Making our world accessible with ISO standards

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Por Clare Naden
Etiquetado como AccesibilidadMedicina
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Over a billion people around the world have some form of disability.1 Empowerment and inclusiveness of this large section of the population are therefore essential for a sustainable society, and make up the theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The Day also contributes to the goals outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to “leave no one behind”. Many of ISO’s International Standards are key tools to achieving these goals, and there are many more in the pipeline.

From signage in the street to the construction of buildings, ISO standards help manufacturers, service providers, designers and policy makers create products and services that meet the accessibility needs of every person. These include standards for assistive technology, mobility devices, inclusivity for aged persons and much more. In fact, the subject is so vast, we even have guidelines for standards developers to ensure they take accessibility issues into account when writing new standards.

Developed by ISO in collaboration with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ISO/IEC Guide 71, Guide for addressing accessibility in standards, aims to help standards makers consider accessibility issues when developing or revising standards, especially if they have not been addressed before.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is dedicated to building the peaceful and prosperous world outlined in the 2030 Agenda and its corresponding 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – much like hundreds of ISO standards. Examples include ISO 17049 on the use of braille in accessible design, ISO 23599 on assistive products for blind and vision-impaired persons and the upcoming ISO 21902 on accessible tourism, which all contribute directly to SDG 3: Good health and well-being.

In addition, standards such as ISO 37101, Sustainable development in communities – Management system for sustainable development – Requirements with guidance for use, are invaluable for achieving SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), which helps to make cities inclusive, safe and resilient.

Learn more about ISO standards for accessibility on our dedicated Web page or see our online mapping tool that shows how hundreds of ISO standards contribute to the 2030 Agenda’s sustainable development goals.

Be inspired by what can be achieved with this moving video:

French Paralympic champion Jean-Yves Le Meur holding his prosthetic leg.
My way – The story of Jean-Yves Le Meur.


1) WHO factsheet “Disability and health”, 16 January 2018

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