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Access to Information and Knowledge

Accessibility has become an important issue in world society at every level. It covers a wide range of aspects, such as technical accessibility, social accessibility and the needs of persons with disabilities (PwD). The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century, entered into force on 3 May 2008 after only 4 years of negotiations. The number of signatories to the Convention reached nearly 150 by the end of 2010. CRPD adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities. For further information, please see here

The Convention marks a "paradigm shift" in attitudes and approaches to persons with disabilities by viewing them as "subjects" having rights, who are capable of claiming those rights and making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society. Thus the Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. In this connection, the general public more and more came to accept the justified claim of PwD "if about us, not without us".

There is a wide range of stakeholders to help PwD to overcome technical and other barriers under the principle "what is good for PwD is good for everybody". Beside, societies are aging, which means a growing number of PwD. In a few years, nearly all societies in the world will be aging! Therefore, it is not only a matter of concern in developed countries, but becoming an urgent issue nearly everywhere in the world.

eInclusion (or digital inclusion), is the term used to encompass activities related to the achievement of an inclusive information society. New developments in technology are supposed to turn the risk of a digital divide into "digital cohesion" and opportunity, bringing the benefit of the Internet and related technology into all segments of the population, including people who are disadvantaged due to education, age, gender, disabilities, ethnicity, and/or those living in remote regions.

Accessibility in the broad sense of UNESCO calls for overcoming an array of barriers: physical, cultural and linguistic, social, and others. In this connection, informatíon and communication technology (ICT – among others in the form of "assistive technology") plays an ever increasing role for overcoming these barriers: in daily life (e.g. ambient assistive living), for personal (e.g. eHealth) or professional use, in education and training (e.g. eLearning and eCompetence), in out-door activities etc. Today about 15% of the population world-wide is estimated to be disabled – a figure which may well double over the next few decades.

Therefore, eAccessibility and eInclusion will figure more prominently every year on the political agenda.

Infoterm carries terminological principles and methods into the field of eAccessibility and eInclusion by focusing on:

   - promoting standardization activities concerning content and communication
   - developing or adapting terminology and other language and content resources for   
     eAccessibilty and eInclusion
   - conceiving standards-based certification schemes for content-related software,
     content development methods and quality content.

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Last update: 2011-10-14

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