Steps to realising equal access for all

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Day 2: 5th June 2015 | 14:30 - 18:00 | room: Sofia III

Session teaser

This session follows the session on 'How to facilitate equal access for all’ and looks more closely at practical steps to realise access for all.

Session description

This session follows the session on 'How to facilitate equal access for all’ and looks more closely at practical steps to realise access for all. The panellist will present different examples on how equal access can be facilitated through international treaties, local implementation agents and existing infrastructures. The session will look at the Marrakesh Treaty and the possibilities the Treaty offers for "print disabilities". It will highlight the way libraries work with visually impaired as well as disadvantaged people and rural communities in order to provide access to information and development to them. Furthermore the session will look at the work ISOC is facilitating to provide internet access in rural areas as well as providing examples on how access furthers people’s development.

The session will give participants, remote and on-sight, to gain an insight into current developments to realise equal access for all and actively participate in furthering these initiatives.


access, assistive technologies, accessibility, Braille, copyright, print disabilities, books famine


Panel discussion with initial key questions launched by the moderator to the panel participants with constant encouragement of participation from the audience (questions, opinions. shares, ...)

Further reading

See 'How to facilitate equal access for all’.


  • Focal Point: Julia Brungs (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions – IFLA) and Jorge Fernandes (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of Ministry of Education & Science / Department of Information Society / Access Unit)
  • Org team: FCT, IFLA and ISOC
  • Key participants|Panelists: Rafael Ferraz Vazquez - WIPO, Copyright Law Division (To speak about Marrakesh Treaty); Christina de Castell - IFLA; Krasimir Simonski - Executive Director of the Bulgarian ICT Agency (aka ESMIS); Sébastien Bachollet - ISOC [the French IGF outcomes (in relation to the WS topic)].
  • Moderator: Maarit Palovirta - ISOC.
  • Reporter: Jorge Fernandes - FCT.
  • Remote moderator: Cláudia Cardoso - FCT.

Current discussion

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page

Mailing list


Video record

Video record

Final report

Synthesis report of the sessions 'How to facilitate equal access for all?' and 'Steps to realising equal access for all’.

1. Access to Internet

In our session we spoke about:

  • the availability of Internet - related w/ the existence of infrastructures;
  • the affordability of Internet - related w/ the cost of access; the cost of the technology, including the cost of the assistive technology;
  • the accessibility of Internet - related w/ the content (information and services online).

2. Web Standards

With the Media formats increasing on the Internet, the accessibility turns more complex and more difficult to achieve. The standards are an important issue: W3C produces important standards not only to content but also to author tools - important for example to companies like Facebook or Google. In the session we had the demo of Robobraille, a tool that converts documents in accessible formats - this is a good example of the Internet like an accessible tool itself.

Accessibility is important for all not only for the disabled people. With accessibility we have better Search Engine Optimization. Accessible isn’t a violation of copyrights.

3. Electronic Books

Only 1 to 7% of the books published in the world are in an accessible format: braille, audio or text magnified. This was called by the World Blind Union - The Book Famine.

Actually the accessible material produced in a country can’t be exported to another country, forcing the production of a second copy on this last country. We need to realize that for example a braille book in average costs about 1000 Euros.

The Marrakesh Treaty could help to improve the accessibility to books, to textbooks to people with print disabilities and could solve some of these problems. So, the treaty must enter in force and for this happens the states have to ratify it - until now there are 8 ratifications and are needed 20.

4. The importance of Libraries

Libraries are a vehicle to access the information, providing access to people that don’t have it, a place where we can find the technology we need to access, including the assistive technologies. But technology isn’t enough. Libraries are also places to learn and excellent tools to improve digital literacy.

5. Telecenters

In the session was emphasized the important role of Telecenters in Bulgaria to stimulate the demand on the Internet. Telecenters are trying all the time to demonstrate the benefits of the Internet.

6. Role of Government

The state aid in rural areas where the investment barrier is too high, is instrumental to deal with the digital divide. There is also latent demand for Next Generation Access broadband services which need to be stimulated by demonstrating the benefits of the eGovernment, for instance.

7. TLDs and other

In the session we spoke about digital literacies initiatives like eSeniors in France. From France also came an interesting initiative from the .fr - .fr will invests the results of the selling domains on projects to better use the Internet. A practice that maybe others ccTLDs (and gTLDs) also could follow [personal note of the reporter].

8. Frogans Technology

In the session we get a reference from the Frogans technology project (by OP3FT) who intent to be a new and more simple way to publish on Internet.

9. Role of local communities

We discussed the role of local communities as a cross-cutting factor in the development of access. Local communities may play an important role in driving community-led initiatives/pilots. Local communities also should be engaged to promote Internet adoption and demand through services/content/skills.

Session twitter hashtag

Hashtag: #eurodigws8