Why are accessibility standards important? How do standards help designers? How can we make the World Wide Web wider
With a new documentary on accessibility, BSI Group provides some answers to the many questions on buildings accessibility and web accessibility. This is how the world's first national standards body has chosen to celebrate World Standards Day on 14 October. This year's global message is 'Standards make the world accessible for all'. The video - which includes strong and interesting statements from many authoritative contributors - will be shown during the European Commission's World Standards Day 2010 'Accessibility for all' conference in Brussels today.
"People have different needs and abilities", says BSI Film Producer Sofie Sandell. "In this video we want to give them a voice to make sure that their needs are heard and fulfilled thanks to standards".
The documentary touches on several aspects of accessibility, from buildings to websites. The key messages are: If people don't have access to buildings, transport and the web they are locked out from society; standards create opportunities for an active life for all.
BSI Group has always been committed to establishing and supporting standards which promote the availability of products and services to all consumers, regardless of their disability or impairment. And this year's event will highlight the effort BSI is making in this area.
"Accessibility has become an increasing focus for BSI, recognizing that many of us may at some stage suffer from physical, visual or audio impairment," explains BSI Director of Standards Mike Low. "Be it our homes, our offices, places of recreation or key tools such as computers, the web or phones, it is essential that we are all able to make use of them. By bringing together all the interested parties - the public, industry representative groups and regulators - we are now building a very successful suite of standards tools to achieve better and affordable accessibility".
BSI's accessible buildings standard is one of the first and the most advanced accessibility standards in the world (BS 8300) and has been developed by the construction industry in partnership with disability groups. Its reach extends beyond disabled access to inclusive design which means it encompasses the needs of other disadvantaged groups like the elderly and children. It is now used in the design of all public buildings and spaces in the UK and has brought about a fundamental improvement in access, enabling disabled people to benefit equally from all public services, ranging from hospitals to libraries.
Web accessibility is one of the key highlights of this year's World Standards Day. Together with top experts in the field, BSI Group is at the leading edge of delivering solutions in web accessibility. The team is currently working on a new standard (BS 8878) which is due to be published next month and which promises to make a big impact on the way people will be able to access the web.
BSI Group is a global independent business services organization which, through standards-based solutions and assurance services, enables businesses and governments to achieve sustainable growth. From its origins as the world's first national standards body, BSI Group draws upon over 100 years' experience to partner with 66,000 organizations in 147 countries from its 50 offices. Today, through its independence, innovation and integrity, BSI continues to improve the lives of millions by raising standards worldwide. To learn more about BSI Group, please visit www.bsigroup.com