From Athens to Vilnius: Beyond the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities
16 September 2010 - A Workshop on in Vilnius,Lithuania
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to workshop No. 180, the title is from Athens to Vilnius: Beyond the UN Convention on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) Members and the WBU/EBU. I'm Jonathan Charles from BBC World News. I'm moderating the session which is organized by the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability Coordinator, and it is with the ITU which is heavily involved with supporting this.
I have a distinguished panel of speakers and inviting you to make your comments during the course of our two hour session between now and 11:00 o'clock.
It should be quite a dynamic, exciting session. I hope we can inject some enthusiasm into all this. We should all be very energetic. Feel free to stick up your hand and put those to the panel and get a debate going.
I was thinking quite loud to what we should mean beyond the UN Convention, and I was speaking to my colleague David Wood from EBU and you can have all kinds of conventions and documents signed. In the end, it takes rather more than that to ensure accessibility.
I was contemplating what Shadi said yesterday in the session we were doing. For all the talk we were having on signing of documents and Convention, actually what was happening was not being driven by a piece of paper. But industry and new technology, actually by design or default, was doing more to enable accessibility than anything that had been written down on a UN Convention.
Perhaps we ought to bear that in mind when discussing how much is achieved by the UN Convention or other matters, but these are the issues that we're going to debate today. I think we should think about the context of it all. We should think about the fact that technology is important here, and not just the Convention.
But this is an important moment to take stock as well on this five year process of the IGF, five years of trying to move forward on Internet. I would like to welcome my first speaker, Claudia Gray, and she's going to be talking about Internet accessibility.
>> CLAUDIA GRAY: Thank you, everyone. Good morning. I'm going to talk about the World Telecommunication Development Conference Resolution 58. I'm Claudia Gray, I'm a researcher on gender rights. This Resolution 58 was signed in India earlier this year regarding access to information and communication technology for persons with disability, including persons with age related disability. Slide, please.
The Resolution 58 is the outcome of discussions held by Telecommunication Development Sector Study Groups in Geneva last year. I consideration the main aspects of Convention with persons with disability, in particular the ones related to measure that must be taken to the state parties to comply with ensuring the ICT Internet service access and was promoting the design and production of accessibility ICT Internet, among others.
The resolution also considers the eAccessibility toolkit for policymakers collaborated by the Telecommunication Development Advisory Group in participation with G3ict in order to the best policy and strategies with implement of the Convention best platform of information and technology disability issues and to set forth actual steps for the effective policy framework. These are the documents, the platform under which Resolution 58 was drafted.
Slide, please. The resolution aims to provide the adoption of measures by three key actors. The step members of the UN Convention, the sector members, which are the education agencies, research, NGOs, business, and the telecommunication communication viewer.
Therefore, the resolution states that members should join the Convention on the right persons with disability to develop national laws, regulation, policy and guidance of the ICT accessibility for persons with disability under the principles of equal accessibility,, functional equivalence, affordability and universal design to collect data on ICT disability which is main issue regarding public policy making because most of the times we don't have inputs. The statistical input to make public policy affordable and justifiable.
Number three, considering introducing ICT accessibility for persons with disability among others. The resolution invites sector members to conduct a self regulation approach in designing ICT equipment and so forth and provide ICT development equipment and so forth.
Finally, it addresses the director of the ICT development to ensure that each ITD takes into account ICT development to adopt tools and guidance for reference and identify documented examples of best practices.
Slide, please. The importance of the resolution resides in the fact that it gives continuity to the efforts taken by the ITU Development Sector as well as the ones from the UN Convention on the matter. It also aims to orientate the policy making process, the research work as well as the business practices in order to ensure ICT Internet access for persons with disabilities.
Furthermore, the resolution drafted by ITU defines clear tasks for each stakeholder to achieve the main goals of the ITU itself regarding the accessibility objectives pursuit. In order to do that, though, several steps must be taken by the governments.
The inputs are very clear and defined by the UN Convention, the resolutions, and the accessibility toolkit, among other instruments that we've got. The international league of dispositions should be retained then by the domestic legislation of member states as it happened with any other international law instruments, ensuring that this happens under two conditions. The schemes under which the UN Convention is introduced to the legislation of its nation should be done in a feasible manner that is to be done under the constitutional process or whatever legal requirements need to be met and in correspondence with the appropriate understanding constitutional procedures. The other requirement is to assign an adequate budget to provide it in order to comply with legislation.
The next step then would be that public policy making process on ICT Internet accessibility for persons with disability from its planning phase through implementation and evaluation. It appears procedure are not followed. Internet access for people with disabilities exceeded by far the dispositions of the UN Convention. On the other hand, the UN Convention on the right of persons with disabilities may become a declaration of good intentions rather than a set of obligations with which to comply.
The way many international instruments require a binding forth is through exposing individual states through opinion and scrutiny of international community. Hence, application of measures contained are the option are practical of the UN Convention is paramount to exercise measure on governments to comply with the obligations contains in the Convention.
Nevertheless, I find an important achievement in cases where governments have not taken the appropriate measures to include guaranteed access for people with disabilities. I'm talking about setting the agenda, the public agenda. It is an issue that is gaining significant attention between civil societies and NGOs and states will no longer be able to ignore.
