Involving people with disabilities in the standardisation process

Chapter 6 - Information dissemination

For some standards, although industry implements a standard, disabled consumers are unaware of the purpose or how it affects them. For instance there is a European standard for a tactual indicator on plastic cards to show which way they should be inserted in a terminal; however, few blind people seem aware of the significance of this notch. Therefore, there is a need to educate disabled consumers about accessibility features which have been incorporated in products or services.

An elderly man using a mobile telephone

Standards bodies do not see their role to include educating disabled consumers about accessibility, or educating consumers at all. However, some disability organisations are reluctant to take on this role unless they are paid or can see some indirect financial benefit to their organisation. Too often the result is that disabled consumers are unaware of what has been done to assist them, and industry is frustrated that they are spending money providing these facilities but it is not helping all those who could benefit. An informed consumer base is arguably of benefit to everyone but it is only a standardisation matter to the extent that product information and user warnings may have to be given in uniform formats.

Last updated: 04.08.2009   © Copyright reserved    Website design: Digital Accessibility Team