ICT Accessibility - Why it is important to you

Thursday 23 April 2009

6.00pm for 6.30pm to 8.00pm

Richard Hodgkinson

Southampton Solent University, ground floor of the Herbert Collins Building, HC 032 Map

Joint with the BCS Hampshire Branch, BCS Quality SG, Southampton Solent University

More people in the UK are now aged over 60 than are under 16 years old. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enables people with disabilities and the elderly to participate and contribute more to our society. Consequently, the accessibility of ICT is becoming increasingly important. The term “ICT” includes hardware, software, telecommunications and web sites.

Following the success of Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the USA which has raised the availability of accessible ICT for all members of North American society, Europe is determined to follow a similar path and has decided to use the power of governmental purchasing to make accessible ICT mandatory throughout the EC. If Europe follows the North American pattern, the inability to meet the requirements will prevent manufacturers and suppliers from bidding for contracts. Similar activities are taking place in Australasia, Korea and Japan.

This presentation will outline the work that has so far been completed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) as Phase 1 of Mandate 376 - European Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement of Products and Services in the ICT Domain. Also included will be the proposals for Phase 2, which should lead to the provision of guidance, tools and resources for manufacturers, suppliers and procurers.

For more information on the ETSI work so far, and to download the free report, visit http://portal.etsi.org/STFs/STF_HomePages/STF333/STF333.asp. This presentation will be of interest to ICT product and service designers, developers, suppliers, purchasers and anyone who uses ICT products and services.

Richard Hodgkinson graduated from Southampton College of Art in 1969 and worked for IBM at their Hursley Park laboratory from 1970 to 2004. His final responsibilities included international standards for IT products and software accessibility. During his IBM career he also served under the British Standards Institution as UK expert and project editor on several ISO committees preparing standards for software accessibility, icons & symbols and software documentation.

He has continued with the work on standards and is the convenor of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 7/WG 2 - Software & Systems Documentation. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators and writes a regular page on documentation standards for their quarterly journal, the “Communicator”. He has recently served on two ETSI Specialist Task Forces addressing accessibility symbols (including tactile symbols) and preparing the report for Phase 1 of Mandate 376.

This event is free, no booking required, and open to non-BCS members.

Presentation slides 1 (PDF)
Presentation slides 2 (PDF)
Presentation slides 3 (PDF)