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ETSI Activities related to Accessibility Issues. Presenter: Jonas Sundborg ETSI Board Chairman. ETSI’s Approach to Accessibility.

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Etsi activities related to accessibility issues

ETSI Activities related to Accessibility Issues

Presenter: Jonas Sundborg

ETSI Board Chairman

Etsi s approach to accessibility
ETSI’s Approach to Accessibility

  • Accessibility of ICT devices and solutions is part of the wide area of User Experience with a proven strong business impact both for device manufacturers and service providers.

  • ETSI aims to help industry and operators to avoid creating technologies that exclude any user from the information society.

  • It also aims to help increase the quality and usability of products and services for everyone by promoting inclusive design.

  • It addresses both these aims as part of an overall “Design for All” approach that assures accessibility

    • The first manifestation of this approach was the Design for All guidelines document EG 202 116

Highlight of current activities
Highlight of Current Activities

  • Ongoing and near-future ETSI activities related to accessibility are

    • Working with CEN/CENELEC to address a European Mandate (M/376) related to accessibility requirements in public procurement.

    • Working with CEN/CENELEC to address European Mandate M/473 related to the integration of accessibility issues into standardization processes.

    • New standardization proposals aimed at the use of mobile phones by people with cognitive impairments.

Strategic direction
Strategic Direction

  • Addressing accessibility issues has been considered by some as an unwelcome obligation on industry.

  • However, today’s customers will all demand fully-featured products and services as they get older.

  • This can only be achieved if these products and services can be used by people with diminishing sensory, physical and mental abilities.

  • Therefore addressing accessibility is now becoming an important market-driven necessity.

  • Moreover, regulatory activities demand and require accessibility to be taken into account by public procurement and standardization activities.

  • We expect the European Accessibility Act which should be available in first draft versions during 2013 to further strengthen the requirements for accessible devices and services.


  • Commercial pressures dictate that product features benefit the widest range of customers.

    • This implies added complexity in device interfaces related to individualization requirements.

  • As more eHealth solutions are deployed, it will be necessary to achieve high levels of accessibility to ensure that clients with a very broad range of impairments can successfully use the systems.

  • Inclusive design requires the co-existence and interplay of a combination of standards /technologies e.g. for the design of multimodal user interfaces, internet-related service access, security and privacy. Cooperation of many TCs is urgently needed.

Next steps actions
Next Steps/Actions

European Standard EN 301 549 „Accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe” has entered the public consultation phase and is expected to be ready for public voting around E12/2013.

Modify ETSI standardization processes in a way that ensures consideration of accessibility issues in every newly developed standards if appropriate (Response to Mandate M/473)

Mandate m 376 1
Mandate M/376 (1)

Standardization Mandate M/376 was proposed by the European Commission in support of European Accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain and was accepted by CEN, CENELEC and ETSI in December 2005.

Mandate m 376 2
Mandate M/376 (2)

  • The main objectives of the Mandate are summarised as:

    • to harmonise and facilitate the public procurement of accessible ICT products and services by identifying a set of functional European accessibility requirements suitable for use in public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain, and

    • to provide a mechanism through which the public procurers have access to an electronic toolkit, enabling them to make use of these harmonised requirements in procurement process.

Mandate m 473
Mandate M/473

  • The main objectives of the Mandate are summarised as:

    • Initiate a standardisation work programme for addressing the needs of persons with disabilities and older persons in European standardisation, dealing with accessibility by applying the Design for All approach

    • Update a number of standards in priority areas according to the Design for All approach.

    • Develop a new standard (or other adequate deliverable to be proposed by the ESOs and accepted by the European Commission) that would address the development and production process of goods manufacturing and services provision in the priority areas and that would describe how to consider accessibility for persons with disabilities and older persons following the Design for All approach.