Accessability and Disability

16 November 2009 - A Dynamic Coalition on Access in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

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SEVENTH ANNUAL INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN

SUSTAINABLE HUMAN, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

8 NOVEMBER 2012

DYNAMIC COALITION ON ACCESSIBILITY AND DISABILITY

  

  

  

 

 

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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.

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   >> PETER MAJOR: Dear friends, I think we shall start.  I hope Gerry can join us shortly.  So this is the fifth DCAD meeting, 8th of November, 2012, in Baku, Azerbaijan.  I am Peter Major, the co-coordinator of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. 

   Since this is a DCAD meeting, we have an agenda.  I hope that all of you have an agenda.  In the agenda, we have after these remarks, the approval of the agenda.  We are going to review the accessibility facilities of the IGF, review of the main session on access and diversity.  We shall review the DCAD-related activities in the IGF, the workshops.  We hope inputs from you and all the participants.  And we shall talk about the future activities of the DCAD in the following year. 

   So we are on agenda item number 2 now, the approval of the agenda.  Has anyone some issues to raise which should be included? 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Yes.  Sorry, Peter.  You are echoing.  I don't know if Bernard is still in the room, but you are echoing. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Andrea, you wanted to take the floor? 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Yes, you are echoing.  Yes, I'm trying to.  You're echoing. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Okay.  I'll try to restrain from echoing.  Should I take my breath less frequently?  Anyway, okay.  So I can see that there's no -- the agenda is approved.  So let's go to item number 3, review the accessibility features at the IGF here in Baku.  And let me give you my remarks. 

   I can see considerable improvements over what we had last year in Nairobi.  Organisers seem to be extremely nice and keen to provide facilities which are accessible to people with disabilities. 

   Let me turn to two of my colleagues who are really interested in this question.  Judy, can you comment on this, concerning the facilities, the physical facilities in the IGF meeting, just two words? 

   >> JUDY:  Thank you, Peter.  As far as accessibility is concerned, they have tried.  One very notable one is the -- how do you call these things?  The bumps, the ones with the yellow -- the cable covers?  Yeah, you actually have to jump over them.  And then the washroom, there's no washroom for persons with disabilities available here.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you.  This is noted.  I have to make this remark, that I can see how an improvement what we have in Vilnius, where jumping wasn't enough to get over the cable covers, but you had to have a spring to get over.  It was really very high.  It was much higher. 

   And as for the facilities, the washroom facilities, it's a concern for all of us.  There are very few. 

   But let me turn to Shadi. 

   >> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yeah, I have a couple of remarks.  First I want to echo firmly Peter's remark on the organisers really trying all they can to be helpful whenever I've pointed out something or remarked something.  They've done an amazing job on trying to resolve it.  So there are issues that we are facing, but I think the -- particularly the host, the local hosts, have been great at resolving issues. 

   My biggest concern is lack of information in advance to help planning.  And I think many of those issues that I will be raising now I think, as Peter touched upon, I think they apply to everyone, regardless of disability.  But I do think that it impacts people with disabilities more.  For instance, the lack of information is an issue that does impact my planning, you know, the possibility to be able to plan when I can go and come back, how long the distances take, and so on.  Those kind of information were missing in advance. 

   Judy, I have actually identified an accessible bathroom in the men's room, so I don't know, but again, here, the hosts have been really incredible at going out and doing a searching hunt, and somewhere I've identified one.  So yeah, maybe we can -- I hope there might be one in the ladies' room as well or in one of the ladies' rooms.  I don't know exactly.  But we should look out for that.  Yeah, the distances here. 

   Another issue I believe we also had in one of the previous IGFs is the open spaces, and so the need to use microphones and the listening device, I think several people I've talked with have been unhappy with that, again, regardless of disability.  But in terms of accessibility, I think people with hearing disabilities, especially with hearing aids and so on, I don't know exactly how that system would work with that. 

   Finally, the lunch, where they provided food, there's only high tables.  It is impossible to be seated and engage with others eating from a seated position.  Basically, everybody around is standing.  I don't think it's comfortable for the people eating to be eating in standing position, but it certainly is not comfortable for me in a wheelchair to be able to have lunch with colleagues and others. 

   So that's the initial reaction from me. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Shadi.  I am happy to see; Chengetai with us, who is as good as his word, and he came to the meeting to get information concerning our needs.  Chengetai, I expect you have heard the remarks from the participants, and I'm sure that you will forward this information directly to the organisers and you will take note of these for the future events. 

   If you wish to say some words about that right now. 

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I would just like to say -- first of all, thank you very much, Peter.  I would just like to say yes, thank you.  We do take all your concerns very seriously, and we do try to improve it for each successive meeting.  And we would also like to work hand in hand with you, even before, way before, and write down the documentation so we have a checklist of what should be done at the venue.  Because at the IGF Secretariat, we are not the experts, and you guys have more expertise on this matter than we do, so yes, we hope to work together for the next IGF.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter, could I just make a comment, please? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, go ahead. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: I finally solved the echoing problem.  I did promise Bernard and Chengetai a list in my email this morning.  It's really important we had this experience, and I regard it as a positive one.  It's a good thing to make mistakes and then be able to benefit from the knowledge we learn because I think all of us realise that Chengetai and Bernard and people have been really working hard to try and make things accessible. 

   So I also wanted to point out we need to have a guideline for moderators.  We need to have a little guideline for people printed out about where to find things on the screen. 

