The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. 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.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Good morning, everyone. This is the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability Session. Our opportunity once a year to have a face to face at the IGF. And we have a number of remote participants as well.
Is it possible to read out the names of the remote participants, please?
Judith Hellerstein is here ready to tell us about the remote participants. While she is setting up, maybe we could go around the room and if everyone can just introduce themselves with their name and their affiliation. Thank you.
So if you would like to start there, please.
>> (Speaking non-English language)
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Pardon my terrible French.
>> (Speaking non-English language)
>> AUDIENCE: Good morning. I'm the founder of Accession for Accessibility and Equality.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: And I'm Gunela Astbrink, Vice President of the Internet Society Special Interest Group.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: There is several remote participants. Glen McKnight. Deidre William, and some remote that are here but in probably another session already.
And then we have Sandra Smith and another one, but I can't pronounce the name because it is a shortened one.
But welcome, all. And if you have any questions, please notate it on the chat and we will make sure that we get them answered.
And I am Judith Hellerstein, I am also with the DCAD and with the accessibility as the secretary and I will pass it over to our esteemed colleague on my right.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: I'm Shadi Abou-Zahra with WC3.
>> PETER CROSBIE: I'm Peter Crosby. I don't have any of those kinds of affiliation.
I'm a member of a number of autistic activists groups and lobbying groups.
>> PETER MAJOR: Good morning. I'm Peter Major from the UN Commission of Science and Technology for Development.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much. We have people in the back row if you would like to introduce yourselves, please. I thought there is a microphone at the table, please.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello. I'm from ADC from Argentina.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, I'm Tess, a researcher based in Kenya, and I do research that caters around understanding how to better equip marginalized communities to get the beneficial things from technology. Basically, yeah.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. Would you like to sit at the table to join us? Okay. That is fine, thank you. We have a packed agenda. Could we see it on the screen, please? Thank you. So we have done introduction.
We will talk next about the accessibility of the online and onsite IGF facilities.
And then we will talk about liaison and accessibility related IGF sessions, the future of DCAD and DCAD activities and there could be any other business. So please consider that if there are any pressing issues.
We have a couple of people just coming to the room. Would you like to introduce yourselves, please?
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, my name is Marie Vlahakis. I work for a Global Womens Rights Organization called Women Kind Worldwide and we are based in the UK.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: My name is Liz Proba. I work for a service provider in the UK called Green Net and we host lots of charities and I do web development so I'm quite interested in accessibility.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much. We were hoping that this session will be quite interactive and it is really good to know who is here. So really good.
So the next item on the agenda relates to the accessibility of this IGF. The physical facilities and the online facilities. I will open the floor to any comments or issues people might have had moving around the venue. Thanks. Shadi Abou-Zahra.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Thank you. This is Shadi Abou-Zahra for the record. Just to break the ice and open the discussion.
I want to say I think physically the venue is one of the best ones we have had in the IGF so far. I really want to thank the host, the organizers for I think excellent work.
There is already at -- when you arrive, an accessibility counter at the reception asking whether any support that you need. The hosts are providing support including staff support actually assistance to help. But also physically so far I have been able to move around very smoothly. I think so for the most part I think this was -- this is a great venue physically.
However, I think the online, the website was really, really difficult to use. And I think there are basically two issues. One -- and I think we have that very often in many years is that there is the main IGF website, and then there is the host website. And the interlink between them is sometimes very difficult, where do you find something and where is the information. You have to really dig several links until you finally find what you need to find.
And then the schedule. I had a real difficulty understanding the schedule and being able to find the sessions that need to be getting an overview. I know there were different views on how you can switch between them, but I found it very difficult to use and these were the main issues from my perspective.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: After the schedule was finalized and now in the web version or mobile app version, did you have problems with that? Or was that much better and maybe we could work with figuring out one you say schedule, what you mean.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: I do not -- I don't have the mobile version. I do not know it. I tend not to use the mobile so much for these kind of things because I have already difficulty on a large screen getting proper overview.
It seems very often to me even harder with just generally with apps on a smaller screen to actually get around at navigate and things like this. So I do prefer it works for me better also pressing the buttons and key word on a full-scale on the laptop rather than fiddling with a smartphone.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: Thanks so much. Do you have any questions on the scheduling with the accessibility of it, too?
>> MUHAMMAD SHABBIR: I don't have the questions on schedule yet. I have a recommendation. I have used mostly the website. It is also available on that as well.
So it would be good if we could see so there is a session name and in front of that if you want to -- if you want to see that where it is -- the session would be placed.
So you have to go to another page and sometimes you have to check. So if the names of is rooms would have been placed right in front of the sessions and at the page where all of the sessions were listed it would have been much easier to scroll down the program and see where you want to go instead of just fiddling with the pages.
One more thing I would like to appreciate is the assistance that the German authorities and local hosts have provided. It is the best one, although it is my second physical IGF attend.
