Note: This special working group has been disbanded.[1]

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG on Accessibility (SWG-A) was a special working group of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) that promoted and facilitated standards development within the field of information and communications technology (ICT) accessibility. ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A was formed at the October 2004 ISO/IEC JTC 1 Plenary Meeting in Berlin, Germany via approval of Resolution 24.

After completing its goals by publishing ISO/IEC TR 29138 Parts 1, 2 and 3, it was dissolved. Maintenance of the standards was transferred to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35.[1]

The special working group was created as a response to the standardization demands regionally, locally, and globally, in the field of ICT for accessibility.[2][3] The international secretariat of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A is administered by ITI/INCITS acting on behalf of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), located in the United States. The first meeting of the special working group took place in Sheffield, United Kingdom in April 2005, where the group’s terms of reference were confirmed and its original two task groups established.[4]

Terms of reference

The terms of reference for ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A are:[5][6]

  • Determine an approach to, and implement, the gathering of accessibility‐related information, being mindful of the varied and unique opportunities including direct participation of user organizations, workshops, and liaisons
  • Maintain and disseminate up‐to‐date information of all known accessibility‐related standards efforts, i.e. the standards inventory
  • Maintain and disseminate up‐to‐date information on accessibility‐related user needs, i.e. the user needs summary
  • Through wide dissemination of the SWG materials, encourage the use of globally relevant voluntary accessibility‐related standards
  • Together with PAS mentors, advise consortia/fora, if requested, in their submission of accessibility‐related standards/specifications to the formal standards process
  • Provide support when JTC 1 needs assistance related to accessibility (such as duties for WSC Accessibility Strategic Advisory Group and input on accessible ISO web content)


ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A is made up of four active Ad Hoc groups, each of which carries out specific tasks within the field of accessibility. The four active Ad Hoc groups of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A are:[7]

Ad Hoc Working Area
Ad Hoc 14Accessibility User Needs Summary
Ad Hoc 15Evolution of Database Definition for the Accessibility Standards Inventory
Ad Hoc 16Guidance for Accessible Production of Documents in Accessible Formats
Ad Hoc 17Individualization/Personalization for or Related to Accessibility


ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A works in close collaboration with a number of other organizations or subcommittees, both internal and external to ISO or IEC. Organizations internal to ISO or IEC that collaborate with or are in liaison to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A include:[8]

  • ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 7, Software and systems engineering
  • ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29, Coding of audio, picture, multimedia and hypermedia information
  • ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35, User interfaces
  • ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36, Information technology for learning, education and training
  • ISO/TC 159, Ergonomics
  • IEC TC 100, Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment

Organizations external to ISO or IEC that collaborate with or are in liaison to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A include:

There are also a number of consumer organizations, user representatives, and other interested parties that are involved with ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A, such as:

Member countries

The members of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A are: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, The Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, and United States of America.[8]


ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A has a number of publications in the field of ICT accessibility, including:[9][10][11]

Title Status Description
ISO/IEC TR 29138-1: Information technology – Accessibility considerations for people with disabilities – Part 1: User needs summaryPublished (2009)Identifies a collection of user needs of people with disabilities that can be taken into consideration by standards developers when developing/revising standards[12]
ISO/IEC TR 29138-2: Information technology – Accessibility considerations for people with disabilities – Part 2: Standards inventoryPublished (2009)Identifies a collection of standards that provides guidance to meet the needs of people with disabilities.[13] The updated version is available as “The inventory of Accessibility and Accessibility-related Standards and Specifications”
The inventory of Accessibility and Accessibility-related Standards and SpecificationsPublished (2013)Expands and evolves ISO/IEC TR 29138-2:2009[14]
ISO/IEC TR 29138-3: Information technology – Accessibility considerations for people with disabilities – Part 3: Guidance on user needs mappingPublished (2009)“Provides guidance on the mapping of the set of user needs with the provisions of a particular standard, technical report, or set of guidelines.”[15]


In a resolution adopted at the 29th meeting of ISO/IEC JTC 1 in November 2014, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A was disbanded. This special working group completed the tasks for which it was originally established with the publication of ISO/IEC TR 29138 Parts 1, 2 and 3. Part 2 of this document has been transitioned from a technical report to ISO/IEC JTC 1 publication, The Inventory of Accessibility and Accessibility-related Standards and Specifications, which is available on the ISO Online Browsing Platform (OBP).[1][14] With the dissolution of ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A, JTC 1 has transferred responsibility for the maintenance of The Inventory of Accessibility and Accessibility-related Standards and Specifications to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 35. All relevant ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG-A documents were submitted to the ISO/IEC JTC 1 Secretariat for archiving and all liaisons and members were informed of the dissolution.[1]

See also


  1. ISO/IEC JTC 1 (2014-11-27). Resolutions Adopted at the 29th Meeting of ISO/IEC JTC 1 15-20 November 2014 in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Report).
  2. ISO/IEC JTC 1. "JTC 1 Special Working Group on Accessibility". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  3. Rajchel, Lisa; Garner, Jennifer (2004-12-14). "JTC 1 Berlin Resolution 24, Establishment of a Special Working Group (SWG) on Accessibility, and Call for Participation" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-08-23. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ISO (2012), "ISO/IEC JTC 1/SWG 1 Special Working Group on Accessibility", ISO/IEC JTC1 Standing Document N 2
  5. ISO/IEC JTC 1 (2011). "JTC 1 SWG on Accessibility Goals and Terms of Reference". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  6. Garner, Jennifer (2012-02-06). Approved Revised Terms of Reference for the JTC 1 SWG on Accessibility (PDF) (Terms of Reference). Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  7. ISO/IEC JTC 1. "JTC 1 SWG on Accessibility Ad Hoc Groups". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  8. ISO/IEC JTC 1. "Organizational Participants". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  9. Grant, Kate (2008). Accessibility Standardisation activities in ISO/IEC JTC1 SWG-A and IEC TC100 (Presentation).
  10. "Standards Catalogue: ISO/IEC JTC 1". ISO. Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  11. ISO. "Freely Available Standards". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  12. ISO (2009-06-10). "ISO/IEC TR 29138-1:2009". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  13. ISO (2009-06-10). "ISO/IEC TR 29138-2:2009". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
  14. ISO (2013). "Inventory of Accessibility". Retrieved 2013-09-05.
  15. ISO (2009-06-10). "ISO/IEC TR 29138-3:2009". Retrieved 2013-08-23.
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