Access Standard for Other Standards

Front cover of European CENELEC guide 71Did you know that all Australian Standards should include accessibility issues when they are being written? If you are on a standards committee or working party then it’s important to know. There are two documents relevant to this topic.

The ISO Guide 71 is a global standard and applies to Australia as well as other countries. CEN is the European standards agency. Their document is an adoption of ISO Guide 71. So, basically the same information but freely available. 

Both standards are relevant to implementing the UNCRPD* and related national policies across the world. It is also useful for manufacturers and educators. Discussion on standards might seem a bit dry, but when you think of all the official Standards that are developed, it is good to know there is a guide for addressing accessibility issues within the content of those Standards. Key points are:

“ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014 provides guidance to standards developers on addressing accessibility requirements and recommendations in standards that focus, whether directly or indirectly, on systems (i.e. products, services and built environments) used by people. To assist standards developers to define accessibility requirements and recommendations, it presents a summary of current terminology relating to accessibility, issues to consider in support of accessibility in the standards development process, a set of accessibility goals (used to identify user accessibility needs), descriptions of (and design considerations for) human abilities and characteristics, and strategies for addressing user accessibility needs and design considerations in standards.”

The CEN Guide “… is an important goal for the whole of society that all people, regardless of their age, size or ability, have access to the broadest range of systems. Issues of accessibility to and usability of systems have become more critical as the number of people (such as older persons, children, persons with reduced abilities and persons with disabilities) with diverse user accessibility needs has increased.”

*The UNCRPD is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.