It is way beyond what was experienced earlier. And for that, I have to thank the assistance provided by the local hosts who have been there helping me to roam around in the sessions and to move around quickly amongst the session from one to the other.
Thirdly, there is also appreciable thing that the host provide the food in the food court. An interesting point to know the options about what was available because one has to go about to the food court and check all of the counters and what is available and ask someone to read that.
If there was an option to know about what would be available in the food court, some menu or something like that, that would have been really wonderful. Thank you.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. They are all very useful comments.
Are there any other comments, positive or constructive, that can be done in future that anyone -- yes? Thank you, Peter.
>> PETER CROSBIE: I don't know how constructive this is or positive.
I have been carrying this around for two days. It is a printout of the screen. It is a screenshot of the scheduling page.
Everyone here will have seen it in one way or another. This is not accessible. This does not follow WCA guidelines. It doesn't even begin to.
And I'm -- I'm a bit in the sort of greater Sundberg situation here. I do not understand why we are putting shots like this online.
I don't understand who is looking at this and not recognizing immediately that it is not going to be accessible for a lot of people and does not meet guidelines. Shadi said yesterday in one of the discussions grades of color. There are four grades of blue there.
We have the Twitter and the Facebook icons come twice but they do exactly the same thing, yet we're supposed to be reducing clutter. I mean you can spend an hour on that page. It is like a classic of what not to do. And it was a bit like that last year. And in some respects, I found it a bit easier to navigate this year. But just not really.
So I -- I'm just confused about what is going on here. Why the guidelines aren't being followed and who is fully checking or not checking that they are followed.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Yes, I think they are all very good points. And as an incoming member of the MAG, I will bring the points to the Secretariat and we should be able to plan for the next IGF to improve the website, the interfaces and the apps and so forth.
Any other comments? Yes?
>> AUDIENCE: I'm just curious. It is the IGF. Was there any thought to installing is beacon system for navigation? I know there are a number of sort of options for that type of thing just so sort of allow people to be a little more independent. Just curious on that.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith Hellerstein. I could answer that because we have asked the same questions at ICANN meetings.
Those things are extremely expensive and the IGF does not have the budget. They don't even have the budget for -- we had problems with interpretation because they have rooms have interpretation, but they never thought to get the audio streams from the interpretation to the people doing the captioning.
So many -- in a sense that is a little accessible thing because that means we can't communicate as well those who are attending and can't really participate as well because they -- although we could hear in the room, no one else could hear them because they were not passing through the English language audio stream to the captioners.
And it was something they never thought of. I talked to them afterwards and it was like yeah, we didn't think we -- it is very simple to create the audio streams. They had them on the closed loop but it is simple to get a passthrough to speak to the captioners, but none of this was thought through.
It is just because they don't have the experience. It is not that they are against it. It is just that they are not aware of these issues.
Probably with the website and they weren't aware. When we originally, when the sheets -- when the draft schedule came out, and it was in multicolored and it was very difficult to follow.
We complained. DCAD complained to the IGF and the IGF created a static page for us that was less colors and that could be read by others. So it seems like once we bring awareness, they are willing to do something. But they are totally not aware and they should be aware and hopefully now that Gunela is on the MAG we will get accessibility brought to the highest stage. So all actions she is saying when they are planning we need this, this and this and then it can be taken care of. Because many of these are simple things that can be done but they are not done because they are just not aware.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you, Judith. And I think it just comes back to the fact that we need to continue telling the organizers about these issues because these accessibility issues, if they are addressed, it's going to be better for everyone, really. So that really is the underlying message.
Judy, did you have something to say?
>> AUDIENCE: No.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. Just to add on what Shadi has said so far, this is one of the best venues the IGF has had despite the fact that if you are in a higher level room then you need to actually come down two steps down to go to the bathroom.
That bathroom is not really available on all of the floors, the accessible bathrooms, I mean. The support from the staff has been excellent. I think yesterday I was point for choice, yes, that was really nice.
And then just what we have been saying about the cabling here. It causes a real bump and I saw this yesterday and I saw that Peter was just about to fall off because he wasn't able to -- before he saw that there is more like a bump, yeah.
So this really needs to be taken care of. I think we have discussed it before and we need to bring it back to the front. Thank you.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith. Comments from the remote users. Several did comment on the problems with sched that it was very difficult to manipulate. And also the coloring.
Some people said it is very difficult. It wasn't -- it was hard to figure out how to navigate by days. Without having to look at the full schedule.
And how to just work it and the coloring was very difficult for people to follow along who have some accessibility challenges.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Okay. Thank you. We have a good list there to inform the IGF Secretariat, and I will be working within the MAG in future to hopefully fix many of these issues in future. Okay. So let's move on to the next agenda item, which is a liaison with accessibility related IGF sessions.
And yesterday, we actually had three accessibility sessions. More or less one after the other. The first one was the DCAD workshop accessible ICT in education and employment. And we had a very useful discussion covering many aspects. And with a focus on the global staff. I will just go through each one. And then maybe people in the room or remotely can make any comments about those sessions.