The same happens in other instances and topics. Take the IGF, for example. During the first meeting in Athens, Internet accessibility for people with disabilities was a topic that was dealt along with other related excluded groups. Today at Vilnius, we've had a chance to dedicate specific forums to approach my aspect, views and solutions to the subject matter. Thank you.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Claudia, thank you very much indeed. We'll take questions later and move to the next speaker. He is from Argentina and he's been involved in ICT issues for about three decades if not more. He wants to talk about web accessibility in older persons.
>> JORGE PLANO: Thank you. We are going to present this viewpoint about the four things to Vilnius. What happened in world population between 2005 and 2010? It wasn't increase it from 6.5 billions to 6.9 billions? That was a law of 396 million persons. Generally, we want tend to see the increasing of world population due to the new people is coming to the world, but this is not exactly the case.
From this total of increase population, the increase of population over 50 years accounts for 45%. That is clear clearly attendance. The Democratic evolution is from two main factors. On one side reduction of growth rate and on the other side increasing of longevity. I will show figures that are only prosecute the Latino, but a lot of figures are very similar.
One represents the population and the five years of age, how the population aged 75 and over. And we are seen since 1952, 2,050. Since five years of age reach maximum in 2000 and from this time start to decline slightly. A lot of population aged 75 and over increases after the year 2,000 for 2050 start to increase the number of population exponentially.
This is here we are another figures also related to Latin America and Caribbean, but the world level are very similar. We have a quarter that represents the person of population of 60 years and that represent the people ages 60 and over. You can see that the absolute quantity of people increases 2005 figures here, but since 2005, the starts increase with very much speed.
Well, this show us what is attendance of the world population this moment? The aging of the population that, this is having an increasing impact on all the activities of the society. The title of older persons, what means older person? The United Nation have a better standard of older persons older 65 and in the modern countries, over 60. It consider that someone is an older person of retirement age. Not in the sense of the street, but in learning environments milestones of what an older person is.
We have two samples, but on the style, retire of 19. But then 67 and is and he retire at 90. But this is the present is clear well, I continue with this.
The North American model disable to sickness, and there is another equality equality that's also equated to sickness. The American disability is very much related to this, but in the area of old age people, not so.
Generally, the view that old age is equals sickness is very popular, so well, I think that what we need is going to social human model of aging, that's how environment the level is how the old people and the stigma is there is a social self exclusion of people with old age is in the years.
I think that there is also a process that I call old and maybe that is in English and in Spanish doesn't exist, that this making old because of social influence. This is, I think, some of the key views call us socio aging. Age discrimination and age is a stereotype and prejudice and discrimination against a person because of their age. Age discrimination is when someone is treated differently base of their age.
Those things are not uncommon. Here are some a couple of examples. The discrimination work after is increasingly difficult and it depends on the amount of work, but in some cases it starts after 40 it's difficult, but after 50, well, it's really this is a case of for example, ethnicity or religion, it is unacceptable. But jokes of old age are not so. This is an example. What is an example of the age issue.
The regret of the persons of old age is it is a very tenuous goal. In spite of the age differences, but the cultural environment and of the characteristics and psychological and biological and increasingly develop because of life and when people reach old life, between cultures and inside the same culture and same society. And there's a parallel between the minimum disability and the minimum in the old age area, but there is a strange contrast.
In the last 50 years we have a strange identity of persons with disability. This is not the case in the group of the older person. The identity of this person is really at least I must go on and not to may use an accidental society. Well, perhaps I don't have a more universal view of the world cultures.
Well, what happened with accessibility and accessibility to technology? First, this is not used to technology, no? Not used to technology in the form of the words because the technology doesn't exist. It is so that the baby boomers outreaching the stage, there be a new generation of old age persons that will be used to technology because the new learners of that entering the age, they are people that will be information technology, people that are entering technology will be reaching retirement age.
And not all of them are used to technology, because technology grew complex because there is there is some remedial situation to these, for example, phones that are very easy to use.
For example, cell phones. I am talking about cell phones, that are hundred of functions that a regular cell phone have that are easier to use that are, it's so easy to use. But there's a place here very different approach with technology and they are for approaching technology and learning technology.
And this is across information that old age is the fastest growing group of users, this is another situation that in the last year or so.
And I want to show in this area of accessibility and technology. This is tips for boomers, this is be able at the Microsoft web site that we have to use the configuration, the generally windows historic I'm talking about windows because this is Microsoft material.
Windows is already installed by default with very with accessibility options. For example, generally the writing is very small and so on. Also there are some tips for increasing the fonts that older person for computer to use for better use.
For example, use in the configuration of the desktop and the some of the accessibility options of the operating system. And a very important initiative is the web accessibility initiative, have an online project or further uses that they call it world age.
The accessibility of needs of other people and web accessibility guidelines. So that the Web content accessibility guidelines includes many of the suggested needs of for of other people that are in the there is a initiative for the right of other people.
There is initiative of the UN Convention on the right of older persons. The reason the Convention was issued by nine organisation that by persons is aging the Internet Association of Gerontology, age consult in the United Kingdom, the reason of the come in this year, they start to work was Convention on the rights of older persons.
Previously to this document there were initiatives regular initiatives in Latin America and Africa of the governments proposed to start a process of for global Convention.
Thank you for your attention.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Jorge, thank you very much, indeed. I'm sure that Mick Jagger would deny he was older.
