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IGF 2016 - Day 2 - Room 6 - Dynamic Coalition on accessibility and disabilities

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> ANDREA SAKS:  Hi, everybody.  Just to let you know, we are having a few technical difficulties in getting the documents compatible with the technical system here, but we will be done and be with you in one minute. 

Diego, we will start.  If you can put the agenda up on your bit so I can see that, and then I will start.

I think we are going to start.  We are okay.  Are we all set?  Are we set?  Okay.  Welcome to the Dynamic Coalition on accessibility and disability.

I have to my right, I have Bruno Ramos, and I have to my left Markus Kummer.  I'm going to turn the floor over to Bruno, please.

>> Thank you very much and welcome to everybody here.  My name is Bruno Ramos.  I'm the regional director of the ITU for the Americas region.  ITU has three sectors, and the headquarters is in Geneva.  Also we have some offices in the field.  So ITU has six regions, dividing the world in six regions, I am the regional director for Americas.  So it's not only Latin America, including Caribbean, and North America also.  The idea is to divide in regions just to try to see the specificities in each region.  I think it's very important, because as Gunela said in the previous session, we have specificities, for instance, in the small islands in the Pacific, also we have the Caribbean in the region in the Americas.  I know you are all from different regions.  But I can show you some specificities that we have here.

First, I'd like to thank Andrea for chairing this.  And also I'd like to say that the Secretariat of this session would be Kaoru Mizuno.  I think Kaoru Mizuno is connected.  Kaoru did a lot of things.  Andrea knows her.  So thank you so much.

The idea right now is to have an agenda.  First of all, we will say some remarks, and the introduction of this DCAD, okay.  I don't know, I will try to avoid a long introduction, but Andrea will say that when I have to finish.

After that, point 2, we are going to have a report on IGFSA General Assembly.  Marcus will do this report.  The agenda number 3 is to review the accessibility of IGF 2016.  So for instance, venue, accommodation, transport, physical accessibility, food, remote participation, registration process, etcetera.  I think in this topic number 4 to be very important to participation of you all, because for sure it's not our work, but we need to listen from you what we can add, and also for IGF 2017, maybe we can improve some topics related to accessibility.  The topic number 5, suggested update to the DCAD accessibilities guidelines 2015.  I don't know.  I will try to show very quickly also.  Gunela will talk about and Gerry too.

So for sure, all others DCAD members that want to talk.  The point number 6, accessible screen reader, Gerry also will talk about it.  Closing address by Andrea.  Do you agree with the agenda?  I'm going in the sense to introduce DCAD is the Dynamic Coalition on accessibility and disabilities.  It was formed in 2017 in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro.  Since then DCAD works to facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and to ensure that ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities and those with specific needs is included in the discussions around the Internet Governance.  DCAD aims to help and create a future where all individuals have equal access to the opportunities to ICTs.

We have 50 members made up of representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities, UN agencies, international organizations, policymakers, industry, academia, Civil Society and experts on accessibility.  As one of the outputs from DCAD, it's been developing and updating the DCAD accessibility guidelines, version 2015, that Gunela and Gerry will talk about, which were submitted to the IGF Secretariat to improve the accessibility of the IGF meetings.  The guidelines cover accessibility considerations, venue, technology, provision of information, remote participation, facilities, registration, transport, accommodation and staff training.  We have this to know, if you have time, you can access the Web Page of the ITU, so you can find this, the last version of this guideline just for you to follow the discussions here during the presentation.

I will talk very quickly about some ICT accessibility issues.  So we have Internet digital accessibility and SDGs, so developed, global card developed by Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Francesca is here.  So goal of accessibility that Gerry presented on sustainable criteria for public procurement in the last session, and persons with disabilities using telephone and Internet, that Andrea presented.

I think it's important to say to you that this kind of meeting here is to try to get from you the contributions that we can improve what we are doing.  So as the Secretariat for this our work is to help you on put together the organizations and also the UN agencies, in order to allow you to include your ideas in some methodologies, in some real actions to try to improve what we have today related to persons with disabilities.

So I don't know if you have some questions.  I think it's a very quick introduction on the DCAD.  But I'd like just to get my part of the floor here to talk about one specific very important thing that is occurring here in Americas region, if you allow me.  I took office in the ITU three years ago only, and in 2014 I tried to talk to the member states of the ITU, not only the governments, but also the sector members, academia, associates.

So ITU has not only member states, governments as members.  So we have more than 700 sector members.  We have around 140 academias, universities, and we are trying to improve that.  We have some projects to try to include the academia, the universities as members.  The last council of the ITU, if I remember well, decided to have a special fee for academia, only $2,000 a year to be a member.

