e-Accessibility is gaining momentum, as demonstrated by the increase in governmental initiatives and commercial interest in the field. The domain of a few dedicated specialists until a few years ago, it is today a regular preoccupation in the ICT sector.
This achievement must not, however, be overstated. e-Accessibility is still considered a necessary, yet costly, add-on to the development of information systems. Features are optional and developed specifically for disabled users, with no consideration for return on investment. In sum, e-Accessibility is thought to be peripheral to the development of the Information Society.
It is increasingly apparent that by ‘externalizing’ e-accessibility in this way, the sector is significantly hindering progress. From a technical point of view, declining to take accessibility into account from the outset when designing a new device or website will necessarily result in a complex and costly retrofit. From a financial point of view, by focusing on disabled users, decision makers are neglecting to see the greater benefits of e-Accessibility for business and society as a whole. Finally, from a political perspective, society must accept that it is legally and collectively responsible for disability and that accessibility is therefore in everyone’s interest. For all these reasons, integrating e-Accessibility at the core of information systems is a technological, economical and socio-political necessity.
It is in this context that the Institute of e-Accessibility (IAN) is proud to organize the 6th European Forum on e-Accessibility on the theme: “Putting e-Accessibility at the core of information systems”.
Five key areas will be addressed:
- e-Accessibility at the core of the information process
- e-Accessibility at the core of the economical understanding of the ICT field
- e-Accessibility at the core of Web projects
- e-Accessibility at the core of the publishing processes
- e-Accessibility at the core of industrial design
This conference will also be an opportunity for disabled users and industry specialists to share their experiences and to promote good practices harmonization.