The second session was -- and pardon if I don't get quite the title correct -- internet empowering people with disabilities which was facilitated by the App Association based in the U.S.
And we had a very healthy debate about how app developers can ensure that their apps are made accessible and the rationale for doing that. Not just a cost factor, very much a benefit factor as well.
And moving on then to the French Digital Council that had a session about participatory design for web accessibility. And we had Muhammad Shabbir as one of the panelists and it went into the partition of persons with disability in web design and a lot of aspects about web design itself.
So they are the sessions that have been and there will be a session later this afternoon as a main session at 4:30. And that is Dynamic Coalitions Working to Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. And I will represent DCAD on that panel session at 4:30. So people are welcome to come to that and make comments and any participation would be very welcome.
So I now pass it on to the floor to make any comments about those particular accessibility sessions mainly yesterday. Thanks. All right. So everyone was clear on that. Oh, Shadi, excellent.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: I was hoping others will speak up. I thought it was excellent that we had organizations and individuals from outside of the DCAD proposing sessions this year on accessibility and welcoming new people. Having more diverse perspectives coming in, so, you know, each of the session I think was very different.
I'm very happy that we managed to have a DCAD session as well. Thanks to you, Gunela, for the background you worked on to get the DCAD session as well. I think that was important, but I think it's -- it was a good mix I think we had good different discussions coming from different perspectives.
And, yeah, maybe delving into a little bit of next agendas, I hope we have more of that in the future, that we have more, you know, interactions. One of the things is that we had no slides in all of these sessions.
But more interaction and more discussion and I think that is something that is good to continue.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith Hellerstein for the record.
One of the things also I thought was good or we could work on next time is working on titles and a lot of the issues with people with titles is that they are often translated from a different language.
And so while they may have been appropriate from that language, when translated they got to be a bit offensive to some people. And again, it wasn't an issue of when people were not aware that the terminology they were using was not appropriate.
And I think what we could do is in next time is try to work with people on terminology. And so that way the sessions -- because some people may not have gone to a session because they were so turned off by the title, and we don't want that.
And so I think looking at the titles and people are very happy to change the titles if they know. But they just don't know. And I think that is something that we could look into. Thanks.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Yes. The terminology is important. And certainly an ongoing issue. I should point out that we -- one of accessibility sessions was featured in the daily digital watch and that was the final session on the participatory design to then the term disabled people was used but also the term People with Disabilities.
So we are very pleased that one of the accessibility sessions were featured. And it is unfortunate that that term disabled people was included in that article.
But we will continue raising that as well. Okay. I think we will move on to the next agenda item which is the future of DCAD.
And this is a good time to mention that Andrea Saks, the coordinator of DCAD, is unfortunately not here. She has heavy commitments with ITU, and she was the one who actually was instrumental in ensuring we had that DCAD lunch time session yesterday.
I also want to give thanks to the previous ITU Secretariat, Kaoru Mizuno, who was really excellent in supporting DCAD activities over a number of years.
And now Jose Maria is helping out over short term for the 2019 DCAD who is also, of course, in ITU. And there has been that ongoing support from ITU over many years.
Also want to give special thanks to the IGF Support Association that has been supportive of DCAD, again, over a number of years, in providing a real time text transcription of the MAG meetings and other meetings online as well as this time through additional donation from Google, allowing travel support for three people to be able to come to participate in IGF this year. So thank you very much to IGF for that.
Now the particular agenda item here, future of DCAD, might surprise some people. But we need to have a good discussion in regard to how DCAD will operate in future in regard to the possibility that support from ITU may not be available as it has been in the past.
So, we have been talking about this with Andrea and a small group of us to try and find ways to move forward. And so some of these are -- I think it is important to provide the background to DCAD for those people who are not aware.
DCAD, the Dynamic Coalition was one of the first that had the role of advising on the accessible of online and on-site accessibility and organizing a workshop on accessibility at the IGF and also holding a face-to-face meeting as we are doing now.
Up to this year, DCAD was supported by a Secretariat. And I just mentioned that in regard to Kaoru Mizuno providing reporting and organizational functions. There was ITU funding for four online DCAD meetings per year with real time text transcription and a website as well as a discussion list.
So, DCAD was founded by Andrea Saks who is a very well known disability advocate and has done a pioneering work in accessibility at the ITU. Andrea has been unable to participate fully as DCAD coordinator in the past couple of years based on a number of other ITU accessibility commitments. So there hasn't been a Secretariat support during this year. And there haven't been any online meetings.
So I want to pay tribute to Gerry Ellis who is a DCAD member. He took on the task of organizing a DCAD workshop and sharing the session and representing DCAD at the main session at the 2018 IGF in Paris.
And I have done that now in 2019. We probably won't be able to do that similar function in future without some further support. Now Andrea is due to have discussions with ITU after the IGF. And we need to decide if we should look at alternatives for DCAD's future if that ITU support isn't approved in future.