So this is some kind of a thing just to include academia and researchers in the work of the ITU.  So I tried at the time in 2014 to find a specific topic that the ITU should try to add value, because in the ICT telecommunication and communication area, we have a lot of topics.  Andrea touched on the T sector, standardization sector of the ITU.  So we have many study groups.  We have many activities.  We have now this new IoT group so that we comment this in the last session also.

We have groups for television, that is dealing with also some specific topics and captioning, etcetera.  But in the region here, we didn't have at the time a specific action on accessibility.  We thought in the time in 2016 we would have this big event, the first time in South America, the Paralympics games.  We thought that maybe it would be a very good target to us, because we were in 2014, just to work three years to do something and to send to the Paralympics games some protocol and real proposals from the region, just to add for the global way.  So we tried to do that through an event, annual event, named Accessible Americas.

The first Accessible Americas was held in Brazil in San Paolo in November 2014, the last one in November also in Medellin, Colombia.  And interesting, the last one last week in Mexico City, was here in Mexico, with the total support of the administration of Mexico, the Federal Institute of Telecommunication, also the regulator and also many, many NonGovernmental Organisations.  I'm saying that because during this event we presented a paper at the end, so I will share with you the event.  So many topics, relevant topics for the region, and I think we can also apply for the other regions because during the event, the Secretariat we tried just to get the information from everybody, and tried to put this in paper as a best practices that the region is doing right now.  All the countries we are in the same step, we have the same problems.  Maybe putting this in the promotion ‑‑ legal policy and regulatory frameworks, we get all this that the countries are doing right now, Brazil, Mexico, U.S., Canada, the promotion of public access that we have also a lot of activities in Argentina, in Brazil, Canada, Colombia.  We have also a part of mobile communications accessibility, some specific activities in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, USA, a part television video program accessibilities is another topic, so also a lot of activities.

Another topic, Web accessibility.  Relay center.  Okay.  Andrea told me just to talk about this relay center.  The relay center, it's, it takes advantage of several ICTs in order to provide different communication services to deaf, hard‑of‑hearing and persons with language disabilities.

We have this in Colombia.  Since 2001, this relay center has involved and currently provides relay services by means of a chat, either through text or video, online services of translation from and to sign language to a device with Internet connection and speakers.  Number 3, a Forum to enable Colombians, because this is specific for Colombia, to appropriate ICT both through sign language and written language, and the fourth topic is training to be a sign language interpreter.

So this is an example, that is a document that I will share with you, so we have a lot of, a lot of activities.  Maybe we can try to get best practices from here and try to promote what the region is doing, and also maybe we can present this for the other regions, that what we are doing right now here.

So trying to promote and try to see that all over the world, we have a lot of activities on accessibility.  Maybe we need more visibility, we need more promotion.  So that is exactly what we are doing here.  So continuing Web accessibility, you have a lot of activities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico.  So just to know the participation of this event last week here in Mexico, we had more than 20 countries, including the Caribbean, so the Caribbean was presented by 7 countries including the organization, the CTU, Caribbean Telecommunication Union, that works in telecommunication in the Caribbean.

If I remember well, we had Santa Lucia, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago.  I will say to you but I don't remember very well, but I can after that send to you these things.

So, six, accessible ICT public procurement also, we have in Brazil and Mexico procurement policies.  So for instance, Mexican public function Ministry in charge of all procurement policies has signed a memorandum of understanding with G3ict, to incorporate accessibility obligations in the Government procurement policies.

So Brazil is, specifically the San Paolo Government has also been working closely with the organization.  And after that, maybe you can give her information to us.  Okay.  ICT accessibility projects, so we have a lot of some projects, and in conclusion, just to say to you, some good practices were identified as source of inspiration to be shared among the region and among the world.

The Government, the first one, the Government must be an example of Web accessibility, and must consider that social media plays a key role in spreading information to the public.  2, establish commitments and milestones towards Web accessibility of public entities' Web sites.  Commitments must be progressive because it's impossible just to go to the end.  3, provide guidance and support of achieving accessible social media by Government entities, private entities, academia, NGOs and all related stakeholders.  Toolkits, good practices, tips, and examples of know‑how in accessible social media are important to be shared.

4, strength, collaboration among all involved stakeholders in all activities and projects developed for persons with disabilities, keeping in mind nothing about us without us.  Number 5, universities are important allies to be considered in mainstreaming and education of accessibility issues.

It's one topic also that, why, it's not only for accessibility, but other topics in the ICT area that we in ITU, we are trying to invite and try to get more universities in our, to be our members, just to give us more this spirit of research and status on the new projects that they are developing.

6, active participation of persons with disabilities and groups representing persons with disabilities is of essence.  IT operators and manufacturers have a key role to play in promoting the development of accessible services and equipments for persons with disabilities and for fostering entrepreneurial innovation in the area of ICT accessibility.

Recognition and awards are recommended to promote ICT accessibility as an incentive to leverage the rights to communicate to all.  Promotion, promote open sources creation to make accessible applications and reduce their costs, and thus make them available and affordable for persons with disabilities.

