Accessibility and inclusion – digital participation and democracy for all! – WS 07 2013
21 June 2013 | 11:30-13:00
Programme overview 2013
- Sébastien Bachollet, ICANN
- Dorina Bralostiteanu, Public Library of Fillasi
- Jorge Fernandes, Ministry of Education and Science of Portugal
- Irena Kowalczyk, Council of Europe
- Mikus Ozols, Telecom Latvia
- Yuliya Morenets, Together against cybercrime
- Stuart Hamilton, International Federation of Library Associations
- Nadine Karbach, IJAB e.V.
- Continuing awareness raising activities and develop fora for discussion in the multistakeholder format.
- Need for national strategies on digital inclusion, as an outcome of European policies, to be implemented in close cooperation and engagement with local authorities.
A successful and interactive discussion took place during the Workshop 7. It can be summarized in 10 recommendations.
Recommendations / We need:
- To continue awareness raising activities on the issue and develop a European/Global Fora for discussion in the multistakeholder format;
- To underline the need for European Framework and policies on the Inclusion of vulnerable, marginalized communities, people with disabilities (taking into account differences of handicaps) in the Information society;
- To develop tools to measure the implementation of legal Framework and policies to ensure effective actions;
- To continue developing technical solutions by engaging with private sector and ensuring financial support for European solutions. To continue the work on accessible infrastructure by creating support to European libraries;
- To ensure the priorities of Universal Design are applied;
- To recommend to the ICANN and communities working on the new gTLDs program, to develop particular projects for vulnerable communities to create new opportunities for this target group;
- To adapt and continue working on e-educational solutions and media literacy methodologies to deliver access to content and capacity building tools, and also e-governmental solutions;
- To focus on the needs of local communities by engaging local communities in the implementation of legal Framework actions and policies;
- To present the issue of digital inclusion in business friendly language;
- To underline the need for National Strategies on digital inclusion, as an outcome of European policies, to be implemented in close cooperation and engagement with local authorities.
These recommendations can be implemented by:
- Involving all stakeholders
- Developing a European framework
- Speaking to each other
- Taking care of each other
- Being proud of what we are doing
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Okay. Good morning. I would like – I’m very happy to welcome you and to open this workshop, Workshop 7, on the accessible Internet and the Internet for all.
My name is Yulia Morenets and I’m very pleased to accommodate this workshop together with my colleague, Stuart Hamilton and the international federation of libraries and institutions.
What is this workshop about today? I think We’ll try to have a discussion and dialogue on how to make all people participate in the Information Society? How to make the Information Society more inclusive? How to allow more generalized, vulnerable, people with disabilities, to give them the opportunity to actually participate and be part of the Information Society. Stuart?
>> STUART HAMILTON: We only have one microphone with us so we will do a European song contest, sort of double. We could do that, but we also have two mics up, thanks.
So as Yulia mentioned, my name is Stuart Hamilton, from IFLA. We’re the largest organisation representing libraries and their users. And we believe that libraries have a strong role to play in this debate about how to get everybody included in the Information Society. I took a look this morning at the latest Internet penetration figures for Europe because we’re looking at this issue very much in a European context here at the EuroDIG. And we see there’s about 63 percent Internet penetration for the whole of wider Europe, that’s not the European Union, that’s the wider part of Europe. So that’s a significant part of the population, yet, that are not being reached by the Internet. And there are many different reasons for that. We would be naive to think that everybody has a computer in their home. We know that some people don’t have the skills to be able to take advantage of everything that the Internet offers.
So in this workshop, we wanted to look at the current situation relating to getting everybody online, getting everybody involved, what’s currently going on, what more can we do, what actors can partner with other stakeholders to make things better?
When we talk about the people who are not being included, this is a broad group. And we tend to talk about them within the library community and also within the context of the IGF, vulnerable and marginalized people. Now, here we’re talking about the elderly, old people who perhaps don’t have the skills to get online, homeless, the unemployed, we’re talking about people with print disabilities and other disabilities with regards to accessing information; and we really want to understand how we can help these people to participate. So we want to know in our discussion what policymakers are doing, what businesses are doing, as I mentioned what are the community institutions doing, what are library telecentres doing and how can we work together?
The format of today’s discussion, we’re going to work through with our panelists five different areas. We’re going to talk about access, technical solutions and innovation. We’re going to talk about skills, inclusion and then the responsibilities of the different stakeholders.
And with the other workshops here at EuroDIG, we want to involve you as quickly as possible, so we’re probably going to start with a question to our panelists and on each question we’re going to come out to you so we can hear your comments and questions.
We have an excellent panel. I’ll ask Yulia to introduce three of them and I will introduce the other two.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you, Stuart. As Stuart said, we are honored to have very experienced key panelists with us who will try to engage with the audience to build a dialogue and to bring their expertise from their field and from their projects they were involved in. So I’m very pleased and I would like to welcome Mr. Jorge Fernandes. Jorge is with the Ministry of Education and Science of Portugal working on e-accessibility. And he’s author of the programme and project digital inclusion. He has very strong expertise working with people with disabilities in the private sector and from the civil society angle and specifically developing innovative solutions for blind people, how to adapt Braille solutions in the Information Society. So, very welcome, Jorge, we’re happy to have you with us.
I would like also to welcome Ms. Irena Kowalczyk from the Council of Europe. She’s for the rights of people with disabilities and specific angle on the inclusion of people with disabilities in the cultural life. So, Irena welcome. And of course we’re very honored to have with us today Sébastien Bachollet from – Sébastien is representing the voice at ICANN. He’s a member of at large. Sébastien has very expertise in e-commerce and he was one of the first who developed and helped to develop the e-commerce website in France for the SSF France, which is the biggest travel and rail company in France. Very welcome, Sébastien.