And also, if Andrea's commitments prevent her from active coordination of DCAD and she has indicated that she probably isn't able to provide that commitment in future. So, this is an opportunity to discuss options and I can -- well, I have a little bit more to say, but I think I will just open it to the floor now, and then we can consider what type of options. But I'm just interested in your comments about what I have just stated. Thank you. Yes, please.
>> AUDIENCE: First of all, I will introduce myself. My name is Karmit coming from India.
I'm myself physically handicapped, more than 160%, but I stay here in Europe and Germany. And I'm also a journalist of the Europa Parliament as well s the Hamburg Parliament.
But unfortunately today I'm a pensioner but still work on the social working grounds of many subjects of physically handicapped and other social problems.
Two aspects I want to bring before so that in the future when we divide about the physically handicapped persons the missing or the digital lines are the representations from the different small countries and different underdeveloped countries.
I can only talk about the Indian, although Indian is a growing country, we have a -- I mean very sorry to say that we don't have fully updated recommendations that is a committee.
But the committee is exclusively for the common purpose and the common policy informing purpose but they don't help the reality of the people who are underdeveloped, not financially supported but they struggle to come out of that.
And the second part I would like to bring to their knowledge, that important issue in Europe that word racism and discriminations to non Europeans and this issue would be very digestible and very interesting if we bring forward to the reality means. Thank you very much.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much. DCAD is global. It should represent people in the community internationally and I know that we have people just from every region in the world so it is an opportunity for people to have a say.
So thank you very much and we will continue to work so that everyone wherever they are can participate in DCAD. When it comes to support for particular countries, I don't think that's within DCAD's mandate apart from raising issues in the global IGF.
But please let's continue that discussion after the meeting and we can see where we go with that. Thank you. Are there any other comments at this stage before I look at the proposed options? Shadi, thank you.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: A couple of comments. First of all, I absolutely echo what you are saying, Gunela, about the access DCAD and the reach across different regions which is one of the reasons we are interested in this to reach communities and regions of the world that we typically do not have the access. I think DCAD is a unique opportunity for global networking that we don't have such venues on an international level as easily to coordinate.
And moving from that, I want to really put out a huge thanks and recognition to all of the work that Andrea Saks has done immense work to move this along for so many years.
I remember the first IGF in Athens many of us were strolling around, not knowing, uncoordinated, and she was the one who suggested that we have one venue where we can come together the individual people who are interested on accessibility and disability and brought that together and made it happen.
And ever -- everybody who knows Andrea knows she is a fearless leader and amazing person and has really driven this to amazing potential. I think this is really great.
My personal observation is I think over the years maybe also a bit of a reflection of IGF generally, but I'm not going to go there but definitely I think in our Dynamic Coalition here is that we started to silo and we started to be speaking more to ourselves and repeating many things, you know, year for year.
You know, Andrea has already worked on this handbook for the MAG and for the IGF years ago on accessibility considerations and we still find that we have to keep repeating it. In a way, it is unfortunate and we have to continue working at this making the IGF itself accessible.
But on the other hand, I really think it is time to start thinking about how we can in the future speak less to ourselves and speak more to other communities. I think there are really many exciting other Dynamic Coalitions and accessibility is a horizontal aspect that addresses all of these. Was it two years ago, I think, I wasn't at last year's IGF. I think that may have been the only IGF I missed. There might have been another one.
Otherwise the one before was the Geneva. I remember there was something that you pulled together, Gunela, with the IoT. Many more things. Privacy is incredibly important to people with disabilities. All of the sensitive information that is being put out.
You know, you name it, accessibility should be part of the discussion. Children and child protection. And what about children with disabilities. So there are all these communities and all these things that we should be I think you know, go more into breadth than depth and really having more interactions with other Dynamic Coalitions and try to make sure accessibility is across the bench. Even though I really enjoy talking with all of you, but we should also be talking to others.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Judy, would you like to comment on that?
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. Thank you, Gunela. Thank you, Shadi, for opening the floor.
I think that comes out very clearly in one of the sessions yesterday when somebody said we need to create more awareness and focus to the able bodied persons.
And it was interesting that even after the workshop I mean somebody came up to me and was like my goodness, they are not that complicated the way we make them seem. They are so simple, it is only that we are not aware.
We do not know what it is that persons about disability want or what it is that they need. And when they come into this forums and they hear it and they are thinking that is not rocket science, that is so simple.
And yes, I do agree with that and I also just like to add on probably it is also time to begin working with the national regional initiatives. We keep talking about a bottom up approach within the IGF.
And unless we can be able to push down the accessibility right from the national forums, what is it that they are doing about accessibility, whether whatever it is that they are holding their forum whether the place is accessible, whether there they are engaging with the persons with disability because this is really a policy making platform that persons with disabilities should be part of. And Of course what we continually said that nothing for us without us.
So it is about time that we started seeing what is it that Persons with Disabilities can bring on to the table and start discussing from the national initiative into the regional. When we come to the global IGF then it becomes a little bit easier because this is a discussion that has started from the ground. Thank you.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. Thank you, Judy. Shabbir, please.