When open sources is not an alternative, Government could negotiate a nationwide license.  And the final one is audiovisual contents are a way of expressing and generation awareness on ICT accessibility.

So these are the conclusions of these forums.  We have a very, a lot of content in this final report.  The final report will publish in our site in the ITU also.  So and if you need any information, I am available for that, and also Kaoru Mizuno and other people that work in the Secretariat of the ITU.  And for me, I think it's very important to show that the work in the ITU is the work of the members, as from the Secretariat we help you.  But we are not doing everything.  We can help with our expertise, using some people that is giving us a lot of efforts, as Andrea.  But we need from you that the members, the countries, NonGovernmental agencies, NonGovernmental Organisations, to give us what you want, and we can work together on that.

So, this is what I'd like to say to you, and this finishes my presentation, initial presentation.  It's okay?  I did well or not?

>> ANDREA SAKS: Yeah, you did very well.  I'm quite impressed with what you have done in the Americas, but I've got some suggestions.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: I know you have.  I know you have.  You sent me a message yesterday, it's something between us.  Let's go to the second topic of our agenda, and I'm going to give the floor to Markus Kummer to report on IGFSA General Assembly.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much.  It's my pleasure to be here.  I'm not a member of the DCAD nor am I an expert on accessibility.  But I think I am considered a friend of the DCAD.  I do remember when I was head of the Secretariat, we organized the main session on accessibility in Sharm El Sheikh.  Several people around the table were part of that.  I think it was an excellent session.  Allow me to say a few words on the IGF support association.

It may be seen as a commercial for an association, but I think it's worthwhile for you to take notice, and I think by strengthening the IGFSA you will also strengthen the DCAD.  But let me start with the beginning.  We were set up two years ago with the aim to support the IGF, to promote the IGF and to also provide financial support, additional financial support.  As you know, the IGF is funded through voluntary contribution and therefore in constant need of funding, and we felt there was a need for additional funding sources, and also we helped fund the national and regional IGF initiatives.

One of our objectives is also to provide fellowships, but so far we have not found a sustainable way of doing this.  And this year, we managed to fund five members of DCAD to come here to the meeting in Guadalajara, the funding was not from our own budget, but we received it from a donor who wished to remain anonymous, and we would like to thank this anonymous donor for that.

And as we go forward, we have to see whether we can provide more fellowship, but right now in the General Assembly, we decided to reserve a budget percentage of 10 percent for the IGF Secretariat.  If the IGF Secretariat asks us to fund something, then we can do it within our budget.  But we have some funds left from this anonymous donor, and we keep that in trust.  And one possibility could also be that other donors may wish to contribute to that trust within our budget, so that going forward, we can also provide additional funding.

I would be remiss if I did not point out Kyle Schulman who is sitting there in the back, assuming the role of remote moderator.  He did all the logistical handling.  He organized tickets at the hotels and all the problems that came up with hotel rooms and Judy can tell us more about the problems, we think.  He did ask the hotel to have rooms that are accessible.  They said yes, we have.  When Judy arrived, they were not.

This is I think one of the problems you are used to, and it's I think also important to signal to people who are not members of the DCAD, these very practical level, just you cannot take a yes for an answer.  That can be very frustrating.  We do apologize but that was outside of our control.

I have here a flier of our association.  We have a booth in the IGF village.  Kyle is at the booth.  You are more than welcome to join the association, as members we ask for a modest membership fee of $25 a year.  But I think you have a very good return on your investment, if you strengthen the association and you can provide more support in the future.

So with that, I thank you for your attention.  And I apologize in advance, that I have to leave the meeting, as I have various commitments, simultaneous commitments.  I have to go to other meetings at the same time.  But again I wish you a successful meeting, and we have then the main session on Dynamic Coalitions tomorrow, where Dynamic Coalition will also provide input and other bigger audience there of people who are less familiar with these issues.  But once again, I think these are very important issues, and Andrea very eloquently always points out that many people, most of us are at least at one time in their lives, maybe temporarily, faced with accessibility issues.

I was so three years ago when I had an operation, I was on crutches, and I faced exactly the same problem in a Paris hotel.  I asked for a hotel with shower only and it was a bathtub, and it's just, I mean it sounds banal, but it brings up the issues you can be faced with.  With that, I thank you for your attention.  And I wish you an excellent meeting.  And wish you success going forward.  You are really doing an excellent job.  Thank you very much.

 (applause).

>> Before Markus leaves the room, as one person who was sponsored, can I publicly say how grateful we are for the contribution from the anonymous donor, and from Markus and Kyle and all the wonderful work you have done.  Thank you very much.

