eAccess 12: Jean Irvine OBE


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eAccess 12: address delivered by Jean Irvine OBE, Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, 28 June 2012 www.headstar.com/eaccess12

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  • The EHRC statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, (Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. - also the regulator for the Equality Act 2010. Independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. - reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.  Enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act.  Advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.  I also chair BCS IPP and WCIT IT Accessibility panel
  • In this session outline some key areas of education and professionalism David will provide case study of ICT education in Dundee University . I want to stress the importance of education running through from school to further education and professional activity not just for ICT professionals but also other professionals such as those in Marketing and Operations and also the end users of on line services – In parallel I will comment on the need for organisations – both service providers and IT suppliers to also view learning and development of ICT accessibility and useability to the core of their business . Ive called Education in ICT The Golden Thread
  • Recent DFE Consultation on IT Curriculum in Schools – 2nd stage on Draft Regulations closes 11 th July “ , the Government has decided to proceed with disapplication of the ICT Programmes of Study at all four key stages, the associated Attainment Targets and Key Stage 3 statutory assessment arrangements in England from September 2012 under section 91 of the Education Act 2002. Schools required to teach ICT at all key stages as part of the National Curriculum t teachers - freedom and flexibility to design an ICT curriculum that is best for their pupils. ” Important to ensure that Primary school pupils provided with the necessary knowledge and skills such that they are equipped to transition to the new Secondary school based curricula for Digital Literacy, Computing Science, and Information Technology. Continued learning of Teachers. ISFIA/CITP offers a rigorous assessment of competence and continuous professional development that will bring vital recognition to IT and Computing Science teachers and also conferring full professional membership of BCS. Understanding of ICT accessibility should be built in at this stage
  • Before coming on to professionals I just want to touch on the routes to learning about the use of on line services for adult users . As slide comments a variety of different routes are available some of them generic like the Open University and others focused upon people with disabilities such as the ( quote slide ) or older people eg U3A . A new initiative launched this year relaunch of Raceonline 2012 as Go On UK is Go On Gold – aim is to develop 1000 Disability Aware Digital Champions to help get disabled/older people on line .Chair Kevin Carey – led by Dan Jellinek .
  • 2 million people in the UK have some form of sight loss either making it difficult or impossible to use websites, digital content and services 15% to 20% of the UK population is affected by dyslexia. 10 million, 1 in 6 people here in the UK suffer from some form of hearing loss. 1 million adults have learning difficulties. 10.3 million older people /17% of the UK population over 65. 8.3 million people not on-line. At least 10 million people who struggle or simply can’t use the digital services and content whether they want to or not as these services are not designed to work for them. . There is a lot of advice for organisations on the EHRC we site. Example hold up booklet Organisations like Abilitynet provide assessment services and the Employers Forum on Disability provides a great deal of information and support .
  • We are launching today at EAccess 12 a great initiative called Web Essentials which will be available form the link at the bottom of the slide (read out) on XXXXXXX. Summarise slide Website accessibility is about more than simply providing disabled access via a PC. It includes providing unhindered access to a website from a range of devices, including web-enabled televisions, mobile phones and PDAs. It also means making your web content accessible to users with different screen sizes, browser types and settings, or those who do not have plug-ins such as Flash. An important element of Web Essentials is that it provides a common language and approach for all professionals so that those in Marketing, Sales and ICT for example can share the same foundation for accessible useable web site development
  • Summarise slide Completing the Web Accessibility Essentials e-learning course will lead to a valuable certificate of achievement, enabling those who complete the course and complete a short test to share their skills amongst colleagues and other designers, developers and web site producers. Web Accessibility Essentials provides tools to help you test accessibility at all stages of web site development and provides recognised training standards for identifying usability problems and how to easily solve them.
  • The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), backed by BCS The Chartered Institute for IT, eSkills UK, The IET, ITSMF, and used by many employers of IT professionals in both public and private sector is the career path model BCS recommends when considering the needs of industry for a robust skills framework and hence learning and development environment and the basis for professional development of ICT professionals One of the groups within the BCS is the Learning and Development Specialist Group recently held major conference on Learning and Development.
  • This slide shows how the Skills Framework maps to the Professional progression through the BCS membership grades and also parallels likely seniority within organisations employing these professionals. The Six vertical Pillars of the Framework are: Strategy and Architecture Business Change Solution Development and Implementation Service Management Procurement and Management Support Client Interface At the more senior level there are horizontal capabilities that span these on Enterprise Strategy and Delivery Management . Recognition of the skills developed in a typical progression as an individual’s career develops shows the route through form Practitioner through Management to head of profession/CIO .