>> STUART HAMILTON: And we also have Mikus Ozols who is the Chairman of the board of Telia Latvia. Mikus has been Chairman of the board there in this Latvian telecommunication company since 2006. He is also a board member in the Latvian Internet communication association. And he has extensive experience of working with the library community in Latvia to help bring Internet access to communities and computers to libraries.
And we also have Dorina Bralostiteanu and I’m told that Dorina’s husband is to blame for a very complex to say even Romanian surname. Dorina is the librarian, the chief librarian in Romania. And is innovative in programmes to increase skills and access to libraries. It’s a great panel.
>> YULIA MORENETS: And we would like to start with our first question to open this discussion. And actually I would like to ask a question to Irena. Irena, do you think that European frameworks today are doing enough for digital inclusion and participation of all? And maybe the first question would be: Do we have this European framework today? Irena?
>> IRENA KOWALCZYK: Thank you very much, Yulia. It’s a very difficult question. I’m not convinced if a bureaucrat should answer this question. It should be rather a question to the audience. But, however, the Council of Europe is doing as much as possible, as you know and you have already heard my colleagues, so they explained to you which kind of legal texts we have. But they were speaking mainly about binding instruments, so conventions and so on. We have also quite a lot of recommendations. And those recommendations can be very useful for the European frameworks, especially for those who are multistakeholders. And this is the most important, because if we speak about inclusion, we should take into account the views of every person.
At the Council of Europe, we pay special attention to the difference between integration and inclusion. Integration means that those who have some specific needs should adapt themselves to the existing frame, whatever is the frame.
When we speak about inclusion, we mean that the whole society or the system, whatever it is, Internet system or school system, should be built in a way that everybody finds his or her place in the system. So this means inclusion for us that everybody is in a democratic way included into the society and being part of the society. We are not sure – or we are sure that not everyone has a place now in our societies.
When we speak about people with disabilities, we tend to speak about big group; but, in fact, in this group, which is quite big according to the World Health Organisation, those people represent around 15 percent of the whole population. 15 percent of the whole population in Europe, it means more than the population of Germany or maybe the population of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland because we will easily come to 100 million people in total. So we shouldn’t say that this is a group that should be under margin of the society.
So it would be also my question to you: How many disabled people you know being Internet users on a regular basis? Do you know a lot of them? Yes?
Yes. If there is, sometimes I’m told that the Internet is also a factor of inclusion for them, so be careful because they might be put behind the screens and that’s all. The social inclusion means much more. People should be among other people. But the question was slightly different.
Of course the Council of Europe has the strategy which should run until 2015, so it was distributed, displayed on the table in the coffee break room. I invite you to read it.
And you have also another paper Council of Europe on Internet. Council of Europe is intergovernmental organisation. So following here debate I can understand that you would like to have more involvement of young people. And this is obvious during the discussion. More involvement of users and less negotiations that not everyone can access. And this is the proper of those negotiations. So we should certainly go further and build different frameworks. Thank you very much.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I might ask a followup there from what Irena said of the people in this room is there anyone working from a policy sense, let’s say governments, on inclusion and access and the Internet? One? And what is it that you’re working on in this respect?
>> Good morning, everybody. My name is Elizabeth Fay and I work at FCT in ICT in society unit with my colleague also here. And we work not with citizens with special needs. No, no, no. Oh, sorry, Portugal, yes. In FCT Foundation for Science and Technology.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So there’s two of you here.
>> STUART HAMILTON: The frameworks in Europe regarding access for vulnerable marginalized people in terms of inclusion, are they adequate for what we’re trying to do? Maybe you can just speak about the Portuguese example. But do you think they need to be improved?
>> Well, I don’t really have an opinion about that question.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Okay.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Mainly what as I understood correctly, we do have frameworks and the Council of Europe proposes a number of conventions maybe of soft flow instruments, as well. And even proposes and has strategy. But, still, we have this lack of frameworks at European level that we need maybe to develop or to think about, to suggest something.
And my question will be more directed to Sébastien, maybe, but all the panelists and the audience. This will be great to have today a kind of suggestions, but of course this will cost money. So what will be the increased value? Do we have increased value of developing such frameworks and implementing such frameworks? What is your opinion?
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: If we want to have more regulation or more documents or to do things. I think that we are coming in the world where we have a problem, we need a law or we need an intergovernmental organisation would take care of that. And it’s difficult because I think you we need to be more involved at the multistakeholder level. And at the end why we need a law?
Once again, if the goal is to have more law, more police behind our shoulder, more control, more regulation, one day we will be fed up with all that and we will put that to the garbage. Then we need to be careful to do some, but not too much. Because if not, it will not allow any people to do something differently or innovation will be more and more difficult because you will have to take care of so many documents, the national regulations, European regulations, worldwide regulation with, for example, commerce organisation and so on.
Then let’s try to do that in common and not just with multistakeholder approach and as light as possible. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Mikus?
>> May I make a comment? I incorporate the micro already. Well, I’d like to, about the framework of legislation in Europe, for example, in America we have in the United States we have the American disability act that regulates all kind of procurement of goods and services. And, for example, in Europe, we don’t have this kind of instrument. In UK, we have the disability Discrimination Act, that is something similar but not the same thing.
And when we saw what is the results of this kind of actions, like I said Europe don’t have, but are thinking to have; and on the table we have at the moment the European Accessibility Act maybe 2015 or 2016, I don’t know.
>> Maybe earlier.
>> Maybe earlier. I’m not so optimistic.