   I just figured out, with the help of the moderator, what I had to do to stop the echo.  And there are so many different kind of muting things that one has on the computer, unless you have a diagram or if you have written instructions if you are using a screen reader, you might miss one, not see one.  And being dyslexic, I don't see the screen the way everybody else does. 

   So we are going to help.  And I think we did do a checklist before, but I think we have to be more specific.  Thank you, Chengetai, for coming.  It's performing much better today that I understand much better where everything is.  And I couldn't get to a training, so it's partially my fault, but people who don't have time to train or can't train, who pop in, the people that I'm concerned about. 

   So I think we're getting there.  So we will -- the DCAD will come up with something for you, and we appreciate everybody's input.  And there's probably more that needs to be said, I would imagine, Peter, so I'm turning it back to you.  And thank you very much for letting me open my mouth. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Anytime, Andrea.  Thank you.  Just -- yes, Judy. 

   >> JUDY:  Just a reminder to all of us, please when you speak introduce yourself, please.  Thank you, Andrea. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: So it's Peter major again.  Just to sum up, it seems to me that the difficulties which disabled people may encounter may prove to be difficult for people without disabilities.  I'm referring to facilities, washrooms, and lunch facilities, which I have heard complaints about, which aren't comfortable even with people who have no disabilities.  And probably this information will be passed on to the following organisers. 

   Yes, Shadi. 

   >> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yeah, I forgot to mention one thing that the people remotely may not see.  We were provided with local volunteers who are great, who are helping us all around all day, whatever we need, which is, I think, more than what's needed.  It's still useful.  So I think we should maybe focus in future IGFs on making sure that the facilities are good enough that we can, you know, accomplish our work without assistance -- additional assistance. 

   But I think it just shows, again, how willing the organisers and the hosts were in really trying to help with any issues that come up. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter, could I add one more thing, too, about captioning? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, Andrea, go ahead. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Hi, Peter.  This is Andrea Saks.  One of the things we noticed and that Christopher and I have been talking about via email is that we used to -- and we encourage when we have one, captioners to give us a chat box on the captioning page itself, and that's if we use the normal URL, not the one that's being provided by the IGF Secretariat. 

   And the reason for this is, is that the captioning is on a separate page, and the Webcast with the chat is on a separate page.  And to switch backwards and forwards, there is a problem with the web page for the captioning going black on the Secretariat-provided page if you change screens. 

   Christopher Jones has been looking at this, and I had problems when it started up.  I didn't have the problems with switching screens because I'm not switching -- using the captioning at the moment. 

   So I think that on request, we should be able to use a chat box on the captioning thing.  There are some issues that some people have that if you have a chat box on the captioning, it's a problem, but we also find it useful so that we can, for instance, communicate with the captioner to say you've spelt my name wrong or this particular terminology is spelt this way.  And there needs to be a monitor to help.  The monitor needs to be able to help the captioner because the captioner would have to be a complete and utter genius to know how to spell everybody's name, to know how to know every single bit of terminologies, acronym, and all of that. 

   And that's how we work at the ITU, and we have found that to be very, very successful.  So we would like to encourage IGF to allow the normal procedure that we have come to use, which is very accessible. 

   I hear a weird thing.  Oh, I hear -- I hear Alexandra.  Do we have -- I'll go back to Peter.  I've said my piece.  I think Alexandra may, in fact, have Gerry.  Go back, Peter.  But I've said that.  I think that's something we need to change. 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: Gerry, carry on. 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Can you hear me at this stage? 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: You bet. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Welcome, Gerry. 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: I am on my mobile, and Alexandra is ringing me and putting her microphone close to her speaker, so it's not working very well.  We've got a three-second gap between when I'm speaking and coming out to you -- two seconds, maybe. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: So what you're saying -- forgive me, Peter.  This is probably what you need to do.  You need to actually verify that -- that WebEx is not working for him. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Well, I'm sorry about that.  Probably for the time being we can't really do much about it, and -- but I encourage Gerry to join us in whatever way he can at any moment of the discussion, interrupt anything which we have.  I'm afraid we can't really do much about his access. 

   So I'm really happy he's with us now, and I would like to close this discussion about the physical accessibility of the IGF here in Azerbaijan with all the remarks we had, mostly positive ones, some negative ones which will be a good basis for the next meeting to consider.  And I think these have been summarized already, and they will be submitted to the Secretariat after our meeting. 

   Now what I see --

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter, excuse me one minute.  Is it possible for Gerry just to quickly summarize what he's -- has written in the emails regarding his access problems for the record, for the captioner?  Because I think it's important for his particular situation to be explained now so it's on record and we have it captioned. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Do you want him to summarize or do you want to --

   >> ANDREA SAKS: I would like Gerry to tell us what's going on, what happened to him today, so they know from him, not from what we have said, so he says what he needs to say. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Okay.  Gerry, can you do that?  If not right now, probably you can join later. 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  Yeah.  I will quickly give a summary of my -- what my experience was.  What I will do is I will put down the telephone, and I will be listening in for the rest of the meeting. 

   What I found was I was using the WebEx tool, but the WebEx tool works very, very poor indeed.  Also, it has intermittent problems of different kinds, and I'll try and summarize them. 

   The way that the moderator was interacting with the remote participants was via chat.  So what happened was a remote participant would send a chat message and the moderator would send a chat back to me. 

