International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work. ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of electrotechnical standardization.

ISO is the world's largest developer of standards and has developed several accessibility standards in the ergonomics technical committee (TC 159). These accessibility standards are part of ISO Standard 9241, which addresses ergonomic requirements of human computer system interaction. IBM has been a key participant in the development of these accessibility standards by participating in several national bodies worldwide.

ISO 9241 Part 20 Accessibility Guidelines for ICT Equipment and Services

Part 20 of ISO 9241 provides general guidelines for information and communications technology (ICT) equipment. It describes major product attributes with design examples. Part 20 also provides information for planning, designing and developing ICT equipment and services, and for acquiring and evaluating ICT equipment and services. This includes both hardware and software aspects of information processing equipment, electronic communication facilities, office machines, and other similar technologies and services, which can be used in work, home, mobile and public environments.

ISO 9241 Part 171 Guidance on Software Accessibility

Part 171 of ISO 9241 provides guidelines specifically for software accessibility. It applies to software that forms part of interactive systems used in the home, in leisure activities, in public situations, and at work. Requirements and recommendations are provided for system design, appearance, behavior, individualization, and interoperability with assistive technologies.

Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1)

JTC 1 is a collaborative effort of both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) which was formed to deal with information technology standards where there is substantial overlap between ISO and IEC.

JTC 1 Special Working Group on Accessibility

In October 2004, JTC 1 created a Special Working Group on Accessibility (SWG-A) to investigate the various accessibility standards activities taking place in ISO, IEC, ITU, national and regional standards bodies, consortia, and user groups. The SWG–A deliverables are as follows:

The SWG-A has published the following technical reports:

JTC 1 Subcommittee 35 (SC 35) User Interfaces

SC 35 develops standards in the field of user interfaces in information and communication technology (ICT) environments and support for these interfaces to be adaptable for accessibility, cultural, and language differences.

ISO/IEC 13066 Information technology — Interoperability with Assistive Technology

Interoperability between Information Technology (IT) and Assistive Technology (AT) products is most reliable when standardized public interfaces are used. ISO/IEC 13066-1:2011 is a standard for designing and evaluating interoperability between IT and AT. It describes requirements for IT and AT products in three types of interoperability: hardware-to-hardware, hardware-to-software, and software-to-software. It also identifies a variety of software-to-software APIs that are described further in other parts of ISO/IEC 13066. These APIs can be used as frameworks to support IT-AT interoperability. IAccessible2, an extension of the Microsoft Active Accessibility API designed by IBM and now an open standard, is one of the APIs described in ISO/IEC 13066.

Last updated, June 1, 2011

JTC 1 Committees

For additional information on the ISO/IEC JTC 1 groups, refer to the following links: