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Harmonization & Standardization Blog
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To kick off the Expert Zone on harmonization and standardization, I would like to launch the discussion on third party certification versus self-declaration. I have placed below the executive summary of the paper I have written on said topic that first appeared on the DATSCG (Design for All and Assistive Technologies Standardization Co-ordination Group) Web site. Please follow the link below the summary to download the full paper. I encourage readers to please post their comments and questions on this pertinent issue.
- Professor Hajime Yamada, Toyo University, Japan
Executive Summary of Paper Entitled:
"Accessibility Standardization and Its Use in Policy Measures"
By Professor Hajime Yamada
This paper consists of two parts.
In the first part, the use of standardization to promote ICT accessibility is explained. Companies may find challenges to implement accessibility functions in mainstream ICT products. Standardization helps these companies by providing information about necessary accessibility features in mainstream products, interfaces between mainstream products and assistive technologies and so on.
ICT accessibility standards are used voluntarily in development of mainstream products. Also they can be used as a mandatory requirement for public procurement. Pubic procurement facilitates implementation of accessibility functions in mainstream ICT products because of its bargaining power.
In the second part, this paper first explains difficulties in accessibility related conformity assessment. Qualitative nature of requirements in accessibility standards makes determining product conformance difficult.
Secondly, this paper provides alternative approaches of conformity assessment that may overcome the difficulties. Proposed alternative approaches are self declaration, self declaration with challenge or post-market surveillance, best practitioner method, top runner approach, third-party testing system, accessibility management system standard and top management's declaration of accessibility policy.
Each of the alternative approaches has both pros and the cons. Since alternatives are not mutually exclusive, mixed use of alternatives may reduce social costs and improve the creditability of conformity assessment simultaneously.
It is recommended to start considerations as soon as possible to meet the necessity of developing an effective conformity assessment approach for public procurement of accessible ICT products and services.
Full Paper on Accessibility Standardization and Its Use in Policy Measures
Clas Thoren's, Development Strategist at Verva, the Swedish Administrative Development Agency, Response to Professor Hajime Yamada’s Paper on "ICT Accessibility Standardization and Its Use in Policy Measures"