   I had difficulty for two reasons.  First is my computer speaks to me, and the sound card that produces speech is the same sound card I am listening to the conference through.  So if I am listening to the conference, I can't hear the chat, and vice versa.  I can listen to the conference and not the chat or the chat and not the cochlear implants, but I can't do both. 

   The other reason I was having a problem is because WebEx places information on the screen in a very nonstandard way, and it doesn't use standard information boxes and standard methods of presenting information.  So I found even when I was able to listen to the chat, information would come from WebEx and obliterate what was on the screen.  So certainly, I wasn't able to read it.  

   And the last problem I had was this morning I found that if I did send a chat to the moderator, the moderator said, okay, Gerry, please speak.  When I start to speak, someone else was let in instead. 

   So I think we need to talk to WebEx, we need come up with some standards or some ways to try to improve the accessibility of the WebEx tool.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Gerry.  We really appreciate it, and we are absolutely sorry that this happened.  I am referring to the incident which happened when you wanted to take the floor.  And the Secretariat is aware of this problem.  We have talked about it.  And I, myself, tried to intervene with the chairperson to let you speak again.  However, as it happened, we had passed already the time limit, and we had been on other topics, so we couldn't get back to you. 

   But this is also something we should work on in the future, probably it's not only a technical issue but a personal issue as well.  I mean the moderators should have also something to learn from this.  And, well, let's take the positive side of it, and let's hope that we can improve. 

   Having said that, I think without any further adieu, let's go to the next item on our agenda.  And this is the review of the main session on access and diversity. 

   On access and diversity, we had a three-hour session with five main topics, and DCAD was involved in one of the topics which originally was entitled Empowerment of Women, which was later changed to something different, including people -- persons with disabilities. 

   I had the opportunity of making an intervention in this subject.  In fact, I had already an opportunity to make an intervention previously, also mentioning the Convention of Human Rights for people with Disabilities.  But in my main intervention, as you could see from the captioning, was about mostly disabilities related to aging.  But I tried to raise other issues, for instance, standards and best practices to be applied, and emphasizing that probably on local level, we should do more. 

   I believe this part of the session was quite interesting, and Shadi could add something to it, since he has been also intervening from the floor.  So Shadi, what were your impressions? 

   >> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yeah, I thought it was a good session, well managed.  I think that the topic was -- or the topics covered were really broad and really dense discussion.  So it was kind of difficult to get stuff in as much as we wanted. 

   But I think, generally speaking, from other sessions I've attended and where we tried to intervene and bring in the aspect of accessibility, I think there are a number of other groups where we should really look at bringing in accessibility, which we typically try to do anyway, but I think even more from an inclusion perspective, from a holistic perspective, because I think people still continue to see it as a side topic, as, you know, an individual group that is bringing in yet another request or yet another set of requirements rather than seeing the broad overlaps and the broad, you know, cross-benefits between just the diversity of people in general and the different sets of needs that don't -- are not necessarily categorizable. 

   So I don't know if that makes any sense, Peter, but you know what I mean?  I think maybe we should think about in the future the way we approach how we bring in accessibility in some of the sessions and how we can address.  I think we might find much more synergies and much more points of coordination with other groups as well, and our message might actually go further. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Shadi.  Naturally, it does make sense, and I completely share your views, and that's why I try to concentrate on broadening the issue.  And just making almost a direct appeal to the audience that all of us are concerned.  It's not a specific issue.  All of us with the aging will be concerned, hopefully. 

   Well, having said that, are there any requests for the floor here physically or from remote participants? 

   >> JUDY: Ginger would like to add.  Ginger, go ahead. 

   >> GINGER PAQUE: This is Ginger.  Thank you, Judy.  I wasn't sure exactly what the protocol was, so Judy, thank you very much.  Ginger Paque.  I am currently in the U.S. 

   I am going to try to ignore my time lag and just talk.  I am involved with remote participation, which is extremely important for cooperation with -- we have found that not only with captioning, but with the remote participation, improvements required by the DCAD group.  We have managed to improve for everyone in general.  And I'm not able to do this with the lag.  Judy, I am going to type in, and then at an appropriate moment, I am going to ask that you read my intervention. 

   >> JUDY:  That's okay, Ginger. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Ginger, this is Peter.  In the last moments we could hear you quite well, so there is no problem if you think you could continue, and we are just listening to you. 

   >> GINGER PAQUE: Thank you very much, Peter.  The problem for me is there's a long lag, and I have not managed to mute the speaker, so I'm hearing my own echo, and it makes it impossible to speak.  Sorry about that. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: That's perfectly all right.  So in that case, if you just send your message to Judy, that will be all right, and she will be reading it for us. 

   In the meantime, I would encourage anyone from the public to take the floor related to the session we had on access and diversity.  Any remarks? 

   If not, we are going to come back to Ginger at a later point. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, Andrea. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Hi.  This is Andrea Saks.  While Ginger is writing, I want to make two comments. 

   One, I feel that every single subject, including multilingualism, women, literacy problems, access for broadband, and everything like that, has an accessibility application.  And I think that -- I felt that there wasn't enough attention drawn to that point with everybody there. 

   I think there were so many people on the panel, I think it was very difficult to get a word in edgewise and that you did pretty well.  You made three interventions.  Shadi made one.  And some other people managed to make some interventions, and we have the captioning record, so we can go through and do that. 