>> MUHAMMAD SHABBIR: Thank you for highlighting very significant points. Being a student of international relations, I see things from a realist perspective. Of course, it seems very good to talk about accessibility and enabling person with disabilities.
But as a student of international relations I know that there is no free lunch. So you have to be a bit creative and have to be a bit realistic. You have to understand your strengths and your weaknesses and the ways out of your weaknesses.
Keeping that in view, I would like to propose that develop a number of sessions like more than 60 sessions at IGF. We have three -- we had three exclusive sessions on accessibility. Other than that, there is one session that we are currently sitting in, and there is again a session we are going to be speaking as part of Dynamic Coalition on accessibility and disability. Even if you talk about serenity, Shadi talked about privately and human rights and disaster management areas.
So you see each and every thing we need person with disabilities to be taken care of. Someone highlighted here that we need to bring in more people and country-specific someone referred to very populist country India, yes, we know.
We need to also understand it is a volunteer community. So no one is being like being paid. So someone will have to come out of their shells. Yes, we need to work on the strategies that how to bring people onboard on the table, but again, it is a two-way process.
If I take initiative, if Judy takes initiative and if someone else takes initiative. There has to be a mutually understandable process that comes out of it. Keeping this in mind, I think I would like to propose here that, again, in our eyes Judy talks, it is a wonderful idea.
Again, as long as you have people who are really active in there, for instance, we have Pakistan school of internet governance. It is like one of the earliest schools on internet governance in Asian region. We have had five additions so far. It is an annual event.
So each year we have a session or a session of complete on accessibility. I have been to the school of internet governance and I think once Gunela has been there and she has done a session on that. But somehow it got -- it gets dropped out of it when you -- when you stop focusing on certain aspects.
So it is not just about starting an initiative. It is also about keeping the momentum. Sometimes it may seem easier once you have done something then you automatically figure that it will go automatically. No, it does not. You have to keep an eye out where something is relaxation or laxing and where is the gap that you have to fill in. So you need to be vigilant.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: We had some very excellent points here. And we have really looked at how DCAD can operate in future and that relates to working horizontally because accessibility is a cross-cutting issue, we know that.
So whatever -- whatever the topic is, at the IGF, be it privacy, security data sovereignty, emergency management, people with disability are part of that. And if DCAD has the possibility to be part of those different sessions, have members of DCAD available to speak on panels on those different topics, that will influence and raise awareness about accessibility for People with Disability in a lot of parts of the internet community.
It seems like a very good way to go and certainly Judy's comment about working on the local and the regional IGF levels as well is very important. And I know in Africa, for example, there are considerable accessible initiatives raised at the IGFs there. And in the Asia-Pacific, certainly the next one coming up in Nepal, there will be a lot of accessibility features. When it comes to the venue and having sign language interpretation and so forth.
So we need to know that. We need to share that information. And that can be a very useful function of DCAD as well.
And building up a strategy of embedding internet accessibility into digital inclusion policy and we can do that by being involved across the board. So it might be that members of DCAD say right, we want to propose a workshop for the coming 2020 IGF on artificial intelligence and accessibility, some of the issues. And also some of the great benefits.
So, that is only one topic. That can be a lot of different topics. It doesn't necessarily have to be that there is a DCAD workshop, but it can be members of DCAD proposing various topic -- proposing various topics. That probably gives us some very good ideas to work forward on and certainly liaising with other Dynamic Coalition and we have lots of opportunities there to engage.
And we -- we can take it from particular members who might be interested, say, in a gender issue, or if it is Internet of Things or whatever else it might be.
And that particular member can grab that and say we would like to liaise and we might have online meetings that link in with some of those other Dynamic Coalitions. Thank you very much for all of those comments and suggestions.
We need now to go back to this discussion about DCAD itself and how it might operate if there isn't that support from ITU in future.
And I totally echo with Shadi mentioned before about Andrea. She has been a powerhouse of advocacy for many many years at the IGF and ITU and many other forum. And her strong advocacy and mentoring skills, too, have really helped to ensure that accessible is prevalent at this these IGF meetings.
Some of the options to look at it keep the status quo and await the outcomes of the discussions between Andrea and ITU. That means we continue the established pattern for DCAD which we know is having a DCAD workshop, having this session, and commenting on the accessibility of a venue and online facilities.
But if there is not going to be any ITU support in future, it is unclear who will do this work. How it's going to be structured. So we need to be very cognizant of that.
There is a potential other possibility. And that is to find other homes, so to speak, for DCAD. And there has been discussion of G3 ICT maybe providing a home virtually for the website and the discussion list.
That discussion needs to continue, if that is something that members of DCAD would be interested in. The other possible home is the internet society's accessibility special interest group. And we have -- well, we have three members of the executive sitting around this table. So we feel that we could possibly assist there. There could be other so-called homes for DCAD, which, you know, I'm interested hearing from people here about it.