Let's move to Axel Leblois and Martin Gould from G3ict. They've been doing a lot of work on the issue of digital conclusion.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: Thank you for that, Jonathan. Thank you, so much. Good morning, everyone. Jonathan mentioned this panel and this was music to our ears because back in 2006 when the Convention was actually written by the UN, a number of us of at the Convention, including these organisations, industry itself, and public sector and leaders thought that the ICT disposition of the Convention were such an innovative part of the Convention that it had to be promoted instantly, immediately the voice, because it was very complex and awareness and ICT and governance.
So that's actually, this was in the first place. I think it's extremely important to look at how the government participants in the whole process of expanding accessibility and technologies and innovation, but at the same token, every organisation gets the user feedback and governance are here to agree and make it possible for the industry and all participants and push for the accessibility for different stakeholders.
I would like to say before we start our presentation, there is no way to proceed without the stakeholders in that process. What we will see today, at least somewhat that prospective, so we'll proceed with our presentation.
So we would like to talk to you about the digital accessibility and inclusion for persons with disability. We cover the methodology that we have applied, the result that is we see in terms of global accessibility.
We look at the results of the survey and put them in context with other indexes and include the next steps and hope we have a lot of feedback today because we would like to hear what ideas you may have to improve our process and go to the next step.
I'm sure you realise how fast the movement went. The Convention had been ratified by at least today, and the presence, the last person of the world population about 80%. So it's a treaty now that is everywhere, and it served as a legal for everyone to send to their country and a policymaker or countries to use as a blueprint. It's a legal instrument and policy blueprint for countries.
Therefore, what we looked at in the Convention was in terms of ICT accessibility, one of the definitions we need to start taking into account as we measure. One of the things to remind ourselves is that the notion of accessibility rights has been transformed by the Convention. Accessibility is defined as accessibility to the business line, transportation and technologies. You have accessibility, then you have, actually (off microphone) the Convention and accessibility, and accessibility now in the Convention and now the Convention accessibility at the Convention which and more accessibility these days including ICT application models.
In fact, the accessibility UN a few month ago for a particular operation, and which actually list all the things that still have to be part of, accessibility is like 57 times. So this is like a piece of the accessibility Convention for the next few years.
The Convention when accessibility is an issue for application such as the accessibility services, security (off microphone). But it also has provisions for (off microphone) development, desire.
There is a definition of accommodation which is conference, very important aspect of the CRPD. There's a development others which taken into account right now negotiation of exemption for, you know, access to digital recording for challenged persons, special disabilities. It's not only accessibility, but it has to be productive for the disabilities.
So related to accessibility, as we said, I know we need to look at accessibility, it's a very complex set of dispositions. There are and many things that have to be there is existing I know if you don't want if you can't measure what's going on, you know, make purpose because you can't decide that you did the right stuff, so you have to measure so that's why we say it, right?
So I know in the position itself, I think we found in deporting, within two years of the present party, it has to start so that is an additional, you know, so, Martin, I will let you get back to the minutes.
>> MARTIN GOULD: Very good. Thank you. Just as ICT and the research committee went through the Convention very carefully and very diligently to identify the provisions and the returns and communication, technology, information services, accommodation, reasonable accommodation access, accessibility, and accessibility.
Since Article 9 includes ICTs in its definition of accessibility, the research committee listed the provisions redrafted as individual items into three legs. And they, basically, decided that for each of the items from the Convention, we would also need to establish whether or not a provision was being adhered to by a country or ratifying state.
So there was also a request for some sort of evidence, some sort of documentation to indicate whether a country had laws that identified a national or regulations identified accessibility as part of the definition along with ICTs as an example. So the first leg of the framework identifying country commitments actually comprised 50 items or data points from the self assessment framework.
Then we identified 11 other items or data points to represent the capacity of the country to then implement its ICT provisions that relate to government funding of ICTs or the like. We refer to those 11 data points of self assessment framework as leg 2.
Finally, the G3ict identified three framework or leg points they believe referred to systemic or individual framework of the country's fulfillment of the ICT provisions of the Convention. We refer to that as leg No. 3 of the self assessment framework.
We identified and developed a self assessment framework in the summer of 2008, in an effort to provide the quickly ratifying countries an opportunity to sort of take command of their own ability to evaluate shareholder plans with the ICT provisions to work with a team of legal experts, persons with disabilities, representatives of Nongovernmental Organisations, experts and get ahead of the curve and get a handle of where they are in their mission of complying with those various mandates. And so this work is an excellent representative of 71 data points.
The activities that were involved that would be involved in a self assessment framework include identifying country commitments, identifying capacity in the infrastructure for implementation, assessing the country's implementation and the impact of those represent legs 1, 2 and 3 of the framework name, drawing similar links or connection between the commitment of the country to implement the Convention and the implementation impact and then generating ready generating recommendations and action plans. We hope that would be part of the consensus.
Basically, we said we wanted countries to self identify areas to be developed into improvement action plans. We wanted countries to remember that self assessment results only give a map of have a ratifying plans stands in the Convention. Integrating the result into self action plans is a requisite to make the effort worthwhile and produce results. There are three objectives to framework and census building.
To make sure everybody reviews the results in holistic perspective and review strengths, we didn't necessarily want to focus on guidelines and be focused on what was missing, but we want them to build on their strengths. Third to prioritize areas of improvement and take to further planning.
