As part of a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) initiative to establish a library of resources for accessibility in automation, to work with outside experts to study voluntary best practices for ensuring accessibility in automated vehicles, the DOT has issued a request for information (RFI) to support the development of an Inclusive Design Reference Hub. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages its members and relevant stakeholders to submit a response to the RFI, published in the December 21 Federal Register. Feedback is requested by 5 p.m. on January 20, 2021.
In July 2020, as part of an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the DOT committed to undertake the new initiative, tentatively entitled the Inclusive Design Reference Hub. The DOT notes that development of the Hub will involve consultation with a range of stakeholders. RFI feedback will support the effort, which will include the establishment and curation of a library of existing technical specifications, voluntary consensus or consortia standards, and best practices and a roadmap of such resources to enable accessibility of automated vehicles for persons with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.
In the RFI, the DOT lists several American National Standards (ANS), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, and other standards that are relevant to the effort.
Of particular relevance to the standardization community, the following questions are listed in the Federal Register, among other questions:
(a) Please describe the need and ways to expedite the development of needed references with relevant stakeholders, including consumers.
(b) Please also discuss the extent to which the topic(s) identified are at an appropriate stage for voluntary standards development in terms of industry consensus and technological maturity.
ANSI invites all stakeholders to view the Federal Register notice in its entirety for more information, and access directions on how to submit comments. Respondents are encouraged to visit https://www.transportation.gov/ accessibility for more information on DOT’s accessibility initiatives.