International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

News release – 2010 Number 7

ISO, IEC and ITU to hold international workshop on accessibility

International workshop – 3-4 November 2010 – Geneva, Switzerland


Geneva, Switzerland, 2010-08-24 Difficulty trying to access products, services, environments and facilities is an issue for any of us – let alone the millions of people around the world living with disabilities. To this end, an international workshop will be held on 3 and 4 November 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, to review and examine the standards needed for facilitating the development of accessible solutions around the world. The workshop will be followed by a meeting especially organized for standards developers (but also open to other stakeholders) on 5 November 2010.


Disabled person in a wheelchair

The workshop is the latest initiative organized by the three partner organizations of the World Standards Cooperation (WSC): IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ITU (International Telecommunication Union), and ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which are also raising awareness of accessibility in this year's World Standards Day, celebrated each year on 14 October.


Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, environment or facility is usable by as many people as possible, including by persons with disabilities. Its importance is signified by the fact that the number of persons with disabilities, either congenital, acquired or as a result of age is estimated to be at around 650 million worldwide.


The WSC workshop on "Accessibility and the contribution of International Standards" will bring together key stakeholder groups from all over the world representing disability organizations, government and regulators, standards developers, consumers, as well as product designers and manufacturers faced with accessibility requirements.  It will address three key subject areas:

  • Accessibility in the field of everyday products
  • Accessibility and buildings
  • eAccessibility and eInclusion (in Information and Communication Technologies)


In a combination of plenary and break-out group meetings, these three subject areas will be discussed and the potential of standardization – in particular international standardization – to contribute to strengthening accessibility aspects in the design of products, services, environments and facilities will be addressed.


The results of the conference will result in a better understanding of both the work on accessibility issues in standardization in the various areas and the needs of those most concerned. It is hoped that the groundwork will be laid and a road map drawn for future standardization initiatives and awareness creation initiatives with the involvement of the key stakeholders.


For further information, including the full programme and registration form for the workshop, please refer to