And if we are going to look at a new home, we need to consider how we would then move from ITU, bearing in mind there is a website and a discussion list, a new discussion list could be set up, there could be a transfer from the existing ITU discussion list. And certainly the content of the existing website can be transferred.
Importantly, we need a core committee to be formed to work collaboratively and systematically on DCAD masses so it doesn't just fall on one person. That is really, really important. And we need to recognize there is considerable time and person resources necessary to do this into the future, to make sure that DCAD continues being heard to be successful in future.
And there could be other suggestions that I would be interested to hear from people in the room and remotely. So, I will open the floor, thank you. Muhammad Shabbir, thank you.
>> MUHAMMAD SHABBIR: For now, I take off the hat of accessibility special interest president and now wear the high temperature hat of member of DCAD.
Speaking as a member of DCAD here. We need to consider while we are looking for a new home so while our association with ITU is now uncertain and for the time being it has stopped somehow.
There were like three things that we were getting from ITU. One, there was this nice lady, we have talked about her, she was instrumental in organizing and doing the secretarial work for DCAD. Second, the lady and ITU provided us a home for the website and for the list.
And third, there was some financial support from ITU. For the third, we have already lost. There was no -- if my understanding is right, there was no financial support from ITU for this year. So that is already -- that bridge is already burned.
So now we need to divide that we just -- do we -- and the Secretariat is also uncertain for 2019 and 2020 what would be the future, who knows. So it is uncertain.
It is just about the website and the list. So the new Secretariat whosoever comes in would have to work with ITU if any want to manage.
And they would need certain access to the ITU system which may for an outsider not be an easy thing to get into. And there would be certain administrative issues as well.
Therefore, it is really important that we look for any other home. At this point, I take off the hat of a DCAD member and put on the hat of disability president that for the time being accessible, for the time being cannot commit to any financial resources.
But for Secretariat work to manage the website and to manage the mailing list. Our administrator Jali who works from the United States, he has agreed that he would be able to do that work.
And even if the Secretariat remains with ITU, please keep in mind while you are commenting that even if we decide that it remains to be with ITU, he would need to manage that list and to manage the website he would need access to ITU system which may not be coming -- him being outside there and not the staff the ITU. I start there and I will -- it is open to for the discussion. Thank you.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much, Muhammad Shabbir. That was a very useful practical explanation of some of the potential future issues we have if that ITU support isn't going to be available in future.
Please, anyone else who would like to input into this?
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith Hellerstein for the record.
We only have early intervention by Deidre about the issue as people age there is a lot more people that have some disabilities. And so she wanted to bring that on to the record.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Yes. Yes, Peter?
>> AUDIENCE: The only thing I would say is someone who is sort of new to this, to be honest, there just seems to be quite a lot of overlap with different organizations kind of working in similar fields. And doing similar kinds of things. I'm wondering whether or not it can't be somehow -- DCAD can't be part of another organization or join forces with another organization such as -- I forget what it is called.
>> AUDIENCE: That you are a president of?
>> AUDIENCE: For example, both to sort of leverage what is going on and just so there is more working together and more kind of cross pollination and so on.
Just, I don't know. I'm -- once again, as someone who is new, I'm having trouble to -- and even that a number of you are across different organizations, then I don't know why is -- why not find even if we need to find new ways of forming sort of relationships, new ways of working together rather than perhaps sort of more structural organizations, more perhaps looser but at the same time more active affiliations if necessary. I mean I'm not sure.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. I think that's a very important comment. So we don't have two similar groups working parallel but very closely together.
And it is a matter then of how we go about that. Shadi has the answer.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: No, I was just nodding in agreement. I thought that was a really good point. That is a very important point. I think the relationship here with the ISOC SIG is a really good one. One of the questions I have is there are lots of unknowns right now.
And, you know, it is -- it is a situation that we are in. And it is just a question how can we resolve the question marks and how can we actually take decisions and start moving forward and, you know, what is -- what is the process to resolve these is really what is in my head.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: It is complex. And I think a number of us have tried to come -- a number of us have had discussions to try and work through this.
And, there aren't any easy answers. So maybe we need to keep -- keep thinking about how we are going to do this. It is just an opportunity while we all are in the room together and we have some remote participants that we can consider together how we would do this so that the voice of persons with disability continues to be heard, certainly at the IGF, and also through the internet society's accessibility SIG.
And if I put my accessibility SIG hat on for a minute, this SIG is new. It was only formed in April. We are growing our membership quickly with participation or membership throughout the world, different regions. And we aim to do a number of activities next year. Some very much focused on internet society chapters and internet society staff.
So it does have a little bit of a different focus to what DCAD does which is working with IGF to ensure accessibility as we have talked about earlier with onsite and online facilities. But also liaising with the other Dynamic Coalitions and with national and regional initiatives of IGFs throughout the world.
