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Updated no 7 - 2018

News from Funka
M-Enabling meeting. Photo

M-Enabling Forum finally in Europe

Funka is part of the programme committee for the accessible technologies conference M-Enabling Forum Europe 2018, which takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany in September.

Swedens government building. Photo

Political chaos

Prior to the Swedish elections, we have reviewed the websites of the political parties in the Swedish parliament, to see how accessible they are. Unfortunately, they have not gotten any better since last election – rather the opposite.

Lecce Teatro Romano. Photo

Health and accessible tourism: important for European regions

Funka’s José Usero has participated in a session on Health and Accessible Tourism at the FORITAAL conference in Lecce, Italy.

A person working in a office. Photo

Funka provides support to Norway's monitoring agency - again

The Norwegian monitoring agency for web accessibility has asked Funka to further develop the guidelines, texts and illustrations for accessibility support that we have produced in previous assignments. In addition, we will support the further development of the information structure on the website where the material is presented.

A Virtual Reality test. Photo

Simulations of neurodiversity increase awareness

In a project financed by the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs, Funka will create training material based on user experiences. By simulating how persons with neuropsychiatric conditions experience life, we can raise awareness among our clients and others.

People in wheelchairs. Photo

A win-win situation with Funka's empathy exercises

As part of its competence development program Win-Win, Linköping municipality in Sweden has hired Funka to carry out empathy exercises. Through the exercises, the participants get to experience what it can be like to deal with disabilities in an urban environment, which becomes an eye-opener for many.

A person working with a laptop. Photo

Column: If I can get certified, so can you!

Sandra Eriksson, accessibility expert with a focus on assistive technology at Funka, passed the written test for certification organized by the IAAP. She can now call herself a Web Accessibility Specialist. Here, she tells us about her exam anxiety.

Three questions
Mia Ahlgren. Photo

Three questions for Mia Ahlgren, Responsible for standardisation issues at the Swedish Disability Rights Federation, an umbrella organisation for a large number of disability associations in Sweden.

Why is it important to work with standardisation issues in accessibility?

Standards are needed to describe what requirements should be made and how to get an accessible and equal society. Standards are also needed for different products and services to work together. In addition, all 177 countries that have adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities must take part in the development accessibility standards.

It ought to be obvious to all that a society should be designed so that everyone can participate. This requires right thinking from the start. Involve users who experience barriers in community planning as well as in product development and decision making. We hope that a new European standard for integrating accessibility and universal design into organisations will be approved by the end of 2018 and support that work.

What is being done within standardisation in Sweden and internationally?

The Swedish Standards Institute has convened a coordinating group on accessibility in order to create an overview of what is going on.

Internationally, a lot of work is taking place. Standards used to impose procurement requirements directly affect Sweden through their links to EU legislation. The EU has also adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is active within the standardisation field. Other countries, such as Canada, are reinforcing their accessibility laws, and the need for common standards is increasing.

Standardisation work can be costly for organisations that want to influence the outcome. How is this financed?

In Sweden, the Swedish Standards Consumers & Workers Council finances project fees and travel for non-profit organisations, with the aim of balancing out the dominant position of trade and industry. The problem is that the money provided by the state has already been used up for 2018. The Swedish Disability Rights Federation and the Swedish Consumers' Association have taken steps to increase the budget.

Other news
The multi-purpose sports hall. Photo

What would a truly accessible city look like?

Most cities are utterly inhospitable to persons with disabilities - but with almost one billion people estimated to live in urban areas by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift.

Barry Sardis interacts with ElliQ in his home in the Silicon Valley. Photo

Techies roll out gear for seniors

Personal assistant robots, now being tested, might help seniors overcome feelings of being cut off from the world.

A theatre. Photo

Broadway is becoming more accessible

A recent partnership between podcast leader Audible and Broadway theatres is helping make Broadway plays more accessible through the medium of audio plays.

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