But when we observe the output of this, and we take a look, for example, for the picture of the products and services that in world-based services, we saw that, for example, from the computer technologies and also from the assistive technologies, we have a lot of outputs from the U.S. market, a lot of development. If we, European, want a good computer and a good assistive technology, it’s 99 percent of the chances to buy an American one. And we don’t have this kind of products in Europe. And so – and I think this is the result of a good framework of a lot of years, maybe a lot of years of regulations because if we don’t have some regulators to push them, I think we don’t have results.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you. We will go into details on the assistive technologies. I think Mikus would like to –
>> MIKUS OZOLS: Can I add something? I’m from private sector because that’s good thing because I’m not from public one and I can be very direct and not politically polite. The framework to unite Europe in one common solution, how to do that? Because we are speaking not about the big countries like France, Great Britain; we speak small countries, too. Sometimes frameworks needed to more or less put the same rules in all Europe or all around. We still have the problem with digital content in Europe, which actually Europe is divided in many, many places. But when you think when we make policymakers to make decisions, of course mainly sometimes take quite a long time to make the right solutions to make big effect.
What we need the through working with public libraries, in fact what we have in those countries where Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation organise accessibility and try, let’s say, to close the digital gap, we make the measurements which actually show which direction and what effect can be done because always all the decisions are made on mathematics and economics. All social development that’s needed, why we need also site united, because we need also site include in social life, in economic life, too. That’s my answer.
>> YULIA MORENETS: So practically multistakeholder to discuss the better inclusion still a lack of frameworks and the measurement tools to be more effective and efficient. Stuart?
>> STUART HAMILTON: Does anyone in the audience have a particularly strong opinion about this? Gentleman in the back.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Please introduce yourself.
>> Matric Amu– France. I don’t agree with what you said. The new technologies are strongly developed in Europe, in Italy, in France, for example, we have very – maybe best researchers on virtual head for helping deaf people on completed long wages. Completed spoken wages, but they cannot transform their prototypes of their research into commercial solutions because they need financial help. And in Europe in general to have financial help, you have to prove a strong economic – you have to prove your strong economic solution. But on new tech, or something that has not been already realized. So we cannot prove by economics terms that all solution or the solution that we work to develop will be reliable. And we have to go in the U.S., for example, to find money and to find people who want to share the risk to develop it.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That’s kind of what you said.
>> YULIA MORENETS: We have another question. But also we’re thinking when giving your example, so what to do? How can we find this money in Europe in order to develop these solutions?
>> Okay, hello, I’m – from – and I’m a little bit confused because I think we’re talking at the moment at a level where we couldn’t talk at the moment because we are lacking much more basic things. I mean we’re lacking a lot of infrastructure. Before we were talking about much higher levels of accessibility. I think we should provide that every European in Europe has access to Internet. And if I mean Internet, I mean broadband Internet. Because if all the new services about video, you need broadband Internet. And many countries, for example, in Germany, there are still the discussion about it. If really everybody needs broadband Internet. I mean, this is just, from my young perspective, this is just really stupid, eh? This is crazy. I think therefore we need a lot of effort to really make the infrastructure possible that we then can develop services and new technologies which can be then used for citizens and people, eh? And for me the first accessibility issue for me is infrastructure. Because we are not yet in Europe at a level where we can say that there is enough, from this side? Therefore I’m really calling for more infrastructure to really build up in this.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I think this, if I’m not mistaken, was recognized within the European Union in previous to the budget decision that last went out. I believe there was going to be a lot of investment in a broadband Europe. But I believe it was significantly cut at the last minute.
But I can see a few more hands over there. So we might as well.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Sure. I guess the gentleman.
>> Good morning. I’m a deaf person. I have a handicap. As you told, it’s your opinion about the institutions created on America. I have their support. And they never, never share it, only in America. Already has firm support to here in Portugal and they never help us. Even monetary way. Only in America this support. Here we have a lot of barriers. In America, there’s no legislation approved on that. Here deaf people doesn’t have complete access to everything. Who is the fault? I don’t know. Our barrier is our difficulty is that people doesn’t have the facility to approach to deaf people in deaf community. There must create some laws to handicapped people, hearing handicapped people, separated of deaf people. We are a different handicap. Our handicap is only the communication. If the communication is resolved, so we can have our access is the best by law. Hearing, everyone is taken care of hearing people, access hearing. We are a deaf people. We are being discriminated from this all time. I’m not talking only about American country, but all world need to resolve this problem about communication to deaf people. We are talking, yes, but people going away to go back to their countries, what do you make in your countries to resolve these problems of accessing to communication? There is no legislation. There is no laws. We need only money to create this access. Only way to move our access is using the money we must fight against this. Only information is the freeway to get communication. Our handicapped people need to and we hope that problem must be resolved. It is in my blood fighting against that. So please share this opinion. Go to your countries and share this value because here many deaf doesn’t have access communication. Many African countries doesn’t have access even to Internet. Blind people, handicapped people. In America, we can – we have the writing to deaf people, sorry, to blind people. So some people already know what is in my hand, but blind people doesn’t know because they don’t have if ability to see. That’s information. This is a barrier to communication. This is the same, please, thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you very much. Let’s take two more questions. Mikus, I know you wanted to very quickly join, then we’ll go to the second question?
>> I was going to say, my name is Ruth and I’m with the new media summer school. And I was going to say that basically I think that infrastructure is a different issue because if everybody in my street has access to Internet but some people can’t read the same web page I can read not because of infrastructure but because their sight is different, my mum has sight difficulties. And I didn’t realise she couldn’t read my blog because my blog was on the wrong color. And it took ages. And I had to figure out how to change it and it’s not easy. So not only should we make rules, but also should we make it clear for people who are making their own sites, how do they make it accessible? I want my mum to be able to read, I want anyone to be able to read what I’m saying and I’m not trying to create barriers. I’m from the UK, so we have the equalities act which superceded the disability discrimination act. And we’re required to make it a bit – make reasonable adjustments for disabled people to use a lift in a building, to have access to buildings. I need to know how to do the same for my online communications because I don’t want to exclude people.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That’s interesting. I think we’re also getting into a short discussion of skills, as well. So one question there, then we’ll come back.
