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IEC, ISO, and ITU Publish International Accessibility Guide for Standards Development

To help ensure that standards can take into account the accessibility needs of every user, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have published ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014, Guide for addressing accessibility in standards. This is the first ISO/IEC guide adopted by the ITU, as part of a partnership between the organizations to raise awareness of accessibility solutions. This second edition revises and replaces ISO/IEC Guide 71:2001.

ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014 provides practical advice to help standards developers address accessibility in standards that focus directly or indirectly on any type of system that people use in order to promote comprehensive accessibility for products, services, and facilities. The document's primary focus is the accessibility needs of those with disabilities, children, and the elderly

Guide 71 has three main objectives:

  • to help designers, manufacturers, and educators gain a better understanding of the accessibility requirements of an increasing segment of the population;
  • to increase the number of standards that contain accessibility considerations, with perhaps a greater number focusing specifically on accessibility; and
  • to integrate accessibility features into standards - and product or service design - from the outset.

The document provides guidance on the consideration of accessibility issues during the standards development or revision process, particularly in areas where they have not been addressed before. It should also be useful to manufacturers, designers, service providers, and educators with an accessibility focus.

ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014 was prepared by the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Advisory Group (JTAG) and subsequently adopted by ITU-T Study Group 16. Its publication is accompanied by a joint policy statement by IEC, ISO, and ITU on standardization and accessibility.

"It is an important goal for the whole of society that all people, regardless of their age, size or ability, have access to the broadest range of systems," said IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk. "Standards that include accessibility requirements can support the development of devices and systems that can be accessed by a greater number of users."

ISO/IEC Guide 71:2014 is available on the ANSI webstore.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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