>> ANDREA SAKS: I'm sounding like Cary Grant.  Judy, Judy, Judy.  Judy.  The E‑mails that were flying between Kyle and Judy were just phenomenal.  I felt so relaxed, I didn't have to do it.  They did a great, great job.  I want to publicly say thank you to both Kyle and to Judy for all the work that they did.

Thank you.

>> I admire Judy for having kept a sense of humor as well.  (chuckles).

>> I'd like to add, what Gerry and Andrea said, we really appreciate the support, and encouragement to come here and participate.  So thank you very much.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: Thank you so much, Markus.  Number 3 point of our agenda, review accessibility of IGF 2016, about venue, accommodation, transport, physical accessibility, food, remote participation, registration process, and, okay.  So I pass the floor to you.  Judy, do you want the floor?

>> My name is Judy Okite.  A few observations, concerning accessibility 2016 in Mexico.  This morning, when I was talking with Gunela, I told her I don't remember a wonderful IGF like Azerbaijan.  Azerbaijan was accessible, the people were friendly, they were available.  And I'm still looking for citizenship for Azerbaijan.  (chuckles).

Looking at the accessibility in Mexico, my goodness, let me begin with transport.  No, let me begin with communication.

There wasn't communication as expected.  We kept requesting, who is in charge of persons with disabilities in Mexico.  We did not receive this information until we got here.  By the time we got to the airport, there was no transport.  So I had to take a taxi to the hotel.  I got into the hotel, the request was for an accessible room.  The night that I got there, it was not available.  So I had to wait until the following day at 3:00 p.m. for the room to be available.

Now, to my surprise, I just said when it comes to accessibility, probably everybody understands it in their own way.  An accessible room is not a big room.  There are amenities that make it accessible.  The washroom, the toilet, in that accessible room, is not accessible.

The bathroom, the shower, the floor is very slippery, so I have to throw a towel before I take a shower.  So that I don't slip over.

The bed itself is like ten inches high.  So you kind of have to jump on to it.  When it comes to accessible I wouldn't say really that the accessible room for me is accessible.

Coming to the transport to the venue, I had requested for a small car, because I cannot do a step into a van.  So I kept sharing this information, but it wasn't being understood.  So yes, this morning, I made sure that I was outside so that they can actually see that I can't get into it.  So they had to get for me a small car.

So that had to be done this morning.  Yesterday, when we got here, there was accessibility information desk, yes, they got us, well, the first person we met did not have an idea whether there was a wheelchair.  So yes, at some point, we got the wheelchair.  Unfortunately, the person who was assigned disappeared somewhere.  So I cannot use a wheelchair and wheel myself.  So I kept asking for help from people, like hello, could you wheel me to this next place, and the next person to that place, and I was telling Gunela this morning I don't think I'm going to take a wheelchair today, because it makes me more disabled when I'm not able to move from one room to the next.

What I'm supposed to talk about?

>> ANDREA SAKS: You are doing fine.  Just keep going.  You ended up telling, we need to tell people how you do get around when you don't use a wheelchair.  And also elevators and stairs, things like that.  Go for it.

>> JUDY OKITE: Thank you.  I do use a walker to get around.  So getting to the registration yesterday was quite a challenge.  They had to do the registration outside.  Yes.  So when it comes to registration, it wasn't accessible enough.  I don't know how the others managed to get there.

Because one, it's across the street, yeah, so they had to, I had to request a taxi man to get me across the street, to do that.  And then also the accessibility, walking to the registration, wasn't accessible either.

Yes, there is the lifts, yeah, that are kind of hidden.  If you are not sure where you are going, you can keep going around.  I think Peter can say something about that.

The washroom at the venue, it's not accessible.  It doesn't have the handrails.  So yes, it is not about the big room.  It is about the amenities, how can you use them.  Thank you.

  (applause).

>> ANDREA SAKS: I want to say something in addition.  Once I get here, and once Judy gets here, and when we talk to people, we can have what we want.  We need to have a training situation, where, I don't know how we should accomplish this, but when I got here and there were problems with the technical stuff, they were great.  I want to give them a round of applause, because they, we have difficulties.

  (applause) 

But they had the right attitude.  They are willing to work.  The problem is education.  We need to do more.  We have done the guidelines.  We are going to talk about those in a minutes.  I'm beginning to think we ought to, what makes a accessible venue, what makes a accessible room.  There is more work for DCAD to do on that kind of thing.

Maybe there has to be an advanced team that comes from the ITU who I have trained and who Judy has trained, and who Gerry has trained and Gunela too, everybody.  So that we know the pitfalls, I think maybe that is one of our next projects.  If that is okay, do you want to say something about ‑‑

>>   I accompanied Judy yesterday morning, when Judy was arriving and registering and getting through the, to the front of the venue.  It was so frustrating, because there weren't any people who really knew what to do.  At one stage, we were surrounded by four or five people, saying can we help you?  But they really didn't know what to do.

