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World Standards Day 2010 Conference

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To mark the annual World Standards Day, the European Commission is organising a one-day conference on 12 October 2010 in Brussels with the title "Accessibility for All".

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Upcoming WSC workshop

On 3-4 November 2010, the Word Standards Cooperation (WSC) will organize an international workshop in the premises of the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland, on “Accessibility and the contribution of International Standards” followed by an additional meeting for standards developers (but also open to other stakeholders) on 5 November 2010.

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CEN StandarDays are fully booked

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StandarDays is a two day information event aimed at newcomers to European standardization, as well as those who would like to understand the CEN and CENELEC Systems better. StandarDays are organized twice a year.

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USEM - Introduction


User Empowerment in Standardisation is a European project which aims to facilitate, enhance and increase qualification and participation of disabled or elderly users and their respective organisations in the European standardisation process of IST. It will rely mainly on the Fortune concept. Fortune was a European project entitled "Empowered Participation of Users with Disabilities in Projects". User information networking will improve European exchange of experiences thus disseminating information and encouraging the uptake of new IST standardisation.

The USEM consortium consists of eight partners from four different European countries. USEM is a 30-month project which started on April 1st 2007, co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme.

Through the process of standardisation the quality and usability of products can be guaranteed. To come to a user friendly product, users should be participating in the standardisation process. Since products are not automatically user friendly for disabled users, their needs should be represented by the making of standards. To have such a user centred approach, these users will have to participate in the standardisation process equally. To be able to fulfil the role of equal partner in this process, knowledge about the process, their role and responsibilities must be gained. ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, representing and defending consumer interests in the process of standardisation and certification, also in policy and legislation related to standardisation. In contrast USEM focusses especially on the empowerment of disabled and elderly users to participate equally in the standardisation processes.

USEM will support a number of important objectives:

  • To design a core curriculum for the training of end-users
  • To qualify more users with disabilities and elderly, which can represent formal and established user organisations, for the participation in European standardisation work
  • To qualify more users with disabilities for the participation in the design and assessment of European standardisation
  • To improve the exchange of experiences by user information networking between different user groups on a European level
  • To increase the level of interaction with user societies between the EU countries and the European Disability Forum
  • To disseminate information and encourage the uptake of new standards
  • To actively involve disabled and elderly people in the whole process of standardisation in IST
  • To get users involved in European standardisation

USEM contains a concept for full and equal participation and a curriculum and training to empower the users and a network for connecting user organisation around Europe and European Standardisation bodies. The European project FORTUNE was formulated in 1997 and produced guidelines on user participation in R&D projects. Within the USEM project training will be developed based upon the FORTUNE concept. The training will consist of a transfer of knowledge about standardisation in the IST field, methods for international collaboration, strategies for communication and discussion. Knowledge about standardisation will be provided by the involvement of National and European standardisation bodies. USEM will bring out?? a considerable number of well trained users for full participation in standardisation processes. In the USEM project important user organisations from European countries can interact as partners within the project team with knowledgeable institutions established in the standardisation community. The users will be qualified for full participation, with the help of peer users experts and National and European standardisation specialists. The impact of USEM will be measured by the number and quality of user contributions during the pilots.

USEM is the key to better developed standards, with all parties involved, resulting in better products in the IST field.