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Tuesday, December 19 • 16:40 - 18:10
The Internet of Things and accessibility for people with disability (WS145)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Gunela Astbrink
Proposer's Organization: Women With Disabilities Australia
Co-Proposer's Name: Mr. Shadi Abou-Zahra
Co-Proposer's Organization: W3c
Ms.,Gunela,ASTBRINK,Civil Society,Women With Disabilities Australia
Mr.,Shadi,ABOU-ZAHRA,Technical Community,W3c

Session Format: Birds of a Feather - 90 Min

Country: Australia
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Country: France
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community

Speaker: Vint Cerf
Speaker: Maarten Botterman
Speaker: Shadi Abou-Zahra
Speaker: Satish Babu
Speaker: Timmers Paul
Speaker: Gerry Ellis
Speaker: Judith Ann Okite

Content of the Session:
This session will discuss how people with disability can benefit from various applications related to the Internet of Things as well as discussing how to reduce potential barriers.

People with disability use ambient assistive technologies that are especially designed to support independent living. This may include control of lighting, doors, heating, entertainment and security systems integrated through accessible interfaces. These assistive technologies have been expensive. The Internet of Things will mean mainstreaming of such systems. However, interoperability with existing systems and accessible user interface design need to be taken into account so new barriers are not created.

This session brings together experts from the private sector, civil society and international organisations to discuss how policy, standards and innovative design can help to ensure that the Internet of Things is inclusive of many parts of the community.

Sample discussion questions:
Give examples of how the Internet of Things will benefit people with disability
Where will the future take the Internet of Things?
Explain some of the possible barriers
How can we ensure that new barriers are not erected for people with disability?
What role does policy development play?
What role do standards play?
(Other questions and discussion points are likely to arise during the session)

The session agenda:

• Introduction of topic (5 mins)
• Short statements (5 mins each) by subject matter experts (35 mins)
• Set questions by moderator to stimulate discussion among subject matter experts and workshop participants including remote participants (40 mins)
• Summary of key points raised (5 mins)

Relevance of the Session:
The Internet of Things is a ‘hot’ topic especially from the privacy and security aspect. This is a key area of concern for Internet governance as reflected in many fora including the Dynamic Coalition of the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is shaping our digital future in all areas of our lives. This session will add accessibility for people with disability in terms of the benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things in future. The outcomes of this session will provide direct input into the Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things as well as the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. 

Tag 1: Internet of Things
Tag 2: Enhancing Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
Tag 3: Access and Diversity

Vint Cerf will offer valuable insights into the future direction of the Internet of Things; disability representatives will offer their lived experience of the value that the Internet of Things may provide; policy perspectives will be provided by Maarten Botterman of the Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things and Paul Timmers; international accessibility standards will be discussed by Shadi Abou-Zahra and a technical perspective from Asia will be provided by Satish Babu.

Four people in the session have a disability, one of whom is from Kenya, Africa. Both the onsite and online moderators are women as well as two speakers who are yet to be confirmed. While there is a larger number of participants from the Western European region, there is one participant from Asia and one from Africa. Stakeholder groups are well-represented with participants from the private sector, civil society and technical community and have a broad range of policy perspectives.

Onsite Moderator: Gunela Astbrink
Online Moderator: Shreedeep Rayamajhi
Rapporteur: Ivan Ng

Online Participation:
The online moderator is skilled and as a previous MAG member and from the African region, recognises the importance of remote participation. People with disability often do not have the resources to travel to IGF and therefore online participation is essential in this session. The online moderator will plan with the onsite moderator to ensure the remote participation in the session room works well beforehand. The online moderator will be seated next to or in clear sight of the onsite moderator (depending on the room) to intervene when there are online comments. The onsite moderator will ask the online moderator at regular intervals during the session if there are any online interventions. 

Discussion facilitation:
The moderator will stimulate discussion and debate through the Birds of a Feather format. All speakers are subject matter experts but will speak from their own policy perspectives during the guided discussion. The moderator will ensure that audience members and online participants are encouraged to be part of the discussion throughout the session by asking directly for interventions.

Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: Yes
Link to Report: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2014/index.php/proposal/view_public/99

Additional Reference Document Link: https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/107831

Additional Speakers: 

Andrea Saks



• Introduction of topic (5 mins)
• Short statements (5 mins each) by subject matter experts (35 mins)
• Set questions by moderator to stimulate discussion among subject matter experts and workshop participants including remote participants (40 mins)
• Summary of key points raised (5 mins)


Session Organizers
avatar for Gunela Astbrink

Gunela Astbrink

Women With Disabilities Australia
For the past 25 years, Gunela Astbrink has been active in disability policy and research. Recently, she researched ICT accessibility and public procurement in OECD countries. Gunela is a member of the Australian and Pacific Islands Chapters of the Internet Society. She initiated disability... Read More →

Tuesday December 19, 2017 16:40 - 18:10 CET
Room XXVII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)