing technology environment; as such it provides guidance on both regulatory and voluntary approaches. This report has been prepared pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter the Convention) and in line with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and G3ict ICT Accessibility Policy Toolkit for persons with disabilities ( Successful achievement of the goals set out in the Convention relies on the adoption and early implementation of policies by a country. Each country has to decide on the respective policies and an implementation timetable in accordance with its unique circumstances. This report will assist countries to understand the generic steps and requirements necessary to promote accessibility by persons with disabilities and provides guidance in areas where they can be adapted to meet national circumstances. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities addresses the risks of exclusion of persons with disabilities from participating equally in society by defining ICT accessibility as integral to general accessibility rights and on a par with accessibility to the physical environment and transportation. It came into force in May 2008 and enshrines the principle that persons with disabilities must be able to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others. It is the first international human rights treaty requiring that information and communications technologies and systems be accessible as a necessary condition for persons with disabilities to fully enjoy these fundamental rights without discrimination. Its dispositions provide a human rights foundation for existing policies and programmes developed by countries, such as universal service and access policies for telephony, video programming and/or web accessibility, and set a clear roadmap for State Parties lacking such policies. Article 9 of the Convention sets out general obligations for States Parties to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to information and communication technologies and systems. Articles 21, 29 and 30 expand on this and refer to media, communications and ICTs serving as platforms for furthering the rights of persons with disabilities to freedom of expression and opinion, access to information, participation in political and public life and participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport. These Articles collectively call for all content, communication, information, hardware, software and interfaces to be accessible. They further call upon States Parties to encourage the private sector to deliver accessible products and services. 1 The television/video programming accessibility policy framework module addresses all forms of video programming whether transmitted over traditional broadcasting, digital and IPTV, cable, satellite TV, HBB TV (hybrid broadcast broadband TV) or IBB (integrated broadcast-broadband system) networks. The approach is technology neutral and whatever the platform the aim of the policy is to ensure that persons with disabilities face no barriers in watching programmes or using electronic programming guides (EPGs), remote control devices or TV devices across all platforms. x Accessibility is identified in Article 3(f) of the Convention as one of its eight general principles, and accessibility, including access to ICTs, is established therein as a condition that will enable persons with disabilities to exercise their fundamental freedoms and human rights. Article 2 defines communication in an inclusive manner to include all possible means of communication languages, display of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia as well as written, audio, plain-language, human-reader and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communications technologies that can eliminate barriers for persons with disabilities to enjoy their fundamental freedoms and human rights. The vast majority of ITU Member States had ratified the Convention at the time of publication of this report. Challenges for persons with disabilities Information and communication technology (ICT) laws, policies and regulations generally support the principles of universal access to information and communication technology. They do this by focusing on providing a framework to facilitate the deployment of ICT networks, the promotion of affordable services and products, the protection of consumers, and the provision of reliable emergency services. Laws are meant to address the needs of all users. However, in practice, while these issues are relevant to users with disabilities, the needs of the disability community are different and require a deliberate additional focus on accessibility by legislators, policy-makers and regulators. Some of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, and included in the various modules of this report, require that: Accessible ICTs (i.e. access to end-user equipment, such as mobile handsets, televisions, tablets and computers), offer features to enable persons with disabilities to use ICTs effectively. There are often challenges with respect to the availability and affordability of this equipment that, when obtainable, may be a
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