   I think it's not clear to the general public that accessibility affects every one of these issues and the specific way that it affects every one of these issues.  So for the next main session, I would like to work with DCAD in writing out something that we have a policy regarding how. 

   Because for instance, we used to have somebody from -- Dipendra from the DAISY who dealt with literacy and also indigenous people who don't have written languages, as well as the situation regarding Arabic and other things.  But within all those populations, we have persons with disabilities, and this is not added, I think, sufficiently to the main session where this is actually emphasized. 

   So I think we have, as the DCAD, have to produce something that actually says that. 

   The other thing that is about what Ginger's working on, and I thank Ginger very much for recognizing the work that all the people in DCAD have done to try and improve remote participation.  I think we ought to do the same.  And Ginger's experience in remote participation is absolutely paramount, and she has guided me in a lot of areas as well. 

   So I think, again, the DCAD ought to produce something for IGF with regard to better -- and it's not finding people or making people wrong.  It's improving.  And it's like I'm terrible.  I always think everybody recognizes my voice, and most of the captioners at Caption First do.  But it's not fair.  I have to follow the rules as well.  It's to set out a set of rules not only moderators, but chairmen and everything else.  And this has got to be done for the ITU, and we are working on that too through the Joint Coordination Activity. 

   So I just wanted to say that point while Ginger is typing, and that goes into the record of this meeting. 

   Thank you very much, Peter.  I think Ginger has written something. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Andrea.  So can I give the floor to Judy? 

   >> JUDY:  Thank you, Peter.  I will read out what Ginger has written: 

   I would like to emphasize the synergy between the needs of persons with disabilities and the remote participant needs in particular.  But the general participant as well.  Persons with disabilities are, first of all, persons.  All of us are, and we benefit from helping each other. 

   Many tools added into full implementation by DCAD have benefited the rest of us.  I underline the addition of closed captioning by EuroDIG, for example, which is a significant improvement for all of us.  Thank you.  Point of impact thank you, Ginger, and I am really happy you can participate in this discussion and you can contribute. 

   Let me reflect on the intervention of Andrea.  Andrea, you had a very good point.  There were too many panelists.  That's true.  Too many extremely interesting subjects.  And, of course, in all of them, there are issues for our coalition as well, and they are issues which should be taken into account. 

   This time we -- and personally, I couldn't manage to get involved in all of them.  Sometimes I wasn't given the floor when I asked for it, but that's normal because there were so many participants.  And there was great interest from the floor as well. 

   So probably we can do better next time, next year. 

   And your suggestion to come up with some paper in this aspect is more than welcome.  Thank you. 

   Judy? 

   >> JUDY:  Just to add on for what Ginger has said, we do also need to recognize and emulate the efforts made by the DCAD group.  We must make ourselves be noticed, not just wait to be noticed. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you.  Can you introduce yourself? 

   >> SATISH BABU: Thank you, Peter.  I am -- this is Satish Babu from the International Centre for Free and Open Software India.  I was a part of the panel that you are referring to right now, and I am also part of the DCAD group. 

   I would like to say that my own perception is DCAD has been insufficiently visible in the previous session, even while I would argue that accessibility is a cross-cutting issue.  I would second the thoughts that an tray I can't and Peter just put forth, saying that even Ginger mentioned it, that we have to be visible, and I, as an outsider, really, really appreciate the contributions made by DCAD.  Even the captioning, it makes such a tremendous difference for everybody, not just the disabled. 

   So that being the case, I would argue that we should be more visible.  And the last session was where we had to get the most airtime, then I think we should have got proportionately more than what we got.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you for this remark.  I really appreciate it, and I had the same feeling, that we should have had more time, but we learn.  We learn from every event.  And this is an experience for the next event.  And we can -- I assure you that we will be more visible next time. 

   Yes, Judy. 

   >> JUDY:  Thank you, Peter.  I would just like to add probably we could begin at questions.  Where the questions for access and diversity are posted.  Maybe there we can send a question that would specifically touch on persons with disabilities because if you realise the question earlier was, Peter, where do we bring you in in all these questions?  Where do you come in?  Do you come in at women and empowerment?  Sorry.  Yeah.  So probably we could begin there, like let there be a specific question that will address the persons with disabilities, then it's easier to come in.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you for this remark.  Well, we are you are absolutely right.  We came in almost at the last moment as a side way, and we were given a "we don't know what you are doing here" kind of attitude, and why don't you intervene during this?  Okay.  We are going to change the title.  All right. 

   Anyway, I mean, after they start, you don't really feel comfortable intervening all the time, and you don't feel very comfortable where you are.  But anyway, I think I wasn't really very shy, and I took the floor whenever I could.  And hopefully next time we shall do better. 

   Okay.  So I think, having said that, I think we can conclude this topic on the main session.  And yes, Judy? 

   >> JUDY:  Sorry.  Just to -- Andrea is asking whether Chengetai did say he would work with us for the next meeting. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Andrea, Chengetai told me and told us that he will work with us.  He will invite us to be the real experts on this accessibility issues in organising the next IGF.  So probably we will be even more involved in this work. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter, it's Andrea.  I just -- I didn't want to interrupt what you were saying, so I typed it, but now since you've recognized that, that is going -- Satish, that is going to be our way to become more visible. 