As Axel mentioned, the reporting guidelines that were mentioned in 2009 were very specific in what they required for ratifying states. What we did was map each of the indicators from the self assessment framework and ultimately from the digital index to the reporting requirements. We were little prophetic in that we were able to anticipate some of those.
So what we have here is an example of two of the areas, or provisions, from the Convention, one dealing with emergency services and information that should be accessibility to persons with disabilities and ratifying states. And, second, provisions related to education both in the early or primary and secondary years as well as higher end.
And the CLD article reporting requirements are very specific about what the ratifying monitoring committee wants from ratifying states. It just so happens that in self assessment visual index, we ask specific questions directly addressing those provisions.
So, you know, there is a close degree of correspondence and these are just two examples. One from the area of emergency provisions and the second from the area of education provisions from the Convention.
The next thing that we wanted to do was in recognition of Article 35, again which deals with reporting requirements from ratifying states, G3ict set out to develop a standard index score that could be used to look at across all countries that ratified and we called that inclusion index, the benchmark performance regarding ICT provisions across the Convention.
The variables and data items in the visual accessibility and inclusion index are a subset of the 71 items, the very comprehensive set from the self assessment framework, and the ones that were contained in the leg one, leg two, and leg 3 tools of the framework.
The methodology again basically presents those smaller set, those 57 data points in terms of countries' commitment to the digital accessibility, the country's capacity to implement it, and the country's implementation of results.
We ensured they provide some ability to provide quantifiable measures for each of the 57 data items of the index that are consistent with UN guidelines were reporting on human rights. That was very important to G3ict.
And, in fact, we did follow the guidelines that are referred to by the UN development programme on indicators for programme human basic purchase to development and UNDP programming. So we were very pleased with that.
The questionnaires that we were using on the index were then sent to 35 different countries and we specifically asked countries to identify legal and accessibility experts, including persons with disabilities in each country. We did that with the cooperation of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, a law firm that resides in Washington, D.C. We had the cooperation of Disabled People International and identifying and implementing countries and surveys as necessary.
We received surveys from 32 countries and they have a combined world population of 34 people and included the USA as sort of a benchmark leading country. This represents 75% of the population of ratifying countries to date, which we think is fairly substantial.
Again, the 11 variables, the three clusters representing 11 variables are as follows: The first is the assessment of the countries' commitments and includes the general legal and regulatory framework, policies covering specific application areas such as fixed telephony, policies covering specific technologies, policy covering target groups, the elderly, women, children and youth in particular, and policies to promote accessibility and assistive ICTs.
The second variable and set of data points involves the assessment of country's capacity for implementation includes the government focus, the support of nongovernmental and disabled organisations through funding, inclusion of NGOs and DPOs and the valuation of countries' implementation of the Convention, establishing plans for ICT accessibility, and other types of support, and capacity building.
The third and final leg and its variables involve telecom media services such as broadcasting, a range of computer policies and services available to people and special services such as libraries for the blind and the like.
Here along with 32 countries surveyed, 31 with ratification plus the United States. I won't read the list to you, but they were fairly substantial and represent a range of countries from across the world in terms of population size, in terms of levels of human development and the like.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: Thank you, Martin. So the key results that we found after connecting the at this stage of the development of the index, there are four I have to emphasize one was (off microphone) and we found there were a mix of the general and regulatory framework among occupying countries. Several of them it looks like in many places, ICT accessibility is indeed taken into accounts in (off microphone) the capacity to implement seems to be limited many places and implementation is still mobile on different aspects.
The Convention has been recently, you know, ratified by many countries. They are on the initial implementation phase, but the initial legal framework seems to be making good progress. So let me go through the specific results.
The legal framework and the alignment of copies of the CRPD. The copies surveyed give the constitutional article that defines the persons of disabilities and the countries that do not, do not with some very unexpected (off microphone) Denmark does not because in their mind, disabled persons are just part of everybody else and equal to other citizens and in the law the, treatment of citizens with disabilities.
So those matters, we do not have such a law. Sometimes are very unexpected reasons to not have passed such a law. So that says that every single country that has actually ratified a Convention is following with very specific legal framework to ensure the accessibility is defined within their jurisdiction.
The other very important factor and I want to highlight that is that few years ago the accommodation, the UK like you say, wasn't in existence in very few countries. It was not in existence in most countries actually, and like you see her 72% of the countries do not have definition of accommodation.
In the law regarding the disabilities (off microphone) did not of the ratification of the Convention by many states and of the action that the Union has been contacted around the world, so this is very positive result. 56% of the countries surveyed, and that is half here in this room, do not have accessibility of cities in the country and do not have accommodations.
So it looks like to come back to Jonathan's earlier point, you can't have country if you have zero background and legal foundation. I think the legal foundation is backing up nicely around the world and that's a very big piece of news. I think we could not actually put our finger on until we actually send those questions out, so that's the good news of the results.
Now, accessibility, that's where you can start to see some disparities. So policies to ensure persons with disabilities and corporations can have accommodations in general, so just as a small (off microphone) 59% have formats persons with disabilities, great progress.
But only 35% have any kind of public accommodations regarding accessibility ICTs, which is a huge gap because government should lead by example. They are a big force in the marketplace because they have so much ICTs and there is now good practice in such countries and we think this is an area where it needs to be pushed.
