June 29, 1016

globeIn June, the Access Board hosted a meeting of disability leaders from across the globe who were interested in learning about the Board’s work and accessibility policy in the U.S. Organized by the International Disability Alliance, an organization that promotes implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and G3ict, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, the event provided an opportunity for the Board to share information on its experiences addressing accessibility through the establishment of standards under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws.

“Over the years, accessibility for people with disabilities has truly gone global,” noted David M. Capozzi, the Access Board’s Executive Director. “While many nations share the same goal of ensuring equality for all their citizens, each has its own unique set of challenges and success stories, so it is very beneficial when representatives from other nations come together to share their experience and what they’ve learned.”

Participant included representatives from Canada, France, Spain, Denmark, Serbia, Peru, Argentina, Israel, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Fiji. Several international organizations also attended the event.

  Ukrainian delegation with Board staff
  Members of the Ukrainian delegation with the Access Board’s Marsha Mazz (first row, left) and David M. Capozzi (first row, second from left)

The following week, the Board attended the 9th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD in New York. Capozzi addressed a session organized by the European Union and the European Disability Forum on approaches governments have taken to achieve accessibility under the CRPD and provided an update on the Board’s refresh of accessibility standards for information and communication technology (ICT). In addition, at this year’s M-Enabling Global Summit in the DC area, the Board participated in a conference organized by G3ict. The event included a track dedicated to government acquisition and deployment of accessible ICT that featured speakers and panelists from the Board and other government agencies, industry, and advocacy groups who addressed public procurement and compliance trends.

Besides participating in international conferences, the Board regularly meets with delegations from other countries and international organizations to share information. Recently, the agency hosted a delegation from Ukraine interested in learning how accessibility has been addressed by laws, regulations, and standards in the U.S. The delegation included representatives from the Ukrainian President Foundation, which promotes accessibility and inclusiveness, the National Assembly of Disabled of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, advocacy groups, the state-owned civil-engineering authority, regional education and transportation departments, and school officials.