>> My name is Nelson Portenia, I’m from Portugal. I agree with the comments before. I have some cases for example, my young brother born almost blind. He has all scholar periods, excuse me my English is not very good. So studied all his scholar life until he went to university with some special helps from teachers that teach them Braille and technologies with the voice and all that. When he got into the university here in Lisbon, although he had asked for help for the ministry of education for many public institutes, he had none. No help in university. I had to go to Germany to international fair in Frankfurt city to talk with some manufacturers there and in New Zealand so I can have some equipment for him to get on with his studies otherwise he would have to quit. He just had his first equipment when he finished university. And when he started one year stage here in national radio here in Lisbon, that is when he finally had some support, when he finished his course.
I have another blind friend who was blind. When she was 16 years old, she had an enormous strength, I don’t know if this is the word, but although she was blind, she get into university in engineering, in computer engineering. But after two years, she had to quit because she had no equipment. That equipment exists. But she had a problem with her blindness. And she had some problems with her ears, also. She was almost deaf. When she has her university for help for buying such equipment because it was too expensive and her parents could not afford that, the director of the university told her “we don’t have that money for you. You have to choose equipment for hearing with voice for computer or for your ears to put in your ears.
>> STUART HAMILTON: We’ve got a resource issue that we definitely need to flag here. The lack of equipment, the lack of resources.
>> So she choose the equipment for her ears. And one day some friends got her in the TV show and in 30 minutes she has a sponsor. But she already had changed her course because she cannot find any solution. So the same sponsor that sponsored the equipment is giving her stage for one year stage. She’s working now. She’s a very intelligent person. She works on statistics, which was her degree, not computer technology engineering, but statistics. So what I’m trying to say is that one of the question is it don’t matter if you have some information, but you have to have the equipment first to learn how to deal with the equipment, the software, the hardware. And it’s easier for the people that was born blind, if they have that supports from childhood then, for example, any of you that can have an accident or a disease and start losing sight, that’s my case. And we are completely lost. I don’t use Internet. I want to use it. I don’t know how to.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I think we have some – I’m sorry.
>> The last question. Only three or four sentence for education, blind people or sightseeing people in computing. But the problem is I’m working. And if I’m working, the law doesn’t permit me to get to learn this. So if I don’t learn this, I cannot work anymore.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I’m terribly sorry if I kept trying to interrupt but I think we’ve got some great expertise on the panel, particularly Jorge who is going to talk to us a little bit about sort of the technologies you were mentioning. You had a question for Jorge, what I’m going to do because we’re going to move through a different sections. So I have to be a strict moderator and keep the comments short.
>> YULIA MORENETS: We would like to summarize what was said, it was mainly we do need more media literacy, better awareness raising on the issues, as you said to get sponsors and also to empower the capacities.
I do have a question, actually, for Jorge. And we touched already on the subject of the universal access or assistive technologies. So I would like to ask you: How could this help and bring innovative solutions? And actually what’s it about? What does it mean assistive technologies? If you can be quite short.
>> JORGE FERNANDES: Okay, I will try. Taking in the last statement of Nelson Portenia that have difficulty to have access because they don’t – they can’t buy equipment, assistive technologies that need to give them access to the information and this is what we have on the table when we spoke about disability persons and what to do and what we do with Internet. We use Internet, one. Things is the access to information. So to access to information for disabled person, they need the access to network, of course, but they also need that special devices, special tools that in we are usually spoke about assistive technologies. We are speaking about Braille displays. We are speaking about screen readers. We are speaking about switches to people that can control a key word, et cetera, et cetera. And these kind of devices, these kind of assistive technologies cost money. For example, I think you don’t realise that we need to spend almost 2 or 300 Euros to buy a computer. But to buy a display Braille, we need to spend 3 or 4 thousand Euros more. And also we need to buy screen reader that in Portugal you could buy one for 2,000 Euros. So display Braille and screen reader we are already in 6,000 Euros. To use a computer that costs 300 Euros.
>> YULIA MORENETS: This is very important what you are saying. We do have a private sector person sitting just –
>> JORGE FERNANDES: Just to emphasize what is the importance of the other side of the universal access, when this is what we have in our days, but we could have another kind of thing that is universal access. And what is this? You could buy a computer that already have these features inside of it. So you pay 300 Euros and all of us pay 300 Euros and the features is already inside. So this is what’s happening, for example, with Apple computers, what’s happening with Google computers. And maybe all the industry will go to the mainstreaming where everybody pay and use who need the more support, the more assistive but their assistive technology is inside. I don’t know if the picture is clear.
>> MIKUS OZOLS: Actually this question comes together with the previous one. I really feel bad that I misunderstand that question. I fully support that funding is needed. Main funding has to be get from the government and European Union. What I mentioned we did in Latvia, we put together 874 libraries. 30 of them are equipped with equipment for disabled people to use Internet. It’s free of charge. Everybody can use. We make measurements. We can use those measurements to push European level to make framework, to make local governments to make decision for the funding, for the researchers, for deaf people to organise that. And it will be framework European level that total from private sector market or development in these areas will be more active because European Union framework and there will be some funding for that. And then all the price will go down, too.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you, Mikus. I think Irena wanted to shortly add something.
>> IRENA KOWALCZYK: Just very briefly. I’m afraid we are confusing universal access with Universal Design. In fact, we are speaking about Universal Design or design for all. When we speak about the infrastructure and all the equipment, we should use the term Universal Design. Yes, design for all. It was elaborated in the U.S. 90s. But now the Council of Europe has since the beginning of this century, there was a resolution in 2001 about the Universal Design.
And when we speak about the costs, I don’t know the costs for the IT equipment. But I know more or less the costs for the Universal Design in the built environment. Can you imagine that if you build a building that is conceived for every user, it means person with disabilities and – elderly person, it will only cost 0.7 percent more than the normal building. If you try to adapt a building which was not built in that way, according to the principles of the Universal Design, this will cost maybe 40, 60 percent more than the conception from the very beginning.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That seems to bear out Jorge’s comments about technology.