When we asked repeatedly where is the wheelchair, they couldn't find it.  And so the training is vital.  I think if that can be done beforehand by people who know, and everyone is different.  Judy's requirements are very different from Gerry's and my own.  It's understanding the diversity of the disability community too.  So there really is training, number one, required.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Gunela.  Mr. Tambelae ‑‑ I'm going to spell it for the captioner ‑‑ Demebele, is a French speaker.  And we did make people aware that he was a French speaker.  He does read English.  So captioning is vital for him.  And he understands my wacky French, thank god.

So we need, when we have someone with a disability who is representing his country, who does speak another language, we are requesting somebody also who can speak that language.  Though this particular event is done in English, we do have translation, so we do know that there are people here who can translate, and with persons with disabilities, who need to find different amenities as you call them, we need to have somebody assigned to someone like Mr. Demebele to make his life easier, because he is a wonderful human being who works in ITU‑D, as the Rapporteur for the accessibility question, question 7 in the D sector.  He has a lot of information to give us and has not been able to perhaps be willing to participate, because ‑‑ he is reading this now ‑‑ because of the fact that he would prefer to speak in his own language.

So when we have an accessibility event, like we have today, it would have been helpful if we had a person who is a Francophile to assist in the translation.  That is accessibility too.

I personally have found everybody though when I come to them as an individual and explain the problem, they really have accommodated us here.  It is the advance work that we need to work on, and the training, as we have all been discussing.  Thank you.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: I think someone wants to say, because we didn't finish this topic about venue accommodation, transport.  I don't know if someone wants to say something?  The floor is open.

>> GERRY ELLIS: From the point of view of a blind person, I might make some comments.  One of the things that you have to do before you come to a meeting like this is register online.  The online registration process is totally inaccessible, because it has a Captcha, which is a visual thing which cannot be done by a blind person.  That is one thing.

The other thing that I would, two points I'd make is we have been talking about training, whatever.  It's important for IGF to work with local organizations of people with disabilities, the hotel can say a room is accessible but if a local person came to that room six months ago, Judy would not have been in a position that she was in, because they could have told him no, it is not accessible, use a different hotel.

The third thing I would say, it's not just the venue itself that needs to be accessible.  I would find it utterly impossible to come here without my assistant Patty, because I would be in my room for the entire 6 days that I'm here.  There needs to be an accessible restaurants in the area, accessible bars or whatever it might be, to sort of, you can go out and get the entire enjoyment, and bring the whole thing, you know, enjoy the whole thing, as well as just in the room.

If I came here as a blind person there is no way I could get around this venue, it's huge and massive, even with Patty we are having difficulty sometimes finding places.  It has to be the whole, accessibility of the whole process, the time you register, remote participation, night meetings in advance, the whole process right through and not just the vision of the day.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Regarding the restaurants, Gerry, when we went to a meeting, Francesca and I a few years ago I was with a blind person, I got adopted as a guide, which means it was fun.  It was a person I knew from the past.  There was a list provided for participants on the accessibility of restaurants, accessible restaurants were notified in advance, they were accessible.  They weren't horrible stairs to go up and down.  There was a list provided.  I think that was a good solution.  We can add that, a little groundwork before we go somewhere.  I'm not loud enough?

That is amazing.  Most people think I'm too loud.  Fortunately, the captioner, the captioner is Caption First and they know my voice.  We are lucky.  I'm recorded.

Does anyone else, can I ‑‑ Mr. Demebele, do you want to say anything?  Do you want to say something?  Go ahead.

>> He is saying that he is going to translate ‑‑ he is going to speak in French but I'm going to translate.

Mr. Demebele is Rapporteur for the question 7 in the ITU‑D, and he has been working with Andrea for a long time.

If I got it right, he had to leave the first hotel, because he couldn't access the bathroom.  But since then he had no other issues.

Thank you for your attention.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Actually, what happened when I came into the building, there is an accessibility booth.  I went and spoke to them immediately and said we are going to have persons with disabilities coming.  Will you tell them where the accessible meeting is at this time, and there will be some people in wheelchairs, there will be some people who will be walking, some people who are blind, can you make sure they come to room 6.  That chap actually did that.

So, he was with Mr. Demebele when I got down here to see everybody at room 6.  The accessibility booth really was a good idea.  But if I hadn't gone and done something about it, it would have been totally nonusable.  Accessibility booth, good.  But that we need to make better use of that facility.  Does anybody else ‑‑ Judith, you are talking, what do you want to say?

>> Yes, it's Judith Helsing.  I think that is a great idea because the accessibility booth, what we found is that they set that up, but they don't educate the people.  So we need to, when we have that in mind, also have in mind that they may not be educated and we need to educate the people, because that is what they want to solve the issue, but they don't know how.

>> ANDREA SAKS: I want Mexico to feel fine, because every time we do work with people, people get it.  So if you don't know, you don't know.  So everybody here, as I said before, once I gave the problem, just got it and came to the aid.  It's not that people are incapable or don't care.  It is that there is not a mechanism in place.

