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Fostering digital inclusion in smart cities | | Parameters

Fostering digital inclusion in smart cities | | Parameters

Cities capture people’s imaginations because they are a whirlwind of change, adaptation, and challenge. Cities change on almost a daily basis, with the influx and exit of commuters. To survive over time, cities have to adapt to economic change, migration patterns, and citizens’ needs. Cities also have to face society’s toughest problems—poverty, crime, homelessness, and more—all while delivering the public services that help make a city hum.

In the early part of the twenty-first century, information and communications technologies (ICTs) have come to be seen as a way to help cities thrive. With the right deployment of technology, cities can become “smart” so that they can better deliver public services. Running parallel to the “smart city” discussion is the notion of inclusion; that is, a city is better off if a wide range of people participate in how it grows and evolves. In this context, inclusion has a lot to do with diversity—in the economy, civic life, and urban design. The upshot can be greater equity, as opportunities for economic and social growth open up to a wide range of a city’s population. ICTs may be among the tools deployed to enhance inclusion.

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New tech accessibility requirements are coming to government in 2018

Screenshot-2017-12-8 New tech accessibility requirements are coming to government in 2018

With 2018 approaching, federal agencies are preparing for a major update to the government’s digital accessibility requirements — standards that are designed to modernize and widen access for disabled users.

The specifications, that take effect in January, establish new guidelines to help seeing- and hearing-impaired residents access information on government websites, apps and from other digital media. The rules target federal agencies, but are intended to be a reference point for states and cities.

The changes come through an update to Section 508, a 2001 amendment of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities, announced in an overview of the update that one of the most significant revisions is a wider application of the rules…..

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ITU’s #accessible publications are now more readily available

ITU’s #accessible publications are now more readily available

ITU’s suite of accessible publications for people with disabilities is now more readily than ever — available on a dedicated online portal. With over 60 titles available, and many translated into different languages, this is one of many ways ITU is working to advance digital inclusion.

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Scant progress on federal website accessibility performance

Scant progress on federal website performance — GCN

Americans depend on more than 4,500 federal websites to access critical government services and information, but a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation finds of 91 percent of the most popular agency websites are failing to perform well in at least one key performance metric.

The second edition of ITIF’s “Benchmarking U.S. Government Websites” report follows up and expands on the initial ITIF report released in March. The organization tested 469 websites using publicly available tools for page-load speed, mobile friendliness, security and accessibility.

“As more people go online for public services and as security threats continue to evolve, it is important for federal websites to be more convenient, accessible, and secure,” ITIF research fellow Galia Nurko said. “This report shows a significant amount of work left to be done to modernize federal websites and ensure that, as technology advances, federal websites improve in turn.”

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Accessibility Matters Blog | Deque Systems Web Accessibility

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Marcy Sutton – November 20, 2017 Earlier this year, Microsoft debuted their Sonar project, dubbed a “linting tool for the web”. Sonar encourages developers to test for accessibility early in the development process using Deque’s axe-core library under the hood, in addition to rules for interoperability, security, and performance. We’re thrilled to see our work leveraged in open source projects…

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Accessibility to ICTs: Achieving equitable communications for everyone

Accessibility to ICTs: Achieving equitable communications for everyone

​​​​​​​15 per cent of the world’s population lives with a disability. This represents about 1 billion people globally. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, satellites or the Internet, are a unique infrastructure that expand access to key  public services, promoting digital inclusion. Throughout the world, persons living with disabilities are already benefitting from the advantages of ICT-enabled applications. But…

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