>> IRENA KOWALCZYK: I think that we can also have this conclusion that the principles of Universal Design also should apply to the ICT.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you. May I just – I do have one question I’d like to ask Sébastien. And I think Irena remind us that we do speak also about marginalized people, vulnerable people if we take the definition of the United Nations and we’d like to also see how we can include them in the Information Society.
So I do have a question for Sébastien. We all know that ICANN develops these new digital programme. Can you explain how this programme could help assist and better include vulnerable people, marginalized people, people with disabilities?
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Thank you for your question. I think first the programme is open to more people, including the disabled people but not just. To take one example, one, I hope one of the main results will be to open to other language than just so-called Latin characters used within Internet. And we will have new opportunity for people who speak Arabic, Russian, Greek or Chinese to participate to Internet. That does not mean that it will solve the problems that already the one who speak English or Latin character, use a Latin character, face. They will have to be – to use the same type of standards than the current situation. But what I hope and it’s a hope because it’s not the responsibility of ICANN at all, that there will be some project who will be specifically done in that direction for those population. I hope, for example, that when the city of Paris will open that Paris, Berlin and some other cities, they will take that at the beginning, not at the end. Like you say when you build a building, it’s less expensive when you start with. And I really hope that this discussion will go to them and they will be able to think about that. I am not sure today, but I hope that this type of discussion will help that in the future.
Just I wanted to take advantage that I talk now that I really love this that we have interpreters in this room. It’s really very good because for me, it remind me each time that we are different. I can’t understand what it says. I can’t. And I imagine what is in the other sense.
>> YULIA MORENETS: This is the universal for deaf people that we can benefit all.
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Yeah, but I can challenge you on that because it’s English. And we have also this problem of language. But, yes, we need to have different tools. But the fact that we have interpreter in this room it’s great, very great. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: So what I want to do now is we’ve covered some good high level stuff there. We’ve taken a quick look at frameworks. We’ve taken a little bit of a look at frameworks which are available and actually some of the difficulties people have getting ahold of these technologies. But now I want to put us into the community and imagine ourselves actually trying to include ourselves in the Information Society. We know that a lot more government services, for example, are moving online. More and more of the ways that we interact with our policy makers and our decision makers are taking place through online processes.
And as I mentioned earlier on, there’s a significant number of people who do not have a computer in their home, who do not have a hand-held device. And I want to turn to Dorina, who works in the public library sector in Romania, to ask her. Because in the European Union, there are 65,000 public libraries. And we are trying to bring the public libraries into a position where they can help the members of society who don’t have access to technology engage with their policymakers and get through to these services. So, Dorina, I’d like to ask you in your experience and what you’ve discovered in Romania, how can we help people engage in these democratic processes when they don’t have computers in their homes? What’s your experience in Romania of getting people online?
>> DORINA BRALOSTITEANU: Thank you, and hello, everybody. In my opinion, there are two aspects of this question. First, it is assumed that the citizen is highly familiar with the democratic process and they may just need digital tools to access. Does any information centre like public libraries could offer computer knowledge. Today’s day and ages, computer user interfaces are more and more intuitive. Anyone could navigate on the Internet if there is a solid infrastructure, Internet access and computing tools.
In my experience, however, it is a very slow adoption of digital tools for certain age categories, especially in the rural area. There need to be more information centre, more public libraries with dedicated personnel to ensure propagation of computer knowledge.
And the second aspect is that Internet able to provide individuals with more and base opinions on events. They could take better decision. These two make hand-in-hand. Better computer knowledge helps user to navigate freely to the digital clutter and helps individual to take better and more informed decision about democratic processes.
>> STUART HAMILTON: One of the examples that we have in Romania, if I’m not mistaken, is with the librarians helping people access agricultural subsidies, for example. Can you tell us a little bit about how they have been engaged in that? Because of course we’ve talked a little bit about disabled and marginalized groups, but it’s also Dorina’s library is extremely rural, I know that from your description. And trying to get people in rural areas to get access is a huge deal. So maybe you could just give that example?
>> DORINA BRALOSTITEANU: Okay. In Romania, we have an agency for payment and investment in the agriculture. And every farmer who want to get – from European Commission can access this agency. But could be very difficult for the farmers because these agency are only in the big communities. And they had to leave their homes and come to the big communities, find where the agency were and register themselves. That could be very, very hard for a person who are almost older. And we had a programme to train librarians to help the farmers. And now in every little library, the farmers could come and get help from the librarian to register to this agency. And we have big success. They save many hours and many money by accessing this public libraries.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you, Dorina. I think you mentioned something, well a few very, very important points, and one of the points is I heard it’s empowerment of capacities. So I would like to ask the question to give it to the audience: What do you think the e-training and e-government solutions could make it easier, could empower capacities? Do we have an opinion this?
>> Thank you. My name is Daniel. I’m from Portugal, from the foundation science and technology. But I will try to share a personal experience in this concern. We are really speaking about capacity, skills, awareness. We are speaking more than having access to technology. We have to speak about to be ready, to know that we can use and we know how to use it.
And I remember when I was hearing other people speaking of an experience I had when I was a child in Angola. A county where people has no authorityization at all. And there was interesting movement in my memory that in the rural areas people were gathered together. They encountered themselves in a special place with a person trained to teach them how to write. And I think this may be a good principle for to us go back because sometimes we are thinking two heads and we have a lot of basic problems to solve in Europe, in Portugal. Why not use the same philosophy here? We have to go into the place where people are and understand their necessity. If necessary, to go to their home, train – why not use – train young people that leaves university without job to make them participate in the social function, to visit their grandparents, their cousins, the family they have in the rural areas, in cities also, in these people who have no digital authorityization and try to teach them slowly with things that matter for them in their life, how to use this thing and bring these people up to us.
>> YULIA MORENETS: So use the lack of capacities to bring the local –
>> And capacities we have this thing that is not being used. And it’s not too expensive to do that, I think.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you. You mentioned also your experience in Angola. And I think we do have colleagues here from Lebanon. I don’t know if the colleague is here? Okay. Somehow we had another intervention here. The.
