Updated no 2 - 2018

News from Funka
Speaker on stage at Funka's Accessibility Days. Photo

The program of the Accessibility Days is public!

This year, there is a natural focus on new guidelines and regulations, but we also offer exciting sessions on everything from accessible mobile apps to accessible email. Spain is the international outlook of the year and one of the largest public sector bodies in Sweden shares experiences from their impressive accessibility work. As usual, we will provide you with practical recommendations and good examples. Welcome!

Wiener Musikverein, Wien. Photo

Funka in Vienna

Funka's CEO Susanna Laurin is invited to speak at the conference Zero Project: Accessibility, which takes place 21-23 February 2018 at the UN office in Vienna.

Persons work in front of a computer screen. Photo

Irish research assignment on certification possibilities in universal design

On behalf of the National Disability Authority in Ireland, Funka will investigate possibilities for certification in universal design for Irish IT professionals.

Daughter and father use a tablet. Photo

Investigation of digital tools for increased citizen dialogue

Funka will investigate how digital tools can be used for citizen engagement in Norwegian municipalities. It is the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation who gave us the assignment.

A person using a smartphone. Photo

Accessible language learning for immigrants

By winning the Innovation Competition run by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, the tech startup Lingio, with help from Funka, will be able to make its language app accessible to persons with disabilities.

Training session at Funka. Photo

Gyldendal aims high with accessibility

The Norwegian publishing house Gyldendal wants to be at the forefront of the expected increase in legal requirements for accessibility in the education sector in Norway. Therefore, they have used Funka for accessibility training of their employees and for expert review of a web platform.

A number of people working with analysis at their computers. Photo

On the importance of noticing things

Do you also take seemingly mundane things for granted? Emil Gejrot, Junior Researcher at Funka, reflects on the fact that no matter how well we think we understand how things work, there will always be something unconsidered, something gone unnoticed - and how all this can be applied to accessibility.

Three questions
Victor Pineda and James Thurston. Photo

Three questions for Victor Pineda and James Thurston, founders of the the Smart Cities for All Initiative

Please tell us about the Smart Cities for All initiative, what is it about?

Two years ago, we launched the Smart Cities for All global initiative as a collaborative project of our two organizations, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and World Enabled. We were concerned that the enormous worldwide growth in Smart Cities programs risked making the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons worse not better. We were observing that the significant investments in technology by cities and communities to support the digital transformation of their services did not include a focus on accessibility and inclusion. The global study we did in the first year of the project validated our concerns. We then set out to raise awareness and create tools and strategies for Smart Cities to increase their focus on digital inclusion.

We launched the Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Toolkit last May. It is now available in nine languages, soon to be ten. The tools address some of the top challenges identified by experts through our global study – including how to ensure that a city is buying only accessible technology, how to communicate to city leaders why a commitment to digital inclusion makes sense, what are the three priority ICT accessibility standards that every city CIO needs to know about and how to use them, and a database of Smart City solutions that, if accessible, could have a big impact on the day to day life of citizens with disabilities, older persons, and really all citizens. We are excited to have begun work on a new tool – the Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Maturity Model. This tool, which we will be releasing in beta form in the coming weeks, will allow cities to assess and benchmark their level of progress on digital inclusion and accessibility. It will help them to build strategies and roadmaps to make more progress.

Where do you see most progress when it comes to ICT accessibility in cities?

This is one of the first questions we get asked wherever in the world we are doing work. Our answer is that today no one Smart City is doing everything well when it comes to accessibility and digital inclusion. However, we do think that some cities have adopted some good practices that are worth replicating in other cities. For example:

  • New York City uses international ICT accessibility standards as part of its procurement process for technology..
  • Transport for London (TfL), responsible for 31 million journeys each day in London, is driving inclusion and accessibility into the innovation process by organizing digital accessibility summits for the local developer community building mobility apps based on TfL APIs and data.
  • Rio de Janeiro has created an inter-agency workgroup of 10 city departments so that they can overcome silos and together ensure that inclusion is built into the city’s digital services and Smart City programs.

How can more cities and organisations get involved in your work?

First, visit our Smart Cities for All website. Download our tools and begin to use them. In the coming months, we will begin to pilot the Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Maturity Model in partnership with cities. We will also be launching a network of cities interested in making progress on digital inclusion.

Smart Cities 4 All website

Other news
A child who speaks with help of an app in a tablet. Photo

Voice-controlled technology for people with speech impairments

Most voice-controlled technology are built for standard speech today. As such technology becomes more commonplace, people with speech impairments are being left out. A start-up in Israel is creating an app that can translate not easily intelligible speech into clear words.

A flight cabin with screens in all seats. Photo

How to: Make in-flight entertainment accessible for visually impaired passengers

To create an accessible in-flight entertainment system is somewhat of a challenge, with many aspects needed to take into consideration. David Brown, business development director at Bluebox Aviation Systems, takes us behind the scenes of this process, from creating user tests, through design assumptions, to finding the right partner airline.

Todd Stabelfeldt. Photo

Dream the accessible dream

Todd Stabelfeldt's road has been tough and his achievements have been achieved thanks to the technology. The development of voice activated and accessible technology changes his life.

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Please visit our website as well –

Funka is the market leader in accessibility in Sweden. Our services cover website development, audits and user testing, on the web as well as in the built environment. Moreover, we provide training and support on all aspects of inclusive design. We are also active in research projects and standardisation. Everything we recommend has been tested in real life. We have offices in Stockholm, Oslo and Madrid.

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