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Introduction

Introduction


Edited by K. Anne-Rivers Forcke, IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center.
Contributors:  James Thurston, Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Group; Martin Gould, Accessibility Expert; Andi Snow-Weaver, IBM
Human Ability and Accessibility Center; Susan Schorr, Head, Special Initiatives Division, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)

Section Summary
There are three important tenets of universal design, which must be followed when creating any undertaking. It should be:
1. User-centred
2. Population aware
3. Business focussed

The authors describe the analytical framework that will be used in this section, which will be based ICT statistics and global and fundamental indicators. The authors will also study the nature and number of people who benefit from accessible ICTs and assistive technologies, in order to learn from their experiences.

Introduction
There are three very clear tenets to Universal Design. Whatever our undertaking - whether we are designing products and services, educational experiences, business models or public policies – optimizing the inclusiveness of our endeavor requires our approach to be:

1. User centered: Recognizing the range of different capabilities and skills, past experiences, wants and opinions within the population.
2. Population aware: Understanding the quantitative population statistics is vital to inform design decisions.
3. Business focused: Achieving profitability in the commercial context and sustainability in the public context.

Leveraging these principles as the “Ethos of Inclusive Design” highlighted in the Inclusive Design Toolkit, the intent of this section is to provide an expanded framework for identifying and assessing the considerations necessary for – as well as the numerous beneficiaries of – Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) policy supporting the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

We will base our analytical framework on the ICT statistics and indicators which are both global and fundamental –  those capturing the availability and use of ICT around the world  – which have been identified and defined by the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Developments as Core ICT Indicators (PDF available at http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/partnership/). 

To this, we will add an examination of the characteristics and volume of populations who can and do benefit from accessible ICT and Assistive Technologies (AT). In conclusion, we will present the expanded framework as a starting point for policymakers to observe key technology indicators as well as demographic trends and projections to more fully describe the breadth and diversity of those who can, do, and will benefit from the global commitment to ICT accessibility.

Suggested Reading
"Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review".