So while there are similarities and a number of people belong to both groups, the aims and activities are slightly different. It is really a matter of can there be a way that we are more effective or efficient in the way we organize to achieve our ends through these different groupings. And G3ICT, of course, is another organization that does excellent work in the field.
I would welcome any further comments at this stage. Thank you.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Just a follow-up question. This is Shadi.
What is the exact situation right now? My understanding, so ITU has kindly and I'm sorry, I'm not coherent.
So first of all, yes, we are missing several people today. Including Andrea which is really unfortunate. It would be great to have the discussion with her and several other people who have been instrumental in the past thinking of Gerry and others as well to have a broader discussion so we probably were not able to take decisions right away today is my assumption.
But to really try to at least have a proposal that we can, you know, go out of the room with, is ITU has provided support for several years now. And my understanding is this is the last or is there discussion or what is the exact situation? We don't know.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: It -- it's complex. And it would have been very good if Andrea was here to help us.
I also recognize Malcolm Johnson has been supportive of DCAD for a considerable time and Andrea is expecting to have further discussions in December about this.
So there is a temporary Secretariat basically until the end of the year. And that was only set up a couple of weeks ago to assist with ensuring that the website content in regard to these particular meetings at the IGF are on the website.
So it is very unclear and basically that is all I can say. We really aren't sure. And that I suppose is why we need to at least have some proposal that we can then go forward with because if we don't, and it would mean that DCAD may continue because they are passionate people who want it to continue, but the type of support when it comes to the discussion list and the website may or may not be supported by the ITU in the future.
So if certainly that finishes, we need to -- we need to have some type of plan how we can ensure that those people who are on the discussion list, that they can participate in any activities that we do into the future.
So I'm afraid I can't be much more specific than that.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith Hellerstein. We have a question also from Glenn Mcknight. He wants to know besides -- I guess what wasn't clear, I think is that besides the SIGS, what are the groups. We had some talk about us putting inputs into different sessions like the Dynamic Coalition of core values, the Dynamic Coalition of internet of things, and I think we zipped over that topic and we didn't really explain it as much for our remote -- for the people who haven't been involved.
What is going to be our take on that area? And so that was basically his question is other groups that are -- that we could be involved with or is it just taking up too much of our time to get involved in the groups and just leaving DCAD to run that. So that is basically.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much, Glenn, for those comments. It is basically I suppose it comes back to resourcing, that we -- DCAD has been operating in a set pattern for a number of years. And that is to advise the IGF about the accessibility of the online and onsite IGF facilities.
And also to ensure various DCAD workshop. And what we have discussed today and this isn't totally just new for today because Shadi, for example, proposed that a liaison with other Dynamic Coalitions a year ago and also mentioned it on the DCAD discussion list about a month ago.
And it means that DCAD has a possibility then of bringing awareness about accessibility more broadly because we did talk about are we too enclosed in our own silo, do we need to bring the accessibility message more broadly. And that can be an exciting way of moving forward.
And again, it is a strategy for embedding internet accessibility in different digital inclusion policies. So it is a way of expanding really DCAD activities.
But we don't have really any resource to do so and that is the contradiction really. And we are in a bit of a cloud at the moment. And that's not the internet cloud, that's the general cloud.
We only have about 13 minutes left. A matter of what we can resolve at this meeting, if anything. We have aired the issues. We have aired the proposed future activities.
Can we go forwards with that and just park that until we hear something more? From Andrea and ITU.
I think it is clear that Andrea she has been so committed so DCAD for so many years and is now interested in maybe committing to all her other ITU accessibility work. And I certainly for one respect that. And we need to find a way that will work for DCAD and for accessibility within IGF so that the message of accessibility is heard loudly and strongly.
>> MUHAMMAD SHABBIR: This is Muhammad Shabbir for the record. May I ask if Jose Maria is on the remote participation list?
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: No.
>> MUHAMMAD SHABBIR: What I understand from Andrea's last e-mail which was sent last night, she mentioned in her e-mail and let me just read the relevant part here.
However, I have copied Gunela Astbrink who did the DCAD workshop and Marcus who handles the Dynamic Coalition. Jose Maria, sorry for the pronunciation, is replacing me for DCAD.
Does this mean that Andrea wants to step out? I would be for one very sorry to see Andrea leaving this Dynamic Coalition because her shoes are really, really big one to fill in. But we as Gunela said, we also respect the decision.
But the question then before us is that we first need to find a coordinator here. Because yes, we all want to work, but without coordinator it would be difficult.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: I guess we are not going to get further if we don't know about the whole situation. Maybe we should put a pin in that really and move on.
Because I think regardless, if we have a hosting or not, and who would host, I think we need to discuss how we want to work and maybe we can focus on that. And even if it is -- you know, the one depends on the other for sure, definitely there is an interrelationship there. At least have an idea and a proposal. I want to come out with something today that is really what I'm trying to do.
