Conference held on November 6, 2020

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Striving to succeed !

Such is the goal we have set for ourselves, so we can achieve a fulfilling career and fully embrace culture.

The digital environment and innovative practices, with the wealth of possibilities they bring about, represent a unique opportunity for blind and visually impaired people. In marking our 70th anniversary, we have chosen to highlight those innovations.

However, should we fail to be proactive and ever-vigilant, such trends could well lead to a greater digital divide, further excluding the visually impaired.

The 12 key measures outlined in this document, substantiated by fruitful discussions held during the November 6 Conference, will be forwarded to public officials and business leaders, with the aim of making inroads in the public debate. With these measures, our association is committed to campaigning for better access to education, employment and culture for visually impaired people in France.

Pierre Marragou, President GIAA apiDV Accompagner, Promouvoir, Intégrer les déficients visuels (Acting and supporting visually impaired’s inclusion, employment and culture)

This manifesto was co-signed by :

Édouard Ferrero, Président de la Confédération Française pour la Promotion Sociale des Aveugles et Amblyopes (French visually impaired’s rights advocacy federation)(CFPSAA)

Fernando Pinto da Silva, Président de la Commission Accessibilité, Conception Universelle et Numérique du Conseil National Consultatif des Personnes Handicapées (French disabled’s rights advocacy and consulting committee) (CNCPH)

Six key measures for an inclusive digital environment providing better employment opportunities for the visually impaired

It was made clear during the GIAA apiDV conference that digital inclusiveness is crucial to a better integration of visually impaired people, notably in the work environment. It falls on public authorities, lawmakers and all those involved in the digital process to promote greater awareness on this topic and push things forward in their respective areas of responsibility.

  1. Requiring that France Compétence and the Grande École du Numérique no longer provide certification (through registration on the RNCP – Répertoire national des certifications professionnelles – or the label GEN) for digital training schemes that fail to include digital accessibility in their curriculum. Training schemes which have already been certified should face losing their certification if they do not add digital accessibility to their curriculum.
  2. The right to global class actions, currently open only to consumer associations, should be extended to actions for failure to comply with digital accessibility. This would open the way for global class actions whenever digital accessibility is found to be lacking.
  3. Financing a study assessing current accessibility in France of custom software and the most popular professional software applications, and benchmarking international accessibility and sharing best practices.
  4. Making digital accessibility a suspensive clause in all public sector calls for tenders, and systematically allocating part of the budget so an independent authority may evaluate the accessibility of the solutions put forward. Systematically publishing in the BoAMP – official bulletin of public sector call for tenders – the percentage of the budget allocated to evaluating digital accessibility.
  5. Providing actual means to control that the obligation to publish an accessibility statement, detailing current level and plan for compliance, is actually met by the web sites and applications of public administrations and companies whose yearly revenues exceed 250M euros, as required by law.
  6. Ensuring digital accessibility is included natively right from the conception of information systems blueprints and all digital solutions, by engaging software designers, digital service providers and their clients. Evaluating the level of digital accessibility of the provided solutions through a specialized and independent expertise.

Six key measures to promote a multi-sensorial culture for all

Aside from mainstream tenders, ensuring all types of public have access to culture and shaping a fully inclusive society, the GIAA-apiDV conference established that, by better taking into account touch and hearing in cultural mediation, a richer and more varied experience can be provided to all and everyone, whether disabled or not.

  1. Providing a new impulse for accessible publishing, in line with past accomplishments, so as to facilitate networks, faster legal deposit of publisher files on the Bibliothèque Nationale’s Platon platform and effective access to files structured in a way that makes them usable.
  2. Including the « right to touch » for all blind and visually impaired people in the charter of all museums of national and regional interest, with the obligation of having « touchable works » in the permanent collections and temporary exhibits, and of equivalent pertinence to that of the works on visual display.
  3. Through incentives, getting more tourist attractions to set up architectural models in free access, such as is common practise in Belgium, Poland and other countries.
  4. Including audio-description financing in the budget for all audio-visual productions, as advocated by the Centre National du Cinéma, especially for documentaries and short films.
  5. Including audio-description in the curriculum for cinema, theatre and performing arts studies, and the making and handling of touchable objects in that for cultural mediation studies, with special emphasis on the specific needs of visually impaired people.
  6. Making available in all cultural sites, systematically, an accessible alternative to interactive screens without physical keyboards which the visually impaired cannot use.

About GIAA apiDV

Run by and for visually impaired people, the non-profit organization GIAA apiDV has made it its goal for over seventy years to promote and assist visually impaired people so they may be better integrated into society through self-empowerment.

Granted « public interest » status in 1959 , it has three main objectives :

  • Better access to education en particulier pour les scolaires et universitaires.
  • Better access to work.
  • Better access to culture.
  • With its seven regional delegations (Paris, Strasbourg, Nancy, Angers, Clermont-Ferrand, Bordeaux and Toulon), 21 employees and 500 volunteers, the GIAA apiDV provides its services to more than 3,500 beneficiaries throughout France..
  • Since 2018, the GIAA apiDV has also begun providingreading solutions for people with cognitive dysfunctions.
  • Our library comprises tens of thousands of books covering the whole range of accessibility formats : Daisy audiobooks, large print, braille… Moreover, we are able to adapt on demand any type of book or document. Beyond making reading accessible, we provide a wide range of services : cultural events and museum visits, workshops to help visually impaired people find work, support for students throughout their studies (help in finding internships, textbook adaptation, providing scribes for exams), organizing talks and conferences… More generally, the GIAA apiDV
  • Is committed to working with political and public institutions so as to promote the rights of visually impaired people

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manifeste signé-numérique et pratiques innovantes

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