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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

 
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Foreword

Dominique Burger (Paris)
INSERM - BrailleNet - IAN
dominique.burger(at)snv.jussieu.fr

Speaker's information


photo Dominique Burger

Dominique BURGER chairs BrailleNet Association and the Institut de l'Accessibilité Numérique (IAN). He graduated from the Ecole Superieure d'Electricite and PhD in Electronics. He works as a Research engineer at INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale).

Since 1982, his major research interests have been in the area of interface design for users with visual impairment, particularly in the field of education. He has been participating in several European projects, as scientific manager or coordinator. Dominique Burger is the scientific coordinator of this 4th European eAccessibility Forum

 

Summary


Today, to not have Internet access, and more generally to digital content, is a factor of social and professional exclusion. This risk threats especially people with disabilities using assistive technologies, in other words specific computers equipped with special keyboards, braille displays, mouse adapted, speech synthesizers, etc. To be perceived, operable, understandable on these systems digital information must comply with design requirements making it truly "accessible for all." This is what e-accessibility means and that is why this a question at the heart of modern societies.

e-Accessibility is gaining momentum, as demonstrated by the increase in governmental initiatives and commercial interest in the field.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 for this reason that the Institute of e-Accessibility (IAN) has organized the 6th European Forum on e-Accessibility on the theme: “Putting e-Accessibility at the core of information systems”.

The speakers are prestigious. I would like to warmly thank them for their participation. They address this essential question of putting e-Accessibility at the core of information systems through numerous perspectives : information systems of course, which are defined and discussed (Mr. Cornu Emieux), industrial strategies (MM. Rob Sinclair and Robert Ménard), standards (Mr. Shadi Abou-Zahra), methodologies (during a round table), e-books (Mrs. Cristina Mussinelli and MM. Markus Gylling and Gerald Schmidt), cell phones (Mrs. Susanna Laurin) and, finally, urban policies (Mr. Jacques Lemordant). Each of these presentations take a great care, in their argument, for the people needs since none of them will ever forget that technologies are expected to serve and not to enslave.

This year, for the first time, the European Forum is officially held under the aegis of the l’Institut de l’Accessibilité Numérique (IAN), Institute that we had announced last year and whose statutes were officially published in the fall, by INRIA, Universcience and BrailleNet. This forum is organized with several scientific partners: INSERM, INRIA, Institut de la Vision and G3ICT, a United Nations program to promote e-accessibility.

I would also like to thank our partners. They made this forum possible, a forum whose success and necessity are each year more clear : a new record in attendance was broken this year. Finally, I would like to thank more specifically Mrs. Françoise Bretonneau from Universcience, Mr. Pascal Guitton from INRIA and M. Axel Leblois from G3icit, who honored us by opening with a few words this year edition of the Forum.


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