E-accessibility Standards

Digital accessibility standards and guidelines define technical specifications and rules for the development of platforms and applications to enrich user experience. They also help promote accessibility and active participation of persons with disabilities, since they cover different accessibility needs and diverse classifications. These sets of rules follow concise and comprehensive principles to ensure interoperability, compatibility and consistency of products, applications and services.

Many national and international organizations have implemented the guidelines and standards for digital accessibility that cover all areas of ICT. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ITU, W3C, and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are the major organizations that have contributed greatly to developing key ICT standards and guidelines. Some of these standards are general in nature and can be applied to wide areas in ICT, while others are specific and are applied only to one particular area of digital accessibility. These standards and guidelines have gained great attention since the adoption of CRPD.

According to ISO/IEC TR 29138-2:2009,[1] standards are divided into seven categories based on their breadth of application, as follows:

  • High-level standards;
  • Hardware/equipment-oriented standards;
  • Software/services-oriented standards;
  • User capabilities-oriented standards;
  • Environment-oriented standards;
  • Communications services-oriented standards;
  • Other relevant standards.