There are specific application I picked quite a few results here. And you can see there are situations, so 50% of policies for services. Now, bear in mind, what we're asking is do you have a policy in place? Whether the policy works is a different question and I just want to make sure that we are clear on what we are measuring here. We are measuring a particular question. The services there are a public recognition of the fact this is something that needs to be done, all right?
So all that says is they have a policy in place. It doesn't measure the effectiveness of it. I have to really put a disclaimer around it. We are not measuring that. We are measuring the country move to make this happen.
So the education, some of the countries do have some policy covering accessibility, which is great, but how much is happening, that's another question. 60% have services; 45% have disposition for systems, 56 don't.
So, for example, in the case of political, this is a huge issue for voting machines. Only 44% of the countries to put accessibility electronic documentation for digital processors. We only have 34% of the countries of any kind of initiative to use ICTs.
The reason in the workplace is actually 59 person were the case for criminal services. Now in term of the infrastructure, that is quite a problem because that is perhaps one of the low hanging fruits in many ways because those are services controlled by few players in any country and they are most likely telecommunication regulatory authority or, in some cases, whoever allocates the broadcasting licenses.
So, anyway, in terms of policies in place for accessibility, only 56% of the countries have anything on accessibility television. Well, that is a big thing. Jonathan of the BBC, you should be out there checking
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: We do our best.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: because that means 44% of those countries, which are at the Convention, which specifies accessibility television, don't have any measures to ensure that television is accessibility in some form to persons with accessibility.
We go back to television later on I'm sure in the discussion, but to measure if terms of reporting or live or not live and how much, so now we example of the toolkit if you want to look at them.
That's very, very possible to make television accessibility anywhere in the world today.
Websites, only 56% of the countries have any accessibility regarding web sites in the countries. So a lot of possible progress on policy making standpoint. 47% only have telephony for persons with disabilities. Then 47% for wireless telephony. 34% of the countries only have any form of programmes for everybody in displays. 34% for public transportation systems, 31% for ATMs and 34% for digital talking booths. So many countries are lacking any programmes for those areas. That's what its says.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: That's a big gap.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: Yeah. But our view when you look is we need to stick together. If you want this to be done, we need to get implementation. As I said earlier, I don't believe you're necessarily we need to work.
In Canada, for example, the regulator issue those advisors or notice and they say, well, if you can't provide accessibility hand sets to all your customers when they request, then we'll probably issue a new regulation that will cause you to lose your license if you don't. Guess what? Few months later, everybody does it. So they realise it, but you need to explain to broadcasters and operators, do a show, that it can be done, it works, it's good for business and so on and so forth.
So I think that field is a huge area of progress, eventually, for industry, for public service for every country.
Now, the capacity to implement, it's very interesting. 97 of the countries by the way, which country doesn't have a council, but everybody now has a body for persons with disabilities, but I spoke to quite a few of them. In many countries the council has limited, no means, it's very difficult to get anything done, they have no power, but it's there. It has been clear and that's a good thing.
So the nucleus for the country is there, and that's the good news. I think one of the guidelines we would like, we would give a presentation on disability on October 7. My condition to the Commission on Disability is very soft fashion, we're not experts, would be that, in fact, governments take some specific disposition to secure those bodies already in place so they can do policy making in the country to make things happen because otherwise this is nice to have, but it cannot be effective.
Now, 41% of the countries have accessibility for cities. Now, this shows that 59% don't, so I see several in the room, I see other from ITU and maybe someone here from ISO, so 59% of the country aren't paying attention to startup for accessibility.
So there is a huge need on organisation and should pay attention to. It's so important because if we don't pay attention to startup and let's, you know, get them to come back, you have less competition, less accessibility and so no more customer for users. So I think it's a really important part.
One recommendation that we think we could provide accessibility with would be to ask the commission on accessibility to ask them to present annual report on the commission on disability on start up on countries because otherwise that will not make good progress.
In 28% and so 17% of the countries do not have anything systemic in holding a disability organisation in the field of digital access, so this field of digital access is still not the building with DPO's and governments. It's not. It's two thirds of the countries don't do it. (off microphone) have accessibility for the critical for digital access by way of disability, so 87% of the countries that are ratified the Convention have zero disability. So how about how are you going to work disability if you don't have the tools. (off microphone) future digital accessibility for disabilities.
He's on the no chance of doing that in Indonesia and no countries will do it, so it's very important if you don't have the engineering engineers in the engineering school, those engineers will be developing the software in the future, there's no reason why they will think about it so that's another important aspect.
So let me see what's actually happening. Here I like to be very cautious because this was the first addition, so it's experimental data we're playing with here. Because we do not know if any countries have any status, we were thinking they did not having any, which is accurate. You could not ask countries about these things in their county like how much of the programming you have, not many countries know.
How many at your web site are accessibility? No countries know. Now they know they know it's accessibility because they promote it or something. So we ask the question, do you have accessibility? And they say yes, I have, right? So, yes, half of the copies have put that in place the user of telephony, TTY, half of them don't. I know you don't find that very comforting, so there's work to be done. It's accessibility for (off microphone) existing handset of all the countries.