>> Hello. My name is Rashkah. I’ve an engineer and member of the – movement. I want to make a suggestion. As some of the panelists referred, it is often assumed that the problem lies with infrastructure and the lack thereof so if you give brother the Internet and computers to everyone, somehow they’ll manage to use them. Now, being someone that has had to taught my parents how to use computers and the Internet, I know that is not so in fact, that’s quite far from the truth. So I think one avenue to solve this problem could be to use things like Kasera, which is an online learning platform. They offered wider array of courses from cryptography to calculus to pharmacology, you name it. And I’ve taken some of those. And they are actually quite good. And I think it could be an excellent way to teach computer literacy the elementaries.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Are those sorts of courses? What’s the accessibility for people perhaps with learning disabilities or print disabilities? Are they designed in such a way that they’re open?
>> Some of them, not all. Some have in the little corner in the lower left or right corner someone doing essentially her job, translating to are the deaf. Not all. Not all of them have. Not all the courses offer this facility but some do. But I think it could be a good way to invest public money to spread computer literacy. You do not need to employ a lot of people in this. So it wouldn’t cost that much money, I think.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you. I think gentleman was waiting for a long time already.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Which?
>> YULIA MORENETS: Yeah. You have your order.
>> All right. Thank you. My name is Paulo and I’m from here from Portugal. I work on a national structure, which is a programme from the government promotes social inclusion and I’m actually managing the digital inclusion where I have to run 110 digital inclusion centres across the country. And we’re talking about digital inclusion, we should also talk about literacy, digital literacy, as we said. And especially now with the crisis, we are moving for more services from the government on online basis and somehow we are reinforcing the inclusion. Because even though people can access Internet for free, on our centres and also on the libraries and other public centres, they don’t really have the capacities on how to use it and how to overcome the barriers like doing the – and those kind of things. So one of the things that we miss somehow in the centres were managing were let’s say common curriculums or certified curriculums where we can train people and somehow we can, let’s say, raise more capacities around Internet readiness. Let’s say we have the access, but they don’t really know from where to start. We have like medium or basic curriculums, but we don’t really have or we lack more resources. And one of the calls I would like to make, it’s probably that if we have those solutions but all school kids or recognized curriculums across Europe, maybe we should share them so they can be used. Thank you.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Everyone should be relatively short.
>> Hi, I’m Sophie Maddens with the Internet Society and I’m very happy to hear all these comments about e-government, e-training, e-schools. I’m going to talk from my former life where I did national school connectivity plans and I actually lived here in Portugal, as welly want to congratulate Portugal on your vision way back already in 1998 to do the digital inclusive in the schools and call for holistic approach. The holistic approach both in government and in partnerships with industry so that we can integrate solutions from the start but also so that government programmes work together. And I’m delighted to see the Ministry of Education and Science, which means ICTs again get brought into the whole view of society, of education, of science.
But to get back to the point, and the point of this panel, is we’re talking about accessibility, we’re talking about inclusiveness. So when you connect schools, think about connecting the communities, not only that the communities accept that the schools are connected, but also that you include the vulnerable groups, the marginalized groups, people with disabilities, but also looking at the lady from the UK, the senior citizens, they’re more and more a larger group in our graying society. I personally gave a computer to my father when he was 70. He had vision difficulties. He had to spent 3,000 Euros on a screen to be able to see it. So let’s be inclusive. Let’s not forget the seniors in these marginalized communities, as well, so that we can include them. It’s also economics. A lot of them are poor. But a lot of them have buying power which gives industry the reason to include them because it’s all about economics, the costs of making the equipment. Those are the points I wanted to make. Thank you.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you. And you pointed out the importance to pay attention to seniors. And we do have a colleague here from seniors France, I think.
>> Just good time to intervene after you because I founded an association called e-seniors, where we are teaching seniors about the use of Internet. But then I wanted to begin and speak after this, I have forgotten the name here, this person talked about the way to learn Internet with a server or something online, which is in fact e-learning. And I just want to say that, see, it’s not a way to teach seniors. E-learning is no way for seniors. Seniors need human beings to teach them. They need the technology, of course, and infrastructure and everything, but then they need human people to teach them the basics. Okay. That’s one thing.
Then some idea. It’s not only a question of money. Some idea to teach, to have the people to teach could be – for instance, we had recently I had the Google company approaching me. And why? Because they have people working, they say to the people working “you can take some free time and go out from your offices, go and teach seniors, for instance.” So that’s a good idea because of course it’s for free. So that could be a solution without money.
>> YULIA MORENETS: This is actually great solutions, I think. And we would like now to be back to our speakers. We will be back to you in a minute. Just to express.
>> DORINA BRALOSTITEANU: I want to explain what are we doing in Romania for seniors because the Biblionet programme, we have a special training places in the big libraries. And they started because they have engineers and computer trainer. They started special programme for seniors. But in the little libraries, we got other solutions., for example, we have many children who are left alone with the grandparents because their parents are abroad to work. We are not so wealthy. So we have to go, even in Portugal to work. And we get these children to the library to learn how to use Skype, to use Messenger and to talk with their parents from public library to public library. And they come with their grandparents. And after a while, they started to come without children to the library. They got confidence. And now you see being librarian in a small community, it is like you are a doctor or a priest. You have to be librarian 24/7. They trust you because you have to be the most and the best informed people there. And you have to respect that. And find ways to help every community needs.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you, Dorina. We do have a very short comment from the participant.
>> Just small addition. About the public libraries, what we experience that actually not only about the ICT how they use. But it’s very important that the elderly people and youngsters, they come together. They’ll learn from each other. And actually it’s very important infrastructure. It’s very important technology. It’s very important guidance or person like librarian who is educated to help people how to use ICT. But it’s important the place. Where they feel equal.