   This is not the first time that Chengetai said that to us.  He said that to us last time.  And I can assure you the DCAD sent several documents that we prepared in advance updating them, that we've sent them every year.  So now that we have Chengetai saying that to the group, we have it in the captioning, we have it in the record, we have something that goes on the website or is in the actual meeting report of IGF that this was said so that the rest of IGF knows that. 

   So if we could put a note in the report, Peter, that we have had this recognition and that we are to build on it, I think Satish is right.  We need to become more visible.  But let's use this one nugget so we can expand it. 

   Thank you, Peter. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Andrea.  Just a quick thought as for working closer with the Secretariat.  It may mean as well that someone is being delegated to the Secretariat, unfortunately, I think, on a voluntary basis, and for being involved more in the IGF.  This is not a Secretariat issue, and I assure you since I am a member of the MAG, I will take on this subject. 

   I think we can proceed now to the next agenda item.  This is a review of the DCAD-related activities at the IGF.  We start with the workshop we had yesterday, the Sustainable Benefits of Inclusion of Internet, Workshop No. 129.  So here I have what were the lessons learned, the feedback, and how to bring it forward. 

   I was chairing this meeting, and Shadi was helping me with Judy, and on the whole, we had a very difficult start because all of a sudden we found ourselves without Arun, who was to be a presenter.  Fortunately, Jorge was with us, and Shadi was extremely nice and volunteered on my request to do a summary of Arun's presentation. 

   We had also a unique experience having remote panelists, and the remote participation, and this was a test.  We learned a lot from this test, and we are already using the results of this learning curve in our meeting right now. 

   So on the whole, my assessment of the workshop from the technical point of view is positive.  I think we can continue.  Of course, we see that there is room for improvement, and we know where the problems are.  We have some means to correct them.  We know that we should also find some other ways to improve them, but we know where we are. 

   Now as for the content, I would let you comment on the content, those of you who have been listening to it or who have followed it, either remotely or physically.  So I give it to you for any comments you may have. 

   I am reminded that here in the room there are people who were present in the workshop, so those of you who were present and want to comment on the workshop are most welcome to do it.  Just a reminder, in the workshop, there was a presentation from Shadi about the activities of W3C and the WCAG WAI activities.  There was a presentation from Jorge Plano about the e-book and accessibility of e-books.  I gave a presentation about the ITU activities on accessibilities.  Also touched upon some work in the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and the Working Group on the improvements of the IGF related to the recommendations for people with disabilities.  And Shadi gave the summary of Arun's presentation about the cases of deaf-blind people. 

   So unfortunately, we couldn't go deeply into the subject of the sustainable benefits, but hopefully we can correct it for the next IGF. 

   So anyone remote or present who would like to comment on the Dynamic Coalition workshop which was yesterday are welcome.  I would like to hear your comments who are remotely following this discussion. 

   Yes, Andrea. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Ah, okay.  Thank you.  Christopher Jones is refraining from making a comment because he can't handle three screens.  I just told him to go ahead and send me an email, and then I would copy/paste into the chat box or read it out for him.  So I hope he will do this and see that I've said this on the captioning because this is one of the problems that we have with remote participation is for deaf people, it's literally impossible to participate and follow the actual proceedings at the same time.  Whereas, at the ITU, we can, and we do use a tool that allows the captioning to go directly underneath the Webcast video, and I really think that if WebEx can't provide it, we ought to consider changing conferencing tools. 

   So if we hang on a minute, I'll see if he will agree to do that because I've told him -- because he's deaf, we want his input.  So Peter, if you let me come back to that should he decide to make a comment, I will read it out. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, Andrea, definitely, take the floor at any time you feel like. 

   So I can't see anyone making any comments related to the workshop we had yesterday.  So I think we can go to the --

   >> Hello, Gerry? 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Somebody can hear me? 

   >> JUDY:  Yes, Gerry. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, Gerry.  Just go ahead. 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Gerry Ellis here.  Just to say I did manage to get onboard at last.  I'm not sure how, but I did. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, we are really happy you are there.  Gerry, did you follow the workshop yesterday? 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Yes, I did, and I found it interesting, but there were some technical issues there, obviously, and WebEx still causing problems for people, not just those who are deaf and blind, but for Jorge I believe is neither. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Probably this is true, and we try to sort this out.  Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who have participated in the workshop yesterday and who have made a real great job in participating.  And my special thanks to Shadi, who has taken the energy in summarizing the presentation, and Judy, who is replacing Ginger.  So I am really thankful to them.  So thank you again. 

   Having said that, let me go to the next item, and this is 5.2.  And this is the joint workshop of DiploFoundation and DCAD, remote participation, reality and principles.  This is Workshop No. 52, which will be heard tomorrow, the 9th of November, 2012. 

   Frankly speaking, I am a bit confused now because I think it would be Ginger who would -- will take a lead part in this workshop.  Ginger, are you going to do it? 

   >> GINGER PAQUE: Okay.  Thank you, Peter.  This is Ginger Paque.  I will be present tomorrow, but the moderators will be Raquel Gatto of the Internet Governance Forum Remote Participation Working Group. 

   We will have interventions and short panelist discussant as we present the realities and principles involved.  There is a disconnect between the principles and the good intentions and the actual practicality, as you on the ground are realising, as I am realising right now as I talk over my own echo because of the lag, because I'm organising on the ground a workshop, and I'm not in Baku. 

   The big things are to take note of these practicalities and to work together to solve them, knowing that we will all benefit from it. 

