Need for Greater Consistency between Transatlantic ICT Accessibility Standards

ICT Accessibility standards can help encourage ICT companies to develop better technology for person with disabilities. While standards such as Section 508 in the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, and the European Standard exist, the disparities between these two standards requires attention.

In order to inspire international companies to innovate, global ICT accessibility standards should be harmonized. The fact that U.S. companies, for example, must alter their accessible tech products to meet European standards (and vice versa), diverts money away from further research and development. “The needs of users with disabilities are the same regardless of location; disabilities do not have a disability boundary,” says Julie Anderson, a governmental and organizational consultant who founded AG Strategy Group.

Section 508 is in its 90-day public comment period. This means there is significant potential for harmonization with the European Standard to remove further barriers to innovation in accessible technologies for persons with disabilities.

Source: Julie Anderson, Fierce Government IT