>> Just a small remark. I think I may have been misunderstood. I was not suggesting that e-learning just by itself is a way to teach seniors. I know that doesn’t work. What I was talking about was, I’ll give my own example. After I taught my father how to use email and Microsoft Word, I know, he learned. But there was always some small detail he’d miss. And so what would happen was in the middle of – after a week or so, I’d get a really angry call in the middle of the day saying “listen, I tried to write a letter and this wretched thing doesn’t work. It’s all paragraph or something.” And that’s the place where I think having a video tutorials or something like that, someone redoing the steps might come really, really useful.
>> STUART HAMILTON: All right. We’ve got about 15 minutes left. And I wanted – we’ve got definitely some more comments but I’ve got a question for Sébastien. Earlier on you mentioned there is a danger that perhaps we could overlegislate in this area. We can go over too many laws, et cetera. Now, I’m wondering. There could be a difference between law and policy. And I was wondering what sort of thing do you want from policymakers when they’re looking to try and reduce this gap between the access that marginalized people experience and vulnerable people, people with disabilities and shall we say the people lucky enough to have their own devices in their home. What sort of policies would you be looking for if you could try and decrease that gap?
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: My answer would be short. Ask them what those people need. They can express. They don’t need to have us to say on their behalf. We always want other people to talk about when I tried my day intervention with ICANN with other to be the voice of all the end user, it’s difficult too much, people. But I will not speak on behalf of everybody without talking to them. And let’s ask the public servants, Ministers, parliament to discuss with people – it was very interesting about the discussion of representative democracy. It’s working, yes, not too bad. But we need participative democracy now. And we have the tool for that. Internet.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Sébastien, that sounds so simple. Ask the people what they want and design policies around it. That sounds great. Why isn’t that happening? Because that really does sound like a no brainer?
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Because when I get the power I want to keep the power.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Interesting.
>> YULIA MORENETS: I think, Sébastien, you made an excellent bridge.
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: If I could only have a comment?
>> YULIA MORENETS: I’m going in this direction, actually. I think it’s good momentum to have the questions from the audience to our speakers because they do represent the multistakeholder model, actually. They represent private sector, public sector, intergovernmental organisation. So what are the roles of all these actors in inclusive strategies? I would invite the participants to ask and bring questions to our key speakers and Jorge, please.
>> JORGE FERNANDES: Yes. About the word of users and why Portugal, for example, have this concern about web accessibility. In 1999, the government start political in this field was because in 3 December 1998, 3 December is the international day of persons with disabilities, the community of disabilities in Portugal started a petition, the first electronic petition that asking: We need Internet with accessibility. And in three months, the petition have 9,000 subscribers, and the government need to answer that. And they not only subscribe, but they define they have what they want, what the rules, what the importance and how to make it. So the government only answered to a petition of the users. So it is a way of doing things in political way.
>> YULIA MORENETS: So it’s a great suggestion.
>> STUART HAMILTON: I wanted to comment on that. Also connected to Sébastien, because I have some rather depressing sort of news to report in some respects because I also believe that there’s a great role for asking groups for what they want; but at the moment, IFLA, my organisation, is involved in the negotiations for an international treaty to improve Copyright for the visually impaired. This treaty would enable transfer of accessible format works from one country to another. We have a very strange situation at the moment whereby if you are a blind person in Spain, you’re able to take advantage of the accessible format produced by onsay, the charity, but because of Copyright, it’s illegal to export that accessible format to Uruguay where also Spanish speakers and blind people live. And this international treaty is attempting to solve that problem by introducing Copyright exceptions to let those borders go out of the way. But unfortunately – and I think it’s important even though it’s a bit depressing to recognize that there are interests in the world that have no interest whatsoever in seeing that treaty actually concluded on the grounds that it would be a Copyright treaty that increased rights for users rather than for rightsholders. And it’s kind of interesting. We’ve tried to launch a petition on this. The reason why I’m bringing it up is the petition. There’s a large petition on we the people in the U.S. There’s an advance petition. But I’m not actually convinced that in the case of this treaty, an the least, that ones those closed doors negotiations go on, there’s any way the voice of the people will be listened to. But anyway, that’s a slightly depressing thing I want to mention but it’s still quite important.
>> YULIA MORENETS: We’d like actually, do you have the questions to our panelists or key speakers? And specifically maybe in the field of the role the different sectors need to play?
>> Sorry, I don’t want to hog the room but I want to bring an example much Portugal how users can influence policy. You mentioned the survey, the petition in 1998. In the year 2000, the Portuguese government decided for the mobile licensing the 3 G mobile licensing to have 50 percent of the evaluation criteria industry proposed specific ways in which Portugal could become more of an Information Society. So it was 50 percent of the evaluation on projects for people with special needs, projects for unserved and underserved communities. So that was part and parcel of government policy, wherein in the UK and Germany huge auctions were held and enormous amounts of monies were being made for the 3 G licenses. In Portugal, it was actually made to bring Internet and ICTs to the communities and specifically to groups with special needs. So, again, that’s how user influenced policy. So I think it’s a great example.
>> YULIA MORENETS: We do have a couple of interventions here. Please be very short. We do have lack of time.
>> Yes, yes, okay. Only two question. I want to make my opinion. The first one I have a question to the key participants, the four people here sitting. Imagine let me think. If I work in association on TV station like TVE in Spain or CNN in America, there is a cable connection. But the TV, the sign language, isn’t there. So how can I access? My opinion that commission European, given some money to, some support, money support, to Portugal, to each one association to provide that accessibility or give to main government, make for everyone. Who can answer me that?
>> YULIA MORENETS: I think it’s a challenging question. Who would like to be?
>> STUART HAMILTON: I didn’t follow the question, sorry.