And since one is maybe too many unknowns let's stop that there and let's move on and say assuming we had a host or you know, some kind of a shell that will continue the work of this group, how do we want this group to work and to look like in the future also regardless who -- well, not regardless, but you know, right now leaving out, you know, individuals and roles out of that consideration but just in that more general sense do we want to continue operating the way we were, or do we want to make changes? What kind of changes do we want to do?
>> AUDIENCE: Judy Ocate, for the record. My thought is the best way forward would be to have more of a working committee. That will not hurt.
However, it still says within the ITU or it doesn't. But we have particular people who can push it forward and have discussions. All along it has been surrounded or around one person. Even if Andrea is still there but she will have a hand of people to work with. That is my suggestion.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. And I totally agree that we need a strong working committee and maybe one proposal coming out of this meeting is to maybe even identify particular people who would be prepared to be more active in regard to some of those activities we talked about.
So, if there could be people and otherwise I will point fingers on people. Who might like to volunteer. Because I was involved a few years ago with an organization where it was very clear that people were volunteered but can I please ask for people who would like to be on this core committee.
Because if we do have a core committee of active people, that means that we can really achieve a lot. We can achieve some of those activities that have been raised today. It makes it so much more difficult if it is left to one or even two people.
So can I please have the volunteers who want to go on this committee now? Could you please raise your hands or just say yes. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, Gunela. You can count on me.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you so much, Judy.
>> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yes, I do.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Wow. How do I answer that? That is --
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: That's a very formal (laughing), right. Thank you. All right. So, so far, we have Judy Ocata, Judith Hellerstein, Shadi Abou-Zahra and Muhammad Shabbir who have very kindly offered to be on this core committee.
And I have a suggestion for one further person who might be interested. Peter, would you be interested to help us?
>> AUDIENCE: : I would be interested to help you, but I don't know quite what it entails.
That would be my only hesitation about saying uncle, yes. But this is a sort of a bailout or if it is not working then sure, sure.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you very much. It is a very informal grouping. There is -- so it is really a matter of we have pulled together to do as much as we can.
And when we have a clearer picture later in December or early in the year that will help us enormously to know how we are going to work in the future. All right.
So, Shadi, it's not maybe as much of a firm proposal as you might have wished, but at least we know we have people who are committed at this stage. Is there any other proposal that you would like to put to the group before we finish off today? Yes, Judy, you have a question.
>> AUDIENCE: I have a question. Just for the record, I would like to know, Gunela, are you part of that group?
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: You are very perceptive, Judy. Yes, I'm happy to be part of this group, thank you. Yes, please.
>> AUDIENCE: As somebody who is here for the first time and here to learn basically, what is the best way to follow what is happening next?
I mean I know there are usually mailing lists and websites and I found several and they were very confusing as we said in the beginning as well.
And so this may be the place to ask like where does actually discussion happen? I'm happy to subscribe to Slack or Twitter or e-mail or whatever, I don't care. Informally, where is discussion happening?
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith Hellerstein. We are basic here and use an e-mail listserv. Right now it is DCAD.
It depends if we are hosted outside of the ITU. If with I case we will use a different method. The current method is the DCAD mailing list and we can take your name and figure out how to add people but that is not clear right now.
>> AUDIENCE: Peter I'm new here. I don't know that a mailing list is a best way of doing it. I'm in a couple of other groups that use either Whatsapp groups or Telegram groups.
I would say as part of that they are actually more accessible also for people like me. I mean there are many -- people with color disabilities have a real problem with e-mail because the last messages come at the top and conceptually it is back to front where it seems like Whatsapp messenger services are easier to follow, for example.
And also I think that somehow having some kind of social media presence especially on Twitter just for announcements or directing people. Also people can the question where do I find you have a really valid one I think.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: This is Judith again. Those are excellent questions.
Maybe you or this nice gentleman over here can be responsible for the social media. I think the issue was is that we didn't in the past we didn't have people who were savvy on social media. And that's why we didn't do it.
Many people like e-mail because they -- if they don't have any bandwidth they can easily get the e-mail and you can always set up your e-mail to get it differently.
There has been in another groups that I'm involved with there has been a real distaste for some of these other methods. It involve is one, getting another app on the phone and another this and another that and they have to track something else. And so they prefer simple e-mail.
But and we could definitely do a social media and the website preference. And we may depending on where we move to because we did have discussions with people outside of the ITU who could possibly host our website for us and provide some kind of platform like that.
But we haven't made the choice of whether we're going to leave -- if we get someone in the ITU to support us, then we can stay at the ITU. If we can't get someone in the ITU to support us then we may leave the ITU website and move the archives to a different place. That was also other issues we were discussing. But yes, if you give us your names and we will definitely put you on the DCAD list and then also talk to you about branching on to social media.
>> GUNELA ASTBRINK: I have been told that we need to finish because there is another meeting starting very soon.
I know Shadi might have had -- no, it is fine. All right. Thank you very much, everyone. I know we have had a bit of a roundabout discussion but it's very important that we have aired all of these questions. And we look forward to continuing meeting online wherever that might be. Thank you.