And on TV, although you saw earlier in many countries there was not policy enacted, 78% said they had some form of captioning on television. The most we see is a lot of copies of sign language for the news. Six can go on the web site that is accessibility. 45% make a web site on commercial and media web sites. Some offer reasonable, I think, assessment of what is happening here. Two for the blind provide eBook services and 59% have accessibility available for students at major universities and some have accessibility for ATMs in their countries.
It's not perfect, it's not great. Martin?
>> MARTIN GOULD: One of the things we were also interested in was looking at the countries have many other things that they were obliged to do through other conventions and treaties through their own laws and programmes, we thought it would be interesting to look at a new digital index in relation to a few other embassies through ratifying countries that might provide a general framework through check and balance, for example.
So we identified two indices, human development, which is conducted by the human development programme as well as eGovernment index. This is the eGovernment index, not the one conducted by the United Nations, by Darrell West at Brookies Institution.
The Human Development Index, for those that may not know, it's a development of welfare. It combines measures of life expectancy, educational attainment and adult literacy among others. It's a concept the adult education refers to and widening options of persons and giving them greater opportunities of health care, education, income and employment.
And the eGovernment index conducted by Darrell West at Brookings Institution involves online government web sites of 198 countries based on two dozen criteria including disability access, existence of publication and databases and information online among other criteria that it uses.
I want to mention that the accessibility criteria is drawn from the W3C. You'll see a listing of the ratifying countries that we survey and it will include data on web site, the accessibility will be referred to is W3C accessibility. That's not to say W3C was involved. That's to say the index uses some W3C accessibility to get their E valuation.
As Axel pointed out, in our survey, 69% of the countries pointed out they have accessibility government web sites. Let's see how that holds out when we look at the data. So we compared the digital index, leg three, results, implementation.
Each of those clusters in each of the four clusters we included reports on five countries and the results from the digital index, the eGovernment ratings which include eGovernment online service percentages, eGovernment accessibility percentages and an overall score of human development index.
The human development indices, if you take a glance you'll see the high development countries across the leg Lee of the index, the eGovernment rating overall and human development index are fairly consistent.
That is very high human development countries of higher scores on digital access cascades down to human indices across the board to medium human development and low. That seems fairly we wanted to make sure the indices reported to us weren't off the mark and there was conformity.
The next we were interested in was looking at web accessibility. We found still the most difficult area to tackle around the world. As highlighted here, the very highly human developed countries have the highest eGovernment ratings, but you'll see there is, really, a variance around evenness whereas online service levels on human developed countries range from 20 to 100%, they have a range of accessibility percentages that match up.
It's very various even among the different cluster and groupings. That was also interesting and important for us to see, particularly in light of the countries reported to us that 69% of those ratified said their web sites were accessibility. Finally the groups in promoting areas of ICT that aren't related to level of development, so that was an important finding for us.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: So, thank you. The last point we made was very important. We saw countries for which Europe would expect to having high scores and that is we know for a fact, I contract worked with them quite a bit and we conducted with them a few years ago with ICT accessibility, and it's starting to work with terms of policy making?
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: So they are there are countries which are taking steps, even though they are making special development situation, may or may not be what you expect to be accommodated for accessibility field, so that's a very good observation.
Lessons learned, the capacity to we think we can (off microphone) I looked at every single questionnaire myself, obviously, and so did Martin. We feel like maybe about half of the questionnaire people are volunteer. We had the space to let people look at the operation. Many of the people in the city have looked at the regulation and the article and the date and everything.
So I think by actually working on the aspect of the survey, the next batch next year we can actually start the document and we would like to impress this on our country on the specialty work and dispose of the results so everybody can purposely go check on those things.
We will set also year by persons maybe to add and challenge what's being said there. So it's a very important aspect. So the first and second leg we can improve on. The outcomes zero dollar but action. So the outcomes the countries don't have the declaration process in place. So here we the institution, such as the ITU or in this one, which I document every year, many topics on these countries set some basic instruments for countries to actually respond to those questions. I think we did hear some institutional help to get countries to measure in a better way.
So from the standpoint to get an idea challenge to it, but UNESCO either for accommodation and so on and so forth. So that's one thing we would like to do is to consult with some of our co organisations and see if we can have the questions added to the questionnaires and get result from different sources.
I think it's important because as we get into the implementation phase, that's where you want to see the most, you know, benchmarking going on that will help advocates in the government.
The framework you know, this is again an experiment of things, it's kind of jumping from swing to swing, but we feel in the framework the committee has put together is robust and consistent with the recommendation where we seek the project was now actually and again the human rights guidelines, which is an important thing.
So the support would be great. We would like to see much more participation from these organisations in the responses we get from countries because unless we get help from these organisation, we can't really touch everything.
So that's that's for this first initial experiment. So the next step is to raise the questionnaire and collect all the forms and the national guidelines that we may not have in the first place.
Collect it back from you here and the disability committee. We would like to seek more detail in the next questionnaire, so please fill out yes or no for a couple of things, country and cooperation and the validation makers. That is the measures. Thank you very much for all those that participated in the work here.
Some of you in the room and the research committee and research endeavor. Thank you for the many hours on the phone and being here. Thank you for your attention.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Excellent information, very good news indeed. If I can ask everyone to come up here for question and answer session.
