[Accessibility] WSIS Disability Documents

Janina Sajka janina at rednote.net
Wed Dec 17 09:26:15 PST 2003

Seems Hiroshi Kawamura has put together a nice web page with all the
various documents at:


The key ones are:

The WSIS conference Declaration of Principles at:

  "27. Access to information and knowledge can be promoted by increasing
  awareness among all stakeholders of the possibilities offered by
  different software models, including proprietary, open-source and free
  software, in order to increase competition, access by users, diversity
  of choice, and to enable all users to develop solutions which best
  meet their requirements. Affordable access to software should be
  considered as an important component of a truly inclusive Information
			  "30. The use of ICTs in all stages of
			   education, training and human resource
			   development should be promoted, taking into
			   account the special needs of persons with
			   disabilities and disadvantaged and vulnerable
  "44. Standardization is one of the essential building blocks of the
   Information Society. There should be particular emphasis on the
   development and adoption of international standards. The development
   and use of open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demand-driven
   standards that take into account needs of users and consumers is a
   basic element for the development and greater diffusion of ICTs and
   more affordable access to them, particularly in developing countries.
   International standards aim to create an environment where consumers
   can access services worldwide regardless of underlying technology."

WSIS Plan of Action at:

WSIS Civil Society Plenary Declaration at:
http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/prompt/031217_3wsis.html including

   "We recognise that no technology is neutral with respect to its
   social impacts and, therefore, the possibility of having so-called
   "technology-neutral" decision-making processes is a fallacy. It is
   critical to make careful social and technical choices concerning the
   introduction of new technologies from the inception of their design
   through to their deployment and operational phases. Negative social
   and technical impacts of information and communications systems that
   are discovered late in the design process are usually extremely
   difficult to correct and, therefore, can cause lasting harm. We
   envision an information and communication society in which
   technologies are designed in a participatory manner with and by their
   end-users so as to prevent or minimise their negative impacts.

		     "We envision societies where human knowledge,
		     creativity, cooperation and solidarity are
		     considered core elements; where not only individual
		     creativity, but also collective innovation, based
		     on cooperative work are promoted.  Societies where
		     knowledge, information and communication resources
		     are recognised and protected as the common heritage
		     of humankind; societies that guarantee and foster
		     cultural and linguistic diversity and intercultural
		     dialogue, in environments that are free from
		     discrimination, violence and hatred.

				 "We are conscious that information,
				 knowledge and the means of
				 communication are available on a
				 magnitude that humankind has never
				 dreamt of in the past; but we are also
				 aware that exclusion from access to the
				 means of communication, from
				 information and from the skills that
				 are needed to participate in the public
				 sphere, is still a major constraint,
				 especially in developing countries. At
				 the same time information and knowledge
				 are increasingly being transformed into
				 private resources which can be
				 controlled, sold and bought, as if they
				 were simple commodities and not the
				 founding elements of social
				 organisation and development. Thus, as
				 one of the main challenges of
				 information and communication
				 societies, we recognise the urgency of
				 seeking solutions to these

Janina Sajka
Email: janina at rednote.net		
Phone: (202) 408-8175

Director, Technology Research and Development
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Chair, Accessibility Work Group
Free Standards Group

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