   One thing that we did find out and really caught my eye was during the Best Bits pre-event, Best Bits is organised by people who are very, very aware of remote participation, and the remote participation was horrible.  The people in the room continually referred to "those of us here in the room should all make an effort."  The people in the room forgot that there were people online listening.  And we felt totally ignored. 

    There are so many small details that we need to make note of.  And what I learned from that meeting was a comment that one of the in situ participants said, they said, "Those of you who are participating remotely need to make yourselves noticed."  And this is something I've learned from the DCAD group is that you make your requests.  I don't want to say you make your demands.  That sounds a little strong to me.  But if we don't jump up and down and make ourselves be noticed, they forget we're there. 

   We also have to remember that sometimes people that are sitting in the room and want to speak have to madly wave their arms and jump up and down to get a chance to speak.  Those of us that aren't in the room have to do so even more.  It's on us.  It's our responsibility, and we have to take charge.  We have to quit -- something I've been guilty of -- sitting back and thinking, oh, this is solved, they are going to take care of it; we are done.  We are not.  We have to keep working on it; we have to keep following up. 

   So we do hope that everyone will support us online, on our document, or in person tomorrow.  Because I see the synergy.  I see DCAD as our biggest ally because you're our experts.  You're showing us the way.  And together I think we can improve access for all of us without dividing into smaller groups.  We all need to work together. 

   Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Ginger.  I am really glad to hear that the workshop is on, even though you can't be here physically.  I fully agree that we should make ourselves known.  But we have to be kind of tolerant and patient.  We are in the learning curve. 

   It's something really new, and it's new for all of us.  So it's a culture.  We have to learn how to tackle what are the rules or what are the specificities.  And I'm sure we shall cope with that faster than we think. 

   Having said that, I believe -- wait, Andrea.  Having said that practical information, tomorrow I'm sure that DCAD representatives will be attending and participating in the workshop, either physically or remotely.  I am afraid I, myself, cannot be there because I'm chairing the meeting Taking Stock on the Way Forward.  I am hoping to join you in the last half hour if I may.  But I am sure that all other DCAD members, those of you -- those of us who are available will be there. 

   Judy, you wanted to take the floor, and then Andrea. 

   >> JUDY:  Thank you, Peter.  I was letting you know that there's a message from Christopher. 

   Andrea, go ahead. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Andrea. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Okay.  Thank you.  Can you hear me okay? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: This is what Christopher wrote:  A point of interest.  The European Union of the Deaf have had a successful GoToMeeting with six video screens on one screen using sign language.  Sounds like a good way to try this out. 

   I think we'll investigate that.  And Peter, not to contradict what you have said, we have been trying to work with remote participation now for over three years.  The problem is the people who make remote participation tools are not listening to us.  And unless we get organised, it doesn't matter how patient we are.  We can't be patient.  We really have to fight for this. 

   And I am working with other people privately who have been telling me what they are developing.  I can't come out and say what it is at this moment.  But there are people trying to make remote participation tools. 

   But the problem is people get fixed into contracts.  People get fixed into freebies.  People get fixed into remote participation tools that they personally are used to and like.  In spite of the fact that there are difficulties.  And the problem is we have to boycott the ones that don't work and use the ones that do. 

   So the problem is also we have to find a way of charting what works and what doesn't and let these people know. 

   And this is a little dangerous for me to say, but I have let the advisor to President Obama know the problems of WebEx and the advertising that they are doing, which misleads a lot of us into thinking that they are more accessible than they are. 

   So there are other issues because the FCC does very successful captioning with it, as I described earlier.  We, at ITU, have a variety of different ways of doing it.  Not everybody's on the same page.  It is education of the people who work with the devices, education of the audiovisual people.  It is education.  And the ITU has been working with a focus group that is try to go do just that.  So it's called the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media. 

   There is a lot of work going out there, but we can't -- we don't have the funds, for instance, to get these people to IGF in these remote locations, and yet the problem is what they are working on would solve some of the problems that we're having today in getting the actual information out remotely. 

   I think this has been a very successful meeting for us because it has really shown us what we are up against.  We can't be patient.  We have to be proactive.  And so I'm proposing, Peter, that you put in the record that as soon as we can, when we all get back, the first of the year, we have a follow-up meeting, a DCAD meeting, that goes over all these things.  And everybody's homework is to write down what they have told us today.  We could lift a lot out of the captioning.  But we want to be able to begin work on these three specific areas:  The problems that we had, the solutions that we know, and the way we can communicate that also to the MAG with your help, and the insistence that the DCAD does participate early on in the planning of the next meeting.  And that we work together with Ginger's organisations and also, for that matter, with the European Union of the Deaf because I've been in touch with them.  And this is an important organisation.  And there are organisations that are working with people who have sight problems too.  We are going to have to expand. 

   Is Satish still in the room?  I think this is where he was trying to direct us.  And we have to outreach to other countries as well to assist us in what they know because there are different ways of captioning.  And I'm learning about that.  Some are better for certain things, and some are totally inappropriate for technical meetings.  But like -- I'll give you a good example, and then I will stop talking. 

   People love the idea of international sign language.  People think, oh, now that I know that every single country has its own sign language and even regional dialects have their own sign language -- even though they find it odd.  How could deaf people communicate through sign language before video phone so it could all be the same? 