That was a thought provoking survey. Am I right, it strikes me in watching it, to be pessimistic about the gap between policy and implementation and effective implementation, I should say, perhaps.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: Yes. Of course, it's 100 percent. The vast majority of them have disability and accessibility, so it's fine there, but when it comes to programmes, the ratios come down and for the outcomes it's very difficult and you have to measurement. How can you say you're making progress if you don't measure? I think this shows that it's great news. There are steps in place that are working.
The BBC leadership is here, Caption TV video this caption, accessibility TV, it's here.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: I suppose my concern is a lot of things that have been achieved would have been achieved anyway because for all right, the BBC example, BBC would have done that without the UN Convention.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: You know what? I participate in many countries. Look at TV broadcasting. It's not the perfect television, so that's where I think the regulator can actually have a level playing field kind of, you know, benefits to the marketplace because, you know, regulators weren't there it's
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: They don't have the resources.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: No. The regulator is there in the first place and deal with the organisation, I think there's no feel there is it's not doing it. So anyway
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Well, I mean you've got your chance now to ask questions. Let me just say we've enjoyed on the panel if I go from my left, it's Shadi Abou Zahra, Cynthia Waddell, Gerry Ellis, Feel the Benefit from Ireland, next to Gerry, Fernando Botelho, Peter Major from Hungary who's been involved in helping the government for a long time on all sorts of these issues.
Perhaps, if you want to ask a question, bear in mind what you've been told this morning. Anybody here have any comments on that? Put up your hand and come forward, if you have. Yes, David, in a minute, but Arun Mehta. A gentleman is approaching fast. If you'll say who you are.
>> ARUN MEHTA: Arun Mehta from India. I'm very interested to find all this collected data. I was wondering if the country responses are available separately so as activists from these countries we could focus on when we take up matters with our government, that was one.
The second, when we found in India is there is some confusion in terms of what is covered and not covered and under the UN Convention, specifically we have a dispute with the government with regards as whether autism should be conferred a disability under the Convention and the government said the Convention is unclear under the Convention. So I wondered if you found this confusion in other countries as well.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: The answer to the first question is welcome to feedback in each individual country. It is you can see the results and witnesses from the benchmarking standpoint. But at this stage given the nature of cooperation, I don't think we can publish rankings because we don't want to actually mess up the value of the index by creating first sessions when, you know, results may not be understood, you know.
It's a very complex feat. However, we make the India results available and compare everything. That was the first question.
Second question is the Convention has a definition of disability and I think if you read the definition of disability in the Convention and what it covers, I don't want to misinterpret it, but I think it should be. Autism should have covered.
And so you have to push for India to change that because there is a legal definition to do it. You can go to commission for disability to contest it.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Can I ask the IT people whether it's possible to have closed captioning people up on the screen in front of us? Is that possible? Okay. Excellent. Good. It's probably a bit small. Do you have the big you yeah, just the text rather than the
If we could have the same thing nope, can't do that?
>> CYNTHIA WADDELL: For those who are watching what's going on, we have a hub, display, someone remote is accessing and they are seeing a video of this presentation, but there's also on the text tab there's they are streaming the captioning. So someone can have access to that.
Meanwhile, I'm someone with a hearing loss who would like to know what everyone is saying and I've got to move so I can also take a look at the captioning. Thank you.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Can you see the hub all right, Cynthia? Or is that too small for can you increase the font size, bigger letters so we can see no. Okay. Are you going to be able to manage
>> CYNTHIA WADDELL: I'll be all right.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Axel, have you finished your comments? David Wood.
>> DAVID WOOD: If you don't mind, I wanted to ask you a question. What we've heard is we're getting the school report, one out of ten and so on. If we actually do want to move to a circumstance situation where things get done, you're somebody who knows how to change policy. You're a hack.
What you know, what do we need to do to move between where we are and having government policy or whatever to actually implement this? Do we need press releases or make people feel guilty or
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: I have to say, David, I think one of the great difficulties, for example, about the UN Convention is public awareness is very light, if not nonexistent. Apart from people who are active in this field, and therefore it makes it very hard to put pressure on government because governments only react to issues where public awareness is high because then it becomes an election issue.
Yes, and, you know, I'm not so I think in terms of the first thing to do would be to raise awareness of the UN Convention, and I think activists groups have not been good at that in the general public arena, so the first thing they need to do is put pressure on media outlets to do administer events which actually publicize this and that means coming up with lots of imaginative ideas that grab the public attention.
So I think the first of fall, it's on activists to think very hard about what might really grab the public attention. And at that point, then the media will start covering it and then the next leg on from that, is politicians start paying attention. You have to go through that process.
I think one of the difficulties, for example, as a journalist is we can't publicized something not interesting. Activists have failed to push the agenda. The one thing activists have on their side which would help is many of the countries, including my own, we have this aging population, so that does raise this higher up the agenda. Because as we age, we increasingly have more disabilities, the access problems. So it is becoming more of an issue for every ordinary person. You have to make that leap from that issue to the UN Convention and to politicians and activists have not been good at doing that.
Yes? You want to mention that, Fernando? You need a mic which we'll bring to you and Cynthia.
>> FERNANDO BOTELHO: I think it is a very important question. Why do we not see more results? I think it is very useful to look at what has worked in the past. I think we see criticisms that it has not. I think the reaction that some have. It's time to look at the state of Massachusetts have to stop buying software. Now, more recently the most admired company in the software world made its products accessibility because of a legal suit.
