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Interview to Adrián Yuste: “Accessibility awareness is not only achieved through constraint”

16-10-2013 | news | Universal accesibility

Working for an accessible society means going beyond compliance with minimum legal requirements. One of the most effective tools to identify good practices and generate the sought after “multiplier effect” is accessibility certification. Adrián Yuste develops his career at ceis (Test, Innovation and Services Centre), entity where he has been working on universal accessibility projects since 2003. We chatted with him in order to find out how to achieve sound business commitments regarding disability. On the image, the EUSKALDUNA Conference Centre and Concert Hall in Bilbao, that was recently awarded the AENOR Universal Accessibility Certificate.

When dealing with “accessibility”, STANDARD UNE 170001 is more and more referred to, ¿what is it and what are its basics?

STANDARD UNE 170001 cannot be understood without the MGLC criteria: technical requirements for the Moving, Grasping, Location and Communication activities to be performed by everyone in any specific place and situation with as much autonomy as possible. UNE 170001 is a standard of voluntary application that contributes added value to those organisations developing their accessibility projects based on these criteria. Its use is increasingly expanding when analysing an environment’s accessibility and reflecting upon its improvement. The starting point is certainly meeting the legal requirements.

What is a Universal Accessibility Management System?

This type of system arises from the need to introduce the concept of Universal Accessibility in the different organisation and company processes: in their relations with their clients, in their business strategies, in the use of ICT, in the provision of services… In short, in their daily work, enabling to actively listen to the needs of people with disabilities. The Accessibility Management System is defined as “a set of interrelated elements which interact in order to manage and control an organisation with regard to accessibility”. AENOR voluntary certification scheme on universal accessibility considers adopting Standard UNE 170001-2 as an accessibility Management System tool and model. Organisations wishing to be examples for accessibility obtain public acknowledgement based upon the objective verification of said Standard and on the award of an independent certification.

Does this system commit the whole team? How does it adapt to each entity?

The approach that makes standard UNE 170001-2 different is the consideration of Universal Accessibility as a cross-cutting element. The main principle of all Management Systems is Management Commitment to the improvement of processes. The fact that organisations define their objectives in terms of accessibility is a clear example of their commitment at all levels: maintenance and improvement of buildings and settings, training and motivation of employees, collaboration in common projects, inclusion of accessibility criteria in their evacuation plans, provision of complete, truthful and updated information on accessibility conditions, etc. Starting from the “normative pattern”, from CEIS we collaborate in the design and implementation of Standard UNE 170001-2 in organisations of all types. It is essential to provide a customised solution taking into account the characteristics of each entity: their different needs and that of their clients and users, their size and structure, their “accessibility chains”, their processes. In addition, it shall be borne in mind that the concept of Universal Accessibility is indissolubly linked to other concepts (Quality, Comfort, Safety) with which it shall be integrated and to which it is complementary.

What is more effective in terms of awareness-raising, to admire good practices or to report cases of exclusion?

Although reporting is a possibility to be borne in mind and shall be used in the event of failure to comply with legal requirements, awareness-raising on the rights of people with disabilities is not only achieved applying coercive strategies. Dissemination of voluntary initiatives adopted and developed by committed organisations, the award of prices and acknowledgements (Reina Sofía Universal Accessibility Award for Municipalities, Telefónica Hability Awards, Discapnet Award,…), independent and rigorous certifications (AENOR ER mark), awareness-raining campaigns, etc. are effective tools to highlight best practices and generate a multiplier effect, encouraging other public and private entities to work in order to achieve a society for all.

Source: : GVAM Mobile Guides For All

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