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6th European eAccessibility Forum
Putting eAccessibility at the core of information systems

26/03/2012, 9:00 - 18:00
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris

  Version française

General description


e-Accessibility is gaining momentum, as demonstrated by the increase in governmental initiatives and commercial interest in the field. The domain of a few dedicated specialists until a few years ago, it is today a regular preoccupation in the ICT sector.

This achievement must not, however, be overstated. e-Accessibility is still considered a necessary, yet costly, add-on to the development of information systems. Features are optional and developed specifically for disabled users, with no consideration for return on investment. In sum, e-Accessibility is thought to be peripheral to the development of the Information Society.

It is increasingly apparent that by ‘externalizing’ e-accessibility in this way, the sector is significantly hindering progress. From a technical point of view, declining to take accessibility into account from the outset when designing a new device or website will necessarily result in a complex and costly retrofit. From a financial point of view, by focusing on disabled users, decision makers are neglecting to see the greater benefits of e-Accessibility for business and society as a whole. Finally, from a political perspective, society must accept that it is legally and collectively responsible for disability and that accessibility is therefore in everyone’s interest. For all these reasons, integrating e-Accessibility at the core of information systems is a technological, economical and socio-political necessity.

It is in this context that the Institute of e-Accessibility (IAN) is proud to organize the 6th European Forum on e-Accessibility on the theme: “Putting e-Accessibility at the core of information systems”.

Five key areas will be addressed:

This conference will also be an opportunity for disabled users and industry specialists to share their experiences and to promote good practices harmonization.

Programme Committee


Pascal GUITTON has been INRIA research director since 1 October 2010. A computer science professor at Université Bordeaux 1 since 1992, he was the Inria Iparla (Bordeaux-Sud Ouest) project-team leader from 2003 and in charge of junior researchers within the research department from 2006. His PhD thesis was on the validation of communication protocols, and he is interested in computer graphics, virtual reality, and 3D interaction. He is chairman and a founding member of the French Virtual Reality Association, which brings together both academic and industrial players.

Axel LEBLOIS is the Executive director of G3ict (The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs), a United Nation flagship advocy initative. He is the co-Founder of W2i, the Wireless Internet Institute, and President of its parent company World Times, Inc. Prior to creating W2i, Axel Leblois spent over 20 years at the helm of information technology companies in the United States including as CEO of Computerworld Communications, CEO of IDC - International Data Corporation, President of Bull HN Worldwide Information Systems - Formerly Honeywell Information Systems and CEO of ExecuTrain.

Bruno MENARD is the CIO of Sanofi. He graduated from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce of  Lille. He has got a Masters in Finance from the University of Lille and a Graduate Diploma of Accountants. Bruno MENARD began his career with Sanofi in 1987. Having held several financial positions in France and the United States, he became General Manager in Singapore in 1994 and the Philippines in 1995. In 1998, he joined Sanofi Winthrop France as Director of Resources. In 2001, Bruno MENARD became Chief Information Officer of Sanofi-Synthelabo and in 2004, Vice President, Information Systems, Sanofi-aventis.

Bruno Menard is Vice President of the Club Informatique des Grandes Entreprises Françaises (French CIGREF), after having served as Chairman from October 2008 to October 2011.

Robert SINCLAIR is Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, responsible for the company's worldwide strategy to develop software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear, and use their computers. He believes that addressing the needs of people with a wide range of abilities is the key to transforming and improving the way everyone interacts with our increasingly digital world.

"The future lies in a new generation of technology that automatically adapts to a person’s individual needs, preferences, and immediate surroundings, to create an optimal user experience", Rob Sinclair says.

Robin CHRISTOPHERSON has worked for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) before being a founding member of AbilityNet in 1998 where he developed accessibility auditing, disabled user testing and the design of attractive websites that are both accessible and easy to use by all. Despite being blind, Robin uses technology very effectively using speech output to access computers, the internet, his iPhone and many other technologies to assist him in his work. He also advises companies on their obligations under the Equality Act and the Disability Equality Duty – including the evaluation of case specific reasonable adjustment.

Renaud CORNU-EMIEUX is director of the School of Information Systems Management (EMSI) in Grenoble (France). He is the author of several books including "Strategy and management information systems" (Dunod, 2009), and participates in the Working Group "information society" of the Institut Montaigne. Previously, he was the director of information systems at INRIA (National Institute for Research in Computer Sciences and Automatics).

Shadi ABOU-ZAHRA works with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office, which includes education and outreach, coordination with the WAI Technical Activity, and liaisons with standards organizations and disability groups. Shadi coordinates WAI outreach in Europe. He is the scientific coordinator of the WAI-ACT Project (IST 287725), chairs the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), is the staff contact of the Research and Development Working Group (RDWG).

Denis BOULAY joined the Web accessibility team at BrailleNet in 1999 to promote and develop outreaches around W3C/WAI standards. He participated in several European projects in the field of e-accessibility and has developed AccessiWeb by getting involved in the development of quality labels and AccessiWeb Euracert.

Markus GYLLING is the Chief Technology Officer of the IDPF consortium (International Digital Publishing Forum) and the technical director of the DAISY Consortium. Markus has an extensive experience in developing accessibility standards for electronic books, and software tools to support the particular standard DAISY DTBook and the DAISY Pipeline. He leads the technical development of the ePub standard. He will present the potential of the new ePub 3.0 standard released in October 2011 for the realization of accessible digital books, readable by people with disabilities on devices as diverse as Braille displays or Daisy readers.

Gerald SCHMIDT is a specialist of implementing accessibility in e-production. Gerald has been working in educational publishing, first at ProQuest in Cambridge and then at the Open University in Milton Keynes. He joined Pearson Education in London in 2011. His work is about accessible, reflowable ebooks with special emphasis on ePub 3 (including the media overlays it inherits from DAISY). He addresess questions related to publications designed for  the younger readership at school and college.

Cristina MUSSINELLI works as e-publishing Consultant for the Italian Association of Publishers. She leads the LIA project (Libri Italiani Accessibili) whose objective is to create an on-line service delivering accessible mainstream e-books for the visually impaired in collaboration with all actors involved. At the end of 2012, 3,000 titles will be available. Most Italian publishers participate in this project funded by the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Susanna LAURIN is the CEO of Funka Nu AB, a swedish consultancy specializing in accessibility and usability. Funka is Scandinavias leading company in accessibility and a party of the MeAC III team, measuring the web accessibility status of EU-member states in 2012. Susanna has been working in the field of visually impaired and independent living for many years. She is currently technical expert for the EU-commission in Mandate 376, working with harmonized European requirements for accessibility in public procurement. She is active in standardization on national level in both Sweden and Norway.

Jacques LEMORDANT is a researcher in the project team WAM (INRIA-UJF-LIG) at INRIA. Since 2007 he works in the framework of the Autonomy project, which aims to improve the autonomy of the visually impaired, by facilitating their travel, inside or outside of buildings, and their access to public transport. The project brings together transportation public services, ICT companies and research organizations. It will continue for the period 2011-2014 in the framework of the European project VENTURI (immersiVe ENhancemenT of User-woRld Interactions).


Entreprises/Companies - Administrations180 €
BrailleNet / GTA / CFPSAA90 €
Individuel / Individual 120 €
Etudiants/students - En recherche d'emploi / Looking for a job - Accompagnant / Companion40 €

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