This may sound like a criticism, but criticizing companies in the public sector for being straight forward about how best to make money is like criticizing a tiger for fiat being a vegetarian. The strength of the private sector is making money and innovating. The strength of the institutions is to focus on human rights.
And we work best when we see results when there was a nice constructive interaction between these sectors. And of course, the government sector setting the rules, using public policy to scare up the agendas it wants seen in society, those are the free sectors of society each with its own strength and it cannot expect the private sector to suddenly become a champion of human rights. That's not their strength. That's not accessibility.
It's the society associations that need to make sure that's our aspects of technology is not forgotten. The private sector will integrate into its own culture accessibility and other human rights aspects of technology, but to do so will establish technologies.
When we talk about something new in the marketplace where the technology is still being developed they would ask to have realise access to those innovations because those companies are not as competitive and other pressures to deliver something and make money in a straight forward manner.
So our contributions so make sure that the persons are disabilities are not excluded. Thank you.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Fernando, thank you very much.
Cynthia, I think you wanted to say something?
>> CYNTHIA WADDELL: Thank you, Jonathan. It's been my life long passion to try to translate public policy into actual implementation and realisation of what this concept is for realisation of equal opportunities for person with disability, and as a person with disability I've been focused on person with disability issue.
So it was an honour to participate with the many NGO, Nongovernmental Organisations, and society that want the new Convention on persons with disability. That active participation is continuing and in the implementation and monitoring aspect, which is now the phase we're moving into, now that we have 90 countries that have ratified the Convention and, of course, I congratulate Lithuania for having being the latest country to have ratified the Convention as well as the optional protocol.
I would like to comment, I know we have represent from the youth coalition group, and I wanted to point out in the UN Convention, Article 6, Article 7 that addressing addresses Article 7, Article 6 for women.
I would like to point out the process that we are in now is we have 90 countries that are reporting, now, on the accessibility efforts underway to conform to the Convention. We got a glimpse of what some of that might be in the reporting when we heard from Axel Leblois in the G3ict report and I would like to say, at this point, that one of the most important aspects now is that monitoring effort and the reporting which is going to be looked at very close, and the NGOs are actively involved in that as well because it's such a serious matter.
Because I would like to say that those countries that have signed the optional protocol are the countries, then, that should they a person with a disability exhaust any legal remedy in their country to address accessibility and they're not able to attain it, under the optional protocol they can appeal and file a complaint with the monitoring complete or a committee on person with disability. It's like a human rights tribunal.
And, lastly, I just want to point out being the first human rights committee of the millennium, one of the other significant aspects that has been lost in the discussion is that there's no other Convention or treaty that extensively realised on ICT requirements for accessibility.
And so I end just by saying it was an honour to be engaged to serve as the accessibility ICT expert and go to environment expert for the ad hoc committee during the drafting of the Convention. At that time there was a hope and a hope that the realisation of our accessibility would come through ICT and we had no idea how many countries would sign on, Jonathan. So many countries that have ratified it would move to the phase of monitoring and implementation and translating at the local level what it means.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: You've worked with a lot of international advisors, institutions and domestic institutions. It looks like a pretty mixed picture in terms of their success in making progress for the Convention. Yes. You'll bring you a hand mic.
>> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Jonathan. You can hear me. You're absolutely right. The special organisations are making different efforts. We have heard the resolutions, the ITWEC have adopted a resolution and I've proud that I participated in the drafting. It is more important, I could say, the resolution was a common effort of private and representatives so it was private evident.
We can see other reports it was mentioned by Axel that WIPO is taking steps to create exemptions for accessibility for people with disabilities.
However, we have to say that those efforts are very nice, but since these are mainly governments which are involved, that the base, how they're implemented is very, very slow.
I'll get back to the example of WIPO. The discussions have been going on for years now and still they'll go on for couple of years.
Similarly, we can see other organisations which are taking some reports. One of the draw backs I can see is the lack of coordination. The specialized agencies, they have some kind of bilateral cooperation, and G3ict is having partnerships with them. But on the overall, I cannot see a common strategy for all the organisations.
As it has been said, it is a relationship. Let me be frank about it, it is an election for the reelection of high officials. It could be an issue on that level, probably it will be brought up as a strategy issue.
Another thing, the lack of resource, there are people who are deal with these questions in every organisation, but they are always complaining about lack of resource, lack of money, lack of support, and these questions aren't being treated as most important ones.
Once again, and just I want to conclude with that, if you look at the web site of the international organisations, you will find very good examples, for instance, the UN, the ITU and so on, which have no accessibility errors. However, there are a lot of them, and I'm sorry to say the G 3RCT, have some accessibility errors which is probably it's a temporary thing and perhaps it will be corrected straight away, I'm sure, but that is the situation.
So it's there are things to be done further. Thank you.
>> JONATHAN CHARLES: Lots of people got things to say. Would you get a microphone, Gerry? Interesting enough, we were talking about the age of posterity earlier today, that makes it hard as well for governments to live up to obligation on these things.
>> GERRY ELLIS: Must get and demand other rights. The Convention is one of the most powerful to achieve that. As Peter and a lot of people have said, they apply to UN organisations and governments. They're slow to trickle down to individual industries. Industry is driven by many.
The way to get industry involve is to show economic benefit to industry itself of. If I had time here I would give some examples of to highway there are economic benefits to industry itself, but one that I o