I've been to Mexico so many times, I love it here.  So I've never really had a big problem.  But then again I've only gotten slightly disabled since I've gotten older.  But as Gerry has said, you wouldn't have been able to do anything if you hadn't had Patty.

Gunela?

>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Couple of quick suggestions.

I know Captcha is considered important and there are ways to make Captcha accessible by just saying, what is 1 plus 1.  Yeah, sometimes audible isn't so good, either.

But you can just have a question, what is 1 plus 1.  An you put in 2, something like that, that can't be used by a robot.  So that's solvable.

The other question when we talked about restaurants, I know in Australia, for example, if there is a major disability conference in regards to restaurants close by, informing restaurants, checking of course they are accessible, but also maybe having a menu in large print, just having a few things lined up beforehand which really makes a difference.  And even in Braille.  But there are things that can be done, to really make the visit a pleasant one.  Thanks.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: Okay, so let's go to the other point of the agenda, suggested updates to the DCAD accessibility guidelines, 2015.  So I give the floor to Gunela and Gerry.

>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you.  So, I'll start and Gerry will continue.  For those who are not familiar, I might give a bit of introduction.

So, the DCAD accessibility guidelines were created a number of years ago, I think, in India, the meeting there maybe?  Istanbul.  Okay.

And it has been updated a number of times, based on experiences, and that is what we are doing again.  So Gerry and I have been tasked to take that on.  At this stage, what I've done is basically gone through the document, and increase the flow of a language and so forth, and but I will just go through the contents, because it covers quite a lot.

So in the introduction, it states that the DCAD provides guidelines to the IGF Secretariat on how to improve accessibility at IGF meetings and to eliminate barriers.  The intention is to help the IGF Secretariat to improve accessibility and inclusion for persons with disabilities, and persons with age related disabilities during IGF meetings.

So it requires a staff of IGF to understand certain procedures, and to include those requirements as mandatory in all host agreements, and so that is on a high level.  And I come back to that word, mandatory, in a second.

But, what currently is in the guidelines are an accessibility considerations, when organizing IGF meetings, so to be aware of attendees' needs and requirements, and choosing a accessible environments for the meeting and there are various subsections about the accessible environment, providing information about the event, there are some subsections.

The fourth issue is provide accessible information, and there is a lot of different issues there.  And we already have a section for training and informing assistance staff and we need to work more on that one.

Finally, allowing anyone to provide feedback and comment.  We have already done that in this environment, but I'm sure there are other ways that feedback can be encouraged as well.  And the DCAD involvement of course is very important, and annexes, there are three.  One is a sample registration form, which covers some of the maybe requirements that people may have, so they can tick box this and provide more detail.

There is a checklist, which covers some other things that the organizers should consider, and then finally there is a list of references, because there are other accessibility guidelines to meetings that are available.  There is U.S., Australian, Canadian, ones for example that are in the guidelines.  There is also some ITU reference as we expand its work, etcetera.

That gives you a idea of what is covered in the guidelines.

So, as I said before, that sentence in the introduction talks about the requirements that are mandatory in host agreements.

So that is very important, because as IGF Secretariat negotiates with hosts about the venue, they would need to consider and include some of what is here in the guidelines.  What we as the DCAD need to work on is all of these particular criteria in the guidelines going to be mandatory, are some going to be desirable.  We of course would like everything to be accessible.  But sometimes there might have to be some give and take too.

That I think is a very important discussion that we can all contribute to.  So that is something that is a work in progress.  Gerry and I have discussed that we really are only at the starting point of the revision, and over the next three months or so, we will do it when we go back home.

Finally, I want to mention about the references, that they are, annex 3, the references, they are quite important to consider in regard to how other countries, organizations put together guidelines, and some are Government guidelines, and some are from NGOs.  I'd also like to point out one I've included from Australia, a meeting and events Australia guidelines on accessible events.  This is actually done by an organization that has members of businesses that organize events.

So it is really good to see that an industry organization is considering this.  So looking at that as against how a Government or NGO considers accessibility can be useful.  That is probably all I would like to say right now.  So I hand over to Gerry, who has got some ideas on how we are going to move forward.

>> GERRY ELLIS: Thank you, Gunela.  Gerry Ellis here.

Yeah, as Gunela said, we really only started this, we would hope to get a lot of work, we will do some of the work on it ourselves over the next couple of months.  We will, we do plan then to put it out to public comment amongst DCAD members and maybe even further afield, and we would hope to have something well in place in time to inform IGF for next year's conference, and hopefully it will be used by that.

