Learn about EN 301 549 from Funka

Last updated: July 16, 2016

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With sponsorship from Microsoft, the Swedish accessibility company, Funka, recently produced a series of instructional videos explaining EN 301 549. EN 301 549 is a European standard for accessibility requirements in the public procurement of ICT products and services. ICT stands for accessible information and communication technology.

  1. Video 1: What is accessibility in an ICT context. What is the EN 301 549. How does procurement help accessibility. Who should watch this video series.
  2. Video 2: Integration of accessibility and the EN 301 549 into the procurement process. How does it fit into an ICT project value chain. What to expect from ICT suppliers in terms of conformance claim. How to control the deliverable is actually meeting the requirements.
  3. Video 3: Explaining the structure of the EN 301 549. Explaining functional performance statements (chapter 4). Technical requirements (chapter 5-13). The relationship between the two (Annex B) and testing criteria (Annex C).
  4. Video 4: Functional performance
  5. Video 5: Generic requirements

These videos are published under the creative commons license CC BY-NC 4.0. All videos have transcripts.

Learn more about Funka on their website. If you know Swedish, you can visit the Swedish version of Funka. They are on Twitter as @FunkaNu. You might consider signing up for the Funka monthly newsletter called Updated.

Follow the Microsoft accessibility team on Twitter as @MSFTEnable. They were the source and inspiration for this article.

Now, get your popcorn and get ready for video 1. When you watch them on YouTube, you will find links to the subsequent videos in the video navigation section.

Ban the Bulb?

Last updated: March 5, 2015

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Discussions about banning the incandescent light bulb have existed for some time. The incandescent light bulb is already phased out in some countries. The concept is to save energy and the environment, which is very praiseworthy.

Why is this news on a blog about accessibility and technical communication? We technical communicators who are not blind do need light to do our work – reading and writing on paper or on screen. The quality of that light is important. We should not have to strain our eyes to see (possibly resulting in headaches and so on). It is important that the lighting in our work areas and homes provides the amount of light we require to do our work. Personally, I have been all for the energy-saving light bulbs. A few years ago, a lighting expert told me that with my aging near-sighted eyes (it's all downhill after age 40 :-)), I should only use the incandescent bulbs. The energy-saving light bulbs were not providing enough light for me, so my brain would compensate to "fill in the blanks", resulting in strain just to see. I don't recall her exact wording, but I discovered that she was right. I felt more relaxed – both physically and mentally – when I had an incandescent light bulb in the reading lamp. Reading, kitchen work, computer work – it was all more enjoyable.

Therefore, it was a surprise and shock to read at the end of 2008 that the European Union approved an EU-wide ban on the so-called traditional light bulb by 2012. In the middle of arguments about saving the environment, an environmentally oriented German consumer protection agency pronounced that the ban was not wise for various reasons, including health reasons. (You can read about this in an English-language article from Spiegel Online or find the October 2008 article from the site (in German only) of the German consumer protection agency.

The latest stir comes from the excellent Ouch! – the BBC's website "that reflects the lives and experiences of disabled people." In the latest blog entry, Ouch! asks "Are you incandescent with rage over lightbulbs?" Go read the article to learn more. Comment on their site or here on your faithful Accessible Techcomm blog! Let's shed more light on this topic!

Adaptive Content Processing conference – ACP08 – Deadline extension!

Last updated: March 3, 2015

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The following is from the European Accessible Information Network (EUAIN) project.

In view of the fact that for many people the summer holiday has just ended and in order to give everyone a chance to participate in the ACP08 conference, the conference organizers have decided to extend the deadline for the submission of thematic sessions, papers, and presentations. If you would like to propose a paper or presentation, you should initially submit an abstract of your paper/presentation outlining the areas you intend to cover. This abstract should be a maximum of two pages and can be mailed to the conference organiser: sschotel@dedicon.nl

The new dates for the conference are as follows:
12 September 2008: Deadline for proposals for thematic sessions
12 September 2008: Deadline for papers and presentation submissions
19 September 2008: Notification of acceptance for papers and presentations
01 November: Final date for registration and payment

An updated version of the conference programme will be available from their website next week: www.euain.org/acp08

Contact: Sabine Schotel

**Please note new name and email address**

DEDICON (formerly FNB Nederland)
Molenpad 2
1016 GM Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: 0031 486 486 294
Fax: 0031 20 6208459


FNB is the new umbrella organisation for the libraries for the blind in the Netherlands. The organisation is responsible for delivering information (text, music, drawings etc) for print-impaired people. SVB – Dutch Library for Print Handicapped Students and Professionals – has merged with CGL and NLBB to form one larger organisation.

The European Accessible Information Network (EUAIN) project was established in 2004 by Dedicon when a core group of organisations involved in accessible content production came together on a European level to seek greater clarity and systematisation for this field. This was made possible through European Commission support under the 6th Framework Programme.