  • Compliance with the Law is clearly important but equally so are the business opportunities that making on line services accessible and useable can drive. The Government are looking to the Digital by Default strategy to reduce the cost of service delivery by getting users to self-serve for themselves. And this is in addition to using technology in our everyday lives for socialising, shopping, banking and interacting with friends and family. This slide outlines some of the benefits that can come to businesses that take accessibility of on line services seriously . Summarise slide points
  • Clearly ICT professionals take responsibility for their own learning and professionalism and by joining the BCS and taking CPD seriously we can move forward As a basis for discussion not just today but in the coming months I suggest some key areas for concerted action particularly for organisations . list slide and then show more detail next two slides. Accessibility and useability of web based services needs to be embedded throughout an organisation be they buyer of supplier . The SFIA and also Web Essentials together with key standards like BCS 8878 provide a foundation for this.
  • One Voice was set up by Nigel Lewis the CEO of Abilitynet to bring together organisations across all sectors with the aim of making ICT accessibility business as usual. The Charter principles – Campaigning, Promotion and Professionalism recognise the importance of all three to make a sustainable shift . The web site lists the founder members and also tools that can be used by organisations who want to join this journey .
  • BTAT Seventeen thought-leading blue-chip corporations and government departments have signed the Charter at launch – Accenture, Alexander Mann, Barclays, BSkyB, BT, Bupa, Cisco Systems, the Department of Work and Pensions, Ernst & Young, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, HM Revenue and Customs, Lloyds Banking Group, Microlink, Microsoft, Oracle and Sainsburys, demonstrating their commitment to accessible ICT. The full Charter can be seen on the web site link read out John Sabine of the EFD who set up the Task Force is here today and can follow up if you are interested in getting involved .
  • The Maturity Model shown on the slide provides a very valuable framework and basis for practical learning in organisations . Building on the Charter statements the vertical access of the Model outlines the key areas -list slide And then across the top its sets out the five levels of maturity and iuportantly how the organisation needs to evidence their current state and hence the actions that are needed to progress through from an Informal recognition of Accessibility to a state of Optimisation .
  • Whilst there is a need for specialist courses and qualifications in accessibility and inclusion, there is also a need to embed knowledge of these topics across all roles and competency levels. Only by taking this horizontal approach that it is everyone’s responsibility will we ensure that digital services are inclusive. Starting in schools lets have everyone at 6 th form level completing the Web Essentials Course and for those who go on to become ICT professionals let us work with the SFIA partners so that in the next release of the Framework accessibility is included across all roles to help all IT professionals gain the knowledge and understanding needed for inclusion . If not we will continue to have 10 million digitally excluded and socially excluded people within our society.
  • eAccess 12: Jean Irvine OBE

    1. 1. Education, Education, Education, Training and Professionalism Jean Irvine OBE Commissioner Equality and Human Rights Commission
    2. 2. Education in ICT – the “Golden Thread” Young People Adult ICT ICT Professionals Users Organisations: Organisations: Employers/ ICT Hardware, Software and Service providers Solutions Providers
    3. 3. Learning- Young People• The UK economy depends upon its global competitiveness in ICT-based service industries• Hence increasing need for both: – ICT professionals – Business people who understand the role of and can commission effective ICT systems and services• The teaching of Digital Literacy, Computing Science, and Information Systems in schools must provide the foundation for professionalism across the board• It is crucial that learning about ICT accessibility starts in schools
    4. 4. Learning- Adult IT Users• Variety of education routes for Individuals e.g: – Open University – distance learning – Universities and Colleges – U3A (older people)• Support for disabled people: – Research at the Rix Centre at UEL – IT Can Help service (Abilitynet) – UK On Line Centres – Go On UK/ Go On Gold• Support for Charities : – IT4Communities (Abilitynet)
    5. 5. Organisations IT Accessibility – the Legal Context• The digital world continues to present a number of obstacles for disabled people.• Under the Equality Act 2010 organisations have a legal obligation/duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all their IT channels and applications serving the public are accessible to disabled people who may use a variety of access devices and equipment and have a wide range of impairments.• This duty is anticipatory• Making as many adjustments as possible makes it easier for everyone to use the service www.equalityhumanrights.com