Part of what we were talking about or one of the issues that Gunela mentioned during that was remote participation.  So it is part, an important part of the meetings.  The remote participation that we had here this morning, the public face, the bit that we see is the technology.  I'm not sure what technology tool that we are using, I think it was Adobe Connect.  So you do have to have the technology, but don't forget that anyone who wants to do remote participation if they are not doing it from their own home, maybe there is a regional meeting which we are remotely linking to the main, all things Gunela has been talking about, accessible rooms, accessible meetings all apply to remote participation venue just as much as they do to the main venue here.

What we are talking about goes so much, so closely hand in hand that Gunela and I are going to develop these two documents hand in hand.  Doesn't mean I'll be hand in hand with Gunela, because it's a long way from Ireland to Australia.  (chuckles).

But we will develop these two documents hand in hand as we work on them.  I will say something special about the technology of Adobe because it's so important, and making a choice of an accessible remote participation tool, I think makes it important enough to have it as a separate document.  Maybe that will be available as a second document and the overall document will point to that as a sub document if you like.

We have to make sure that the tool covers the needs of deaf people, subtitles, captions, all of those chat boxes to make sure they are accessible.  But it also has to cover the needs of blind people, people who maybe have dexterity problems or whatever.  I'm not aware of any tool that does all those things.  I know different tools that cover needs of deaf people, I know a different tool that is used by a school for the blind, in America.  So it must be accessible for blind people.  I haven't used it.  But I'm told of it.  So there is a bit of experimentation to do.

Part of this remote participation process, I hope to get a small group of people together who will do a bit of experimenting on three or four tools which we can then recommend one to IGF.

I think I'm going to leave it at that and open it up to the floor, and we might hear about experience of any people here who were using remote participation tools, maybe Gunela and I will be only too happy to take any questions.  Thank you.

>> Valentina from Bosnia Herzegovina.  I would like to thank everyone, have been incredible to be here.  We last year, two years ago, we did the form where we just put the people with disability, a box, and we got one participant, and was functional.  Next year, this year our local IGF, national IGF had the main panel on people with disability, they were talking, they represent different multistakeholders, and we learn a lot.  We knew that we did the sign languages interpretation in local language, because we wanted to give a sign; I couldn't do that transcription because it's costly.

But I really think that it is important that diversities are really fully accepted, and are empowered, and people can be here.  I can't believe that a international, I mean the global IGF, it's doing such mistakes.  I'm shocked.  I'm really happy that there are guidelines because we will need it.  We were wrong about putting the chairs making people sitting, of course, your heads and legs and habits.  Those guidelines will help us, will empower the community, will let the regulatory agency of communication that take the issue seriously in Bosnia to make better.  But I'm really shocked that we have still at this level at an Internet Governance Forum to talk about universal access, and we have not access to our own bathroom.  It's shocking.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Valentina.  We have met before on the Internet which is great.  But because I want to point out that one of the ladies you work with is Amilla, who is also a Vice‑Rapporteur of, Co‑Rapporteur with Mr. Demebele for question 7 in the ITU.  One of the things I want to point out to Gerry, we did try taking this document and we made two recommendations.  They are separate.  One is the ITU technical paper on accessible remote participation.  And it always could use improvement, the ITU technical paper on accessible meetings.  While I've been sitting here, I made a suggestion to Bruno, we should maybe have a contest, a contest that, because we have them from time to time for development, to make an accessible remote participation tool.  That is what Adobe is.  Maybe young people could do that, and maybe somehow a new participation tool could be created, that the ITU would end up using and adopting.

I know Judith is stomping on the bit to say something.

>> JUDITH HELSING:  This is Judith Helsing.  So Gunela and I have been working and some others, within ICANN, and at large with a technology task force.  We have been pushing the ICANN about these issues.  But one thing you left off on the list is what is also a real problem, is mobile users of remote tools, because often, while a tool is accessible on a PC, it is not necessarily all parts accessible on an iPad.

So, we know all the faults of Adobe, and they are pushing, we have got them, it seems to be the best tool right now and being pushing and keep pushing, because as Flash, which is the biggest problem on mobile, is gone away with and html 5 is brought out, we are going to have a lot less issues.

But another tool that we have tested in the technology task force, where we have that list of testing all the tools, that we are planning on testing, is Meetecho which is what the IETF uses and the IETF has several blind participants who are active on the tool.  We are going to try to test that and see, because apparently, since it's open source they have a lot of tools that they haven't rolled out.  But they can roll out, if there is interest.

So we are going to be doing, we are working with people at the IETF to test that tool, and to see can they answer our questions.  Can they answer, are they better.  One of the problems that a lot of tools don't use, don't have, is voice is, the ability to call out to people.  I can use as, all those things as Gerry was saying, I'm not in a perfect tool.  So we need to find which ones will be best.  And maybe Meetecho might be something that they can scale up, if they have some money or something like that, that we can then accomplish all what we need.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Judith.  IETF, if they are doing something there, we would like to encourage them to also work with the people who work in ITU.  There is a competition thing between IETF and ITU.  Sometimes they are friends and sometimes they are not.  But in this particular case, I'm going to rely on you to do some communication.  Maybe a safe place for them to come is to the Dynamic Coalition, or to come to the JCA, the Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility.  But we will talk off‑line about that.