   But international sign language doesn't work.  It was originally created so that one person who used one form of sign language and another person who used a different form of sign language could have some interpretation back and forth.  It is a shorthand.  It is not for technical information. 

   Yet the hearing world thinks it's the bee's knees because it says "international."  And these misconceptions on what tools are good and what tools are not good and why they use them have to be debunked.  I mean, there's a wonderful expression that I've learned from the States called "Debunktion Junction," and I've stolen it from Rachel Maddow in MSNBC. 

   We have to do a Debunktion Junction to dispel the myth.  It's wonderful we are giving you this information, Bernard, for example, since you are still there.  You, of all the people, try so hard to help us get connectivity.  It's called -- there are other issues, policy, money, and contracts.  And the fact that many people in the MAG may not have the consciousness that we would like them to do.  That's kind of what we have to do in our next workshop, and maybe that can influence the next title:  Consciousness.  We have to all get on the same page because connectivity, interoperability just as adversely affects the regular world in their interoperability on regular communication.  It is dire for people with accessibility issues.  But it is the same problem. 

   So if we can incorporate it mainstream into that concept, so interoperability is so important, and interoperability and connectivity and consciousness on what it is about is accessibility for everyone. 

   So I wanted to make sure everybody understood that because I've been chatting with Christopher. 

   Christopher is so determined to communicate that he is -- he has -- sometimes he watches things on two computers.  It's ridiculous.  He shouldn't have to.  So anyway, that's it.  And I think I'll just check to see if he sent me one more email just to be sure that he didn't -- nope.  If he wants to make a comment, he will in the next few minutes. 

   So I think we've got to be very proactive.  And thank you for letting me open my big mouth as usual.  Over to you, Peter. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Andrea, for the short intervention. 

   (Laughter)

   Just to be on the same --

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Right.  (Laughter). 

   >> PETER MAJOR: -- same wavelength, when I was referring to patience and tolerance, I was referring to procedural problems.  That is when we are waving our hands.  I didn't refer to technical problems.  Of course, we are not patient and tolerant with technical problems, especially if we have a variety of tools which are available to us.  So it is natural to select the ones we are most comfortable with. 

   And the myriad of information we had from you, probably we can learn, and we shall use it for the next year's programme, which, if you permit me, I'm going to go to the next agenda item, and the way forward. 

   Before that, Shadi would like to take the floor. 

   >> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yeah, it's a general comment on the overall agenda item, and maybe we can actually come back to that in the future, future steps and next year's meeting. 

   I think it's great to have remote participation.  I think we should increase it, encourage it, and continue to work on improving it.  But I do miss you all remotely out there and not having you physically here.  I think it is an issue of having less active or, you know, on-the-ground participation of people with disabilities. 

   I think Peter just mentioned, for instance, tomorrow's remote captioning session.  I'm also not sure if I am going to be attending it.  Actually, I will try to switch since now Peter's not going to be able to attend.  But I think our presence, our in-person presence and the hallway discussions that I think continue to be so important at the IGF to continue to reach out to other groups and other people and just, you know, give the word "accessibility" a face.  I think that's an important aspect as well. 

   I know travel is not always easy, but I think for next year, we should also try to make some more presence available. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Shadi.  As always, I fully agree that physical presence is extremely valuable in any sense of the word. 

   So let me go to the next item.  That is our future activities for the next year. 

   As Andrea has already mentioned, I think it's an extremely good idea to have a meeting after we come back from Christmas holidays -- well, not immediately after, but probably at the end of January.  Is there some proposal from you, Andrea, for the date? 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Yes, Peter, thank you.  I think the end of January's good because of the fact that Alexandra and I have Study Group 2, Study Group 16, Study Group 9, DCAD, and the Focus Group, all in that one month due to the fact that they have collocated.  We are going to be completely brain dead. 

   So the point is we won't be able to do it before the end. 

   We also have -- both of us are involved in a training for a masters of arts degree in Italy, and that's the first week in February, if I'm correct.  I have the 26th of January. 

   So maybe the second week in February we will come up and give you some dates, so if you take a look at that, everyone, if there's a problem, the second week in February.  Alexandra?  Yes, I know, I just saw what Alexander said, January is very difficult.  Yes, it is! 

   So maybe the second week in February is the earliest we can do that.  Alexandra, do you want to come in and just say that we'll send out a notice, we'll check the schedule at ITU because it will be after WTS, the World Telecommunication Standards Assembly, and after the World Conference on International Treaties, WCIT, because that's happening in mid-November all the way through mid-December.  So we will probably be gasping. 

   Alexandra, do you want to make a comment? 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: Yes. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, Alexandra, go ahead. 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: Can you hear me? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, we can. 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: Hello, everybody, and thanks for this live session. 

   Regarding the dates, January 2013, it's very, very hard because we have two Study Groups that are involved with accessibility, one Focus Group, and one meeting of the JCA.  So since I don't have any clones yet, I would propose to -- either to organise a meeting maybe -- a brief meeting maybe in December or in February. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Alexandra, it's impossible in December because I get back from WTSA on the 15th of December. 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: Okay. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Let's do February, kid.  And the second week. 

   >> ALEXANDRA GASPARI: So let's make it in February, and we'll be sending a note consultating what is the most appropriate dates. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Did I hear Gerry say something? 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Gerry, you wanted to take the floor? 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Yes, if I may. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, go ahead. 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: If I may, just to say January doesn't suit me either because I'm involved in that same MA course that Andrea and Alexandra are involved in, so February would be appreciated. 