    6. 6. ICT Professionals/ Organisations- The Basics: Web Essentials (1)• The Equality and Human Rights Commission, AbilityNet and BCS (the Chartered Institute of IT) have worked together to develop the first ever course of its kind on digital accessibility• The course is targeting the widest possible audience, not just web designers or developers, aiming to inform board/executives, senior managers, HR, marketing as well IT/technical staff• The 80 minute e-learning course aims to equip individuals and businesses with the tools to make their website accessible• Order the courseware by calling: 0330 123 9194 or email waesupport@hq.bcs.org.uk.• Find out more at: www.bcs.org/wae
    7. 7. The Basics: Web Essentials(2)• It provides a key learning platform to help understand the issues faced by those with a disability, health condition or those who struggle using online technology and what needs to be done to address their needs• It offers low cost training and qualification• At the end of the course, you will complete a short test that, if passed, will also lead to a formal BCS Level 1 Certificate of achievement.• Individual and corporate licences will be available Order the courseware by calling: 0330 123 9194 or email waesupport@hq.bcs.org.uk. Find out more at: www.bcs.org/wae
    8. 8. ICT Professionals- Qualifications• Version 5 of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) was launched in December 2011• The British Computer Society – the Chartered Institute for IT and hence the Lead Professional Body for ICT –is a partner in SFIA.• BCA has developed SFIAPlus as the skills framework for accreditation of qualifications and entry/progression in Professional membership to Chartered IT Professional: – ISEB Practitioner qualifications – All BCS membership grades including CITP – BCS Higher Education Qualifications• The BCS also has a very active Learning and Development Specialist Group – if you are interested visit the BCS web site : www.bcs.org.uk
    9. 9. Alignment of SFIAPlus to Professional Progression
    10. 10. Organisation benefitsDriving your Business forward through the power of accessibility• opening up new markets amongst UK’s 12 million disabled consumers with spending power exceeding £80 billion• increasing on-line traffic and sales by 90% or more*• securing legal compliance with confidence• decreasing maintenance costs - a saving of more than 40% in bandwidth costs and a reduction in on-line maintenance by 50% is not unusual*• affecting the on-line choices of family and friends - positive disabled consumer experience affects those around them• gaining vital competitive edge over your rivals’ sites - accessible sites are simply more intuitive for everyone• improving your brand’s integrity and reputation• future-proofing your web presence for mobile internet access.• *Legal and General case study as featured at PAS 78 launch, 2006
    11. 11. What Next? Organisations - Employers/Service Providers• Employ qualified IT Professionals – use SFIAPlus as a basis for regular skills audits• Understand the principles of ICT Accessibility and ensure you have policies in place /join the One Voice for Accessible ICT Coalition• Get involved with the Employers Forum on Disability Business Task Force on Accessible Technology and use the model to guide progress• Ask your ICT suppliers about their approach , policies and services for accessibility and learning/development
    12. 12. One Voice for Accessible ICT Coalition – Principles• Campaigning will increase the awareness of ICT accessibility across all sectors. This will focus on working with and influencing providers of goods and services to make their products and services accessible and useable for all. (This will include the websites of Coalition members.)• Promotion of what already exists to help disabled users with technology. This will look at what technology, tools and techniques already exist to help disabled people and promote these as widely as possible.• Professionalism will focus on introducing and establishing accessibility as an integral part of training provided to IT and associated professionals. This will, over time, ensure that all people within the industry have an awareness and understanding of the benefits and how to deliver systems and solutions that are accessible to all.All members agree to actively work towards delivering the above aims and objectives of the Coalition in coordination with the other members to provide a single voice (One Voice) in the drive to deliver accessible ICT. www.onevoiceict.org
    13. 13. BTAT Charter• The Charter was developed by the organisations who are members of BTAT, and sets out ten commitments to good practice on IT accessibility with the overarching goal: “We will ensure disabled and older people can apply for jobs with us, be employed by us and do business with us, by implementing an Information and Communications Technology strategy which includes the following commitments regarding accessibility” www.btat.org.uk www.efd.org.uk
    14. 14. What Next ?• Embedding ICT Accessibility throughout the Skills Framework for the Information Age and associated education for young people, adult ICT users and ICT professionals is essential for the UK to compete in an increasingly global economy in the Information Age• Organisations employing ICT professionals need to be engaged in this endeavour• What are the challenges we face in achieving this and how can we work together to resolve them ?