>> I'm going to pass it back.

>> BRUNO RAMOS: Okay, any questions?  We are almost ending our session.  I don't know if you have any questions about ‑‑ okay.  Please.  Please say your name.

>> I'm from the Netherlands.  When I came in, I thought it was about more in general about accessibility, people with handicap.  So but it is especially working on the IGF meetings, this is important not to talk general but to be concrete.  From the Netherlands, I'm a board member of a institution with people with light and severe mental handicaps.  What I see there, both working with the United Nations Charter of the rights, there you see that life gets complex.  Banks are getting out with personal services, lot of things are digital.  I expect in some way that this might have played a role in this debate.  But it is another thing, but now we are at the end of the meeting.  It is important to think about like you said on how to make them participate.

We ourselves in our institution made an assessment of what we are doing, and how people who live independent with a handicap, more and more people live independent, how you can support them, in this extremely complex world, because we talk about the Internet, but it's getting more complex for people with light or severe handicap.  I want to underline this, you have a good approach to look to your own activities, but maybe there is some other workshop or another year that it was advocated and seen it.  So it's very important.  Thank you.

>> ANDREA SAKS: We only know where you come from, for the benefit of the captioner and for us, can you take the mic back, please, and give your name.

>> My name is Lambert.

>> Can you spell for her?

>> I have a look over there.  Lambert, and then van, Nistelrooij epsilon.

>> ANDREA SAKS: That is a specific mark that we don't have.  We will get that sorted out in the transcript because we would like to quote you and also stay in touch with you.  There are many organizations that all of us come from, that work on specific technology.  This is, the DCAD took on making IGF accessible, because it wasn't.  This is what we want.  Wait a minute, don't go away.  We got you, kid.

Yes, okay.  That's fine.

>> We have only a few minutes.  Maybe we can go to the next accessible screen reader, Gerry.  No?

>> GERRY ELLIS: I'm not sure what this issue is about, I thought we were going to talk about accessible remote participation.  What I will maybe mention that might be of interest is people who are in the room may not know that blind people use a piece of software which translates what is on the screen into speech.  So I have a little earpiece on my ear now, I can hear what is on my computer because it's speaking into my ear.  Most of those are very expensive.  But there is one which is free, and is open source.  That's NVDA, N for November, V for victor, D for doctor, and A for accessibility.  NVDA.  That is available to anyone for free, it's available in several different languages.  So I don't know if that is what this thing is about.  But that information hopefully will be of use.

>> MR. DEMEBELE:  Thank you for giving me the floor.  I want to touch upon the question 7, which is specifically about the access of persons with disabilities to the ICTs.

>>  He is just saying that disabilities is also age related disability, and with the increase of age, probably all of us experience it.  I do.

So it would be a good thing to, during the IGF, to have the national experiences, that is all countries, especially developed countries, would give the experiences what they have, and that would help very much the developing countries as well.

So, Mr. Demebele said that to improve the efficiency of the group, they organized two meetings of the rapporteurs to gather the experiences from each country.  Thank you.

>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Mr. Demebele.  The last person to make a comment before we close is Judy Okite.

>> JUDY OKITE: Thank you very much.  My closing remarks, to IGF, thank you for your contribution and work.  Thank you very much, Kyle, it was wonderful working with you.  I hope we do that again.  I still do insist that within the Secretariat there needs to be somebody with a disability as a contact person.  I know this has continually been a political matter, that persons with disabilities cannot be looked at like a stakeholder.  But I still insist that there needs to be a contact person.  Thank you.

>> ANDREA SAKS: We have one lady from the audience, her name is Esther Deprietas, who wants to say something.  Then we are going to close.

>> Hi.  I'm a graduate student from University of Brazil, and I'd like to know how can I make accessibility a reality at my university, because I have only one subject that explains a little about accessibility.  And we are making Web sites, apps, and we don't know how to make accessibility a reality.

>> ANDREA SAKS: We can't actually answer this question for you right now, due to time.  But I'm giving you my card.  I want your details.  I will start connecting you with people who might be able to assist you.

I'm going to have to close, because our technical people have to eat or they will die.  They have been absolutely wonderful, to let us go past that.  I want to thank everybody who's come here, especially Bruno, and all the people who have worked, we have Diego in charge of all the technical people.  It has been fabulous.  Thanks for coming.  We have gotten a lot out of this.  We will be in touch at the next remote DCAD meeting, which is captioned, and therefore I also want to thank our captioner who did really great.  And the meeting is now closed.  Thank you.

  (applause).

  (end of meeting at 13:35)

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