   Just to make a proposal of something that we could possibly do, I have been involved in what's called the ISO Guide 71 meetings, but that prompted me to look at what's happening in the International Standards Organization, and there is a proposal with ISO for a standard around remote participation. 

   So I think we, as a group, should be talking to the Focus Group, the ITU Focus Group should be talking to the World Blind Union, the European Deaf Union, and other organisations, try to be sure we are all talking to each other rather than each group doing their own thing.  Maybe that's something we could take on to do in the next six months is to get all those groups together. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Gerry.  It seems to me that February, beginning of February, is acceptable to all of us.  I would like to remind you that we are going to have a MAG consultation following the WSIS+10 meeting in Paris, which is organised by UNESCO, and the next meeting of the MAG will be back to back to this meeting.  It will be around the 20th of February.  so if we have our meeting, at least I will have something to say during the MAG concerning -- what I mean something to say which happened already discussed within DCAD to the open consultation in Paris. 

   So I think this is an acceptable date, and it's not too late for the MAG meeting. 

   As for Gerry's proposal, I think we, all of us, agree to that, that we should open up and to make the outreach to other organisations, and of course, not to duplicate the work they are doing. 

   Judy, you wanted to talk the floor. 

   >> JUDY:  Thank you, Peter.  Andrea says not early February?  Second week of February at the earliest. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Probably we can refine it at some later time.  I'm not sure whether we can agree now.  What I suggest, eventually all the proposals for the next meeting would be circulated by Alexandra.  I would also suggest that eventually the activities for the following year, we would discuss it during that meeting.  We have a lot of material now to think about, to ponder about, and in the meantime, we are going to have the important ITU meetings, the WTSA, and last but not least the WCIT, with some proposal related to accessibility for disabled people.  So I think we shall know more after these meetings.  But I'm open to any other proposals. 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: Peter, I am going to have to say categorically -- it's Andrea Saks -- we cannot have it the first week of February because it's just impossible for us to do it with the scheduling that we have, because that's Alexandra and me.  So I would think that we'll do the second week at the earliest, which gives you sufficient time to be able to have information to go to the MAG meeting on the 20th.  And I think it's important that we do have a meeting well before your MAG meeting because you want to go well armed.  We want you to go there with guns blazing. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you.  I am just doing some exercises for this battle, and I fully agree that we -- the second week of February would be sufficient for me.  The two-week training course is enough. 

   Any other remarks? 

   I can hear none.  So any other business which comes to your mind? 

   >> SHADI ABOU-ZAHRA: Yeah.  This is Shadi.  Hi.  So sorry again to point number 7 again.  I think for the next year -- I mentioned this earlier, but I'll mention it again in a different way -- I think maybe we should be more strategic about which other meetings and workshops we want to -- I don't want to use the word "infiltrate," but basically collaborate with.  And I think we pointed out several times that we want to be more visible, we want to be more active.  And so I think we should be more strategic on which other topics we address and how maybe we want to address in a coordinated way to make accessibility really more recognized as a cross-cutting aspect. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Shadi.  Probably what Satish told us, that we should be involved, since it is a cross-cutting issue --

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Peter, Gerry. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Just hold it for a second.  So I may like to have some ideas concerning this cross-cutting approach, which I can also communicate through the MAG when the MAG is going to discuss the programme for the next IGF. 

   I have a feeling that the next -- in the next IGF, we may come up with some new ideas, new way of organising things, so we will have an opportunity to have the issues which we are dealing with now to be included more efficiently in the next year's programme. 

   Yes, Gerry, please.  Gerry, you are there? 

   >> GERRY ELLIS: Sorry, Peter.  There's a couple seconds delay from the time I speak till the time you hear me.  Just wondering if we do want to be more involved in other workshops, then we need to very much look at the question of funding, being physically present.  Because a lot of the work is done in corridors, over coffee, over lunch, at evening meals, even over a pint.  So it we want to make a difference, I think we really need to look at how we can fund people to be there present.  I don't even know where it is next year, but we need to look at that question urgently right now. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Gerry.  I think you are absolutely right, and the good and bad news at the same time, that it will be in Bali, in Indonesia.  Probably funding for those of us who are in Europe will be even a greater problem.  I am not really sure that those who are going to fund us will take it very easily that the meeting will be in Bali.  There is no way explaining to them that this is not a holiday.  But that's another issue. 

   So yes, I really agree with you that we should be physically present, as Shadi has said as well. 

   Yes, anyone want to take the floor? 

   >> ANDREA SAKS: I've got something from Christopher. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Yes, go ahead, Andrea. 

   >> CHRISTOPHER JONES: I agree with Shadi that we need to increase remote participation, especially from people with disabilities who generally do not have required funding, but to have this as an important vehicle to shout out their concerns and comments that the world needs to know about.  Thank you. 

   >> PETER MAJOR: Thank you, Christopher.  Thank you, Andrea, for conveying the message. 

   So I think we are to the last one item.  Any other business?  If not, there is nothing else remains for us but to close the meeting and to thank you -- thank all of you who participated actively in this meeting, and I am really glad you were all here.  And those of you who couldn't participate, probably you will have a report of this meeting or even the transcript of the captioning.  So thank you again.  Thank you for your participation here in the room.  And thank you, the participation remotely.  And this meeting is closed.  Thank you. 

  

 

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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.

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