>> My question to the four of you, I have a question. Just one. BBC organisation, CNN on Americans, TV station when we take in the cable remote control and I am deaf and I have young deaf, older people, also, young people also, someone have the ability to remote control to see the CNN journal. But there’s no subtitles for the deaf people or even sign language interpreter. It is inequal for our countries or is different?
>> MIKUS OZOLS: I don’t know all the questions how it is. But in our country, there is rules that you have to provide the subtitles for the content what you watching, but I will open another question. But still this framework regarding copyrights, regarding the content, we have a big problem in Europe. Actually, Europe is not united. It’s split in many angles. And every country have different rules. They have to be common rules. That we discuss the framework, that have to be organized together because separately by each country, we can’t win that and organise that because total European market and how it looks like to organise things and ask for producers who produce content to do that, it’s European right.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Do you think that answered the question in different countries in sign language?
>> YULIA MORENETS: Irena? Very short.
>> IRENA KOWALCZYK: Just about the sign language. I suppose that in Portugal is sign language is officially recognized, so there are laws in many countries, especially with the ratification of the U. N. convention on the rights of people with disabilities. And many countries have already ratified this Convention. In Europe, this is the most important binding document. Of course, it applies also all over the world. But we have 47 Member States at the Council of Europe. 45 of them have signed this convention and 35 ratified. So in the convention, you have the Article 9 about accessibility, for example, and this will apply to various fields of action. But the sign language is officially recognized by law in most of the European countries.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you for this. It would bring us to the point of conclusion last question to raise. Do you think we need to develop a kind of – we need to develop national strategy on better inclusion or participation of all in the Information Society? Or maybe European strategy? Because you mentioned lack of framework, as well. Do we have an opinion on this?
>> MIKUS OZOLS: I have opinion. As we work with public libraries in Latvia how it works, three policy maker levels. It’s municipality, local government that need to help local society will implement and used in a practical way and support that.
There is state government who have to support all the big new things have to be developed in common all the states. But to do that and help the government take the right decision not without funding and other things, there have to be European policy which actually push local governments to make decisions towards that direction. Because always we have some economical problems and always politicians would like to from social fundings. And that’s the Rule to European policy have to be to not withdraw from that. But same local municipality and state and European all three levels.
>> YULIA MORENETS: We can take this as a point of suggestion from this workshop.
Do we have maybe an opinion on the need of the national strategies or European from the participants? From the audience?
>> Allow me to be a little provocative on this matter. I think if we manage to pass the message that when we are speaking about inclusion, we are speaking about economics also? Because we are we are creating bigger markets, and more access to products. Maybe passing this message is important to somehow open more ways, more – to find new solutions like this solution of Google going into people looking for something. Also to be able to speak the dominant language.
>> My name is Valentina, I coordinate a project on legal education and I want to raise the issue of enforceability of the existing laws because to provide just a very short and practical example, public authorities in Romania need to design their website in order for people with special needs to be able to browse it appropriately and to be able to find the information they need. And currently they are not only not designed like that, they are lacking public interest information, as well. So I want to raise this issue of enforcing the current legal obligations within national states and maybe then focusing on a European strategy or a more global or general Rule.
>> YULIA MORENETS: So mainly what you suggest is to include – to raise awareness concerning the e-government solutions even at local level. Stuart?
>> STUART HAMILTON: We were talking about European frameworks. We try to be proactive in the library community, as well. We just finished – well, actually in the middle. There’s a group of 120 cyclists riding from Finland to the European parliament in massive thinkhood. They are going to present a the declaration which you can see on the tables in front of you which kind of calls for more support from the European Union for public access institutions. And we mentioned about how important it is to take advantage of existing infrastructure. So I just wanted to draw your attention to that. We’ve also left some other leaflets on the table because we feel very strongly that 65,000 public libraries already being funded by the Taxpayer. We have these marginalized groups that we’ve discussed at length. We have this capacity. We’ve just really got to invest in it and use it a bit more. So before we leave, I wanted to draw your attention to what we’ve got on the desk.
And also if you go back to the Web page for this workshop, our panelists have uploaded relevant information, as well. If you’re interested in this subject and you want to get deeper, there’s a couple of interesting resources on the website. And finally we’ve the remote participation.
>> I received in Moldova they had a meeting for EuroDIG. And they discussed the issues of accessibility and they concluded it is important to have a public debate on Moldova and ways Internet can ensure participation of marginalized groups, et cetera. It is important to create way for people with special needs through diverse innovative tools that exist today. This is a very relevant you in Moldova and where there’s limited knowledge and action. Thank you. And I’m sorry. And this was done by a team by Veronica Credu, CNB training centre. And she’s the coordinator of the civil society workgroup of e-government, open government. Thank you.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you so much. I would like also to bring one information to you. On the website of this workshop, you do have a link to the website www.vulnerables.eu. It is to work on the better inclusion of people on the Information Society. It’s a global Working Group. IFLA is a part of the group. We would invite you to leave your inputs, your comments and suggestions using this link and by ending us your messages. So this will be very, very helpful and actually it will be the voice of users. And we ask you, we need your suggestions.
Now if we can get back to our key participants and ask them to be very, very short, really in two words to say we need to: And to continue this phrase. We need to ... please, Sébastien.
>> SÉBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Involve all the stakeholders.
>> Speak to each other.
>> European framework.
>> Be proud about what you’re doing.
>> Take care of each other. I had the feeling being such a little librarian, I had the feeling these days that I am participating to theater play when you prepare our future. So please take care. Thank you.
>> Thank you. I just want to say small word to you all. Making the info access. There are no complaints about that. But we all need to work on that, to Internet access. My objective is taking about that sentence, give you the idea this is our work, too. We can go to our countries and think about we work today.
>> STUART HAMILTON: That’s a very good way to end. Thank you very much. Can we all give our panelists a round of applause? We had a very good discussion. And that’s a round of applause for you, too.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you to our rapporteur Nadine and our remote participants.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you very much. And you can all go to lunch.
>> YULIA MORENETS: Thank you.