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Activities of standards bodies relevant to Universal Design

Activities of standards bodies relevant to Universal Design

Authors: James Hubbard, Senior Design Advisor, Products and Services, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, NDA and Dónal Rice, Senior Design Advisor, ICT, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, NDA. Edited by Dr. Sam Waller, University of Cambridge, Engineering Design Centre and Prof. P John Clarkson, University of Cambridge, Engineering Design Centre.

Considering a wider remit of ensuring safety, compatibility of systems, standard interfaces and consumer protection, representatives from industry, national and international standards bodies, have worked to establish accessibility and usability requirements for products and services. Furthermore, standards organisations have developed and promoted guidelines for including and representing the needs of older people and people with disabilities in standards development (e.g. ISO/IEC Guide 71). From a universal or accessible design basis these guides layout an ergonomic method for aligning human data, abilities and limitations with the associated design factors: thereby addressing the negative consequences experienced from design exclusion 

There are a wide range of standards and technical guides that relate to Universal Design. This section contains:

  • A brief list of some of the activities of standards bodies that can facilitate the development of Universally Designed products

  • Presentations from past G3ict events on activities of standards bodies relating to Universal Design in product development

  • An e-Accessibility toolkit article by Alex Li on the work of an ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) on accessibility and international standards development

  • Links to more general information and resources on Universal Design on the Irish Centre for Excellence in Universal Design website

Selected activities of standards bodies
ISO/IEC Guide 71:2001

Guidelines for standards developers that focuses on addressing the requirements of older and disabled persons in the development of standards.

ISO/TR 22411:2008
Ergonomic data and ergonomic guidelines for the application of ISO/IEC Guide 71 to products and services. The Technical Report (TR) provides ergonomic data and knowledge about human sensory, cognitive and motor abilities. Furthermore, the report covers allergies and provides guidance on the accessible design of products, services and environments.

ISO/PAS 18152 (2003)
Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Specification for the process assessment of human-system issues.  This presents a human-systems (HS) model for use in ISO/IEC 15504-conformant assessment of the maturity of an organization in performing the development processes that make a system usable and safe. It describes processes that address human-system issues and the outcomes of these processes. It details the practices and work products associated with achieving the outcomes of each process.

ISO/TR 16982 (2002)
Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Usability methods supporting human-centred design. This technical report outlines the different types of usability methods that can be used to support user centred design.

ISO/DIS 9241-304
Ergonomics of human-system interaction - Part 304: User performance test method

ISO/DIS 7250-1 (2008)
Basic human body measurements for technological design - Part 1: Body measurement definitions and landmarks. This provides a description of anthropometric measurements which can be used as a basis for comparison of population groups. It is intended to serve as a guide for ergonomists who are required to define population groups and apply their knowledge to the geometric design of the places where people work and live.

Structuring Development Processes to Achieve Global Accessibility Compliance" (2008) by Roman Longoria, Ph.D., CPE Vice President, CA (requires registration on the G3ict website)

 "ISO 9000 Quality Management System and Accessibility" (2008) Sean MacCurtain ISO/CASCO Secretary ISO International Organization for Standardization

e-Accessibility Toolkit article
This article by Alex Li (International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/ International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) Special Working Group-Accessibility Convener) is on accessibility and international standards development. It provides an overview of  the deliverables of the working group which include:

  • Users needs summary

  • Standards inventory

  • Guidance on mapping user needs

All of the deliverables can be accessed at the JTC 1 SWG-A website.

Further general resources on Universal Design
The Irish Centre for Excellence in Universal Design website contains further information on Universal Design that may be of use to policy makers including:

How can Universal Design be taught in engineering curricula?