IGF 2018 DC on Accessibility and Disability

Salle VI

Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD)

Round Table - 90 Min


DCAD developed DCAD accessibility guidelines and this was referenced and has been mentioned for several years at the MAG meetings when IGF annual meetings were planned. This DCAD accessibility guidelines became the inspiration of the creation of two ITU-T Technical Papers on accessibility. One was Guidelines for accessible meetings and the other Accessible remote participation. These ITU-T guidelines are now being updated by ITU-T Q26/16 next meeting in July 2018. The Coordinator of DCAD is the lead contributor to the updating of these Guidelines. DCAD’s view on the documents will be discussed as well as future plans for combining them into one document called The Accessibility Handbook for Meetings and Remote Participation. DCAD will also discuss emerging accessibility topics which have not been highlighted or properly explored, e.g., invisible disabilities. Future DCAD activities will also be discussed in order to further increase its effectiveness with an aim, to get more participants and subsequently more contributions from the IGF community for improved access and inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in all IGF activities.


Coordinator: Andrea J. Saks, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) Secretariat support: ITU


Moderator: Andrea J. Saks, G3ict Speakers: Gunela Astbrink, Women With Disabilities Australia Gerry Ellis, Feel The BenefIT G. Anthony Giannoumis, Oslo Metropolitan University Muhammad Shabbir, Board of Directors of ISOC Islamabad Pakistan Chapter Judith Hellerstein, Founder/CEO of Hellerstein & Associates Lidia Best, Vice President of European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) Rapporteur: Kaoru Mizuno, ITU

Session Time
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

IGF 2018 Pre-Session Synthesis & Short Report Template

Pre-Session Synthesis Due: 2 November 2018

Short Report Due: Within 12 hours of when session is held

[sample report here]






- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Dynamic Coalition


- Title: Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability


- Date & Time: Day3, Wednesday 14 Nov, 12:30 – 13:30


- Organizer(s): Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability


- Chair/Moderator: Gerry Ellis


- Rapporteur/Notetaker:


- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):


- Theme (as listed here):         Digital Inclusion & Accessibility

- Subtheme (as listed here): Persons with disablities


- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]

  • IGF has to live up to its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in accessing IGF meetings, including remote participation accessibility.
  • IGF should consider DCAD participants’ repeating request for an improvement of its remote participation tool so that persons with disabilities especially persons with vision impairment can easily participate in IGF meetings.  
  • Accessibility is related to all aspects of society, therefore more collaboration with other DCs is expected.

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [150 words]

There was a strong support for the view that IGF should be committed to the UNCRPD. A number of accessibility problems were pointed out by DCAD members, including but not limited to: remote participation, website (schedule format, online registration), and physical accessibility.  

It was suggested that more collaboration with other Dynamic Coalitions can be explored. Volunteers of DCAD will start on discussion with targeted DCs and will see the possibility. Further idea will be discussed at future DCAD conference calls.


- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [100 words]

Accessibility should be considered from the beginning of organizing meetings as described in DCAD Accessibility Guidelines. It has already been suggested at DCAD meeting in 2014 that persons with disabilities or accessibility experts be part of the IGF preparation process, so as to make sure accessibility is considered in all aspects of IGF meetings.


- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [75 words]

Accessibility is not just for persons with disabilities only, but everyone can benefit from it. The universal design principle 'necessary for some - good for everyone’ should be followed.  Implementing international standards will help ensure ICT accessibility. It is expected that DCAD Accessibility Guidelines submitted to IGF (available at: https://www.intgovforum.org/filedepot_download/4281/517 ) be considered when preparing IGF meetings to improve accessibility.

- Please estimate the total number of participants.

Around 30


- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

Around 15

- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

DCAD believes that persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities, should be on an equal footing, regardless disability or gender as an essential human right. All DCAD discussions are based on this principle.