Technical Committee (TC) Human Factors (HF) Activity Report 2021

Chair: Matthias Schneider, Audi AG

Responsible for developing standards, guidelines and reports relating to end-user aspects and accessibility of information and communication technology systems, products and services.

Human Factors is the scientific application of knowledge about human capacities and limitations to make products, systems, services and environments effective, efficient and easy for everyone to use. It is a key factor for the commercial success of any ICT product or service in the digital networked economy.

In ETSI we are helping to achieve these objectives through the work of our Technical Committee on Human Factors (TC HF). The committee has primary responsibility to produce standards, guidelines and reports that set the criteria necessary to embed optimum usability in the emerging digital networked economy.

TC HF co-operates with other groups within ETSI and outside to assist in the production of standards and other deliverables in accordance with good Human Factors practice. Within ETSI it has a special responsibility for ‘Design for All’, addressing all users including young children, seniors and people with accessibility needs.

The committee continues to coordinate the majority of standardization activities under the responsibility of the CEN/CENELEC/ETSI Joint Working Group on eAccessibility that oversees activities on the related Mandates M/376 and M/554

During 2021 TC HF coordinated work within ETSI (principally TC EMTEL and SC USER) and with CEN/CENELEC on the draft Standardization Request related to the European Accessibility Act, in anticipation of a mandate from the European Commission expected in early 2022.

The committee published various updates to existing deliverables. Our Harmonised Standard on ‘Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services’ – created by TC HF and the eAccessibility Joint Working Group (JWG) with CEN and CENELEC – addresses people with limited cognition, vision issues, hearing or vocal disabilities as well as those with limited manipulation, strength or reach capabilities. The latest revision EN 301 549 V3.2.1 achieved citation in the Official Journal of the EU.

Following the standard’s transposition in Australia, Japan and Morocco, the Bureau of Indian Standards prepared the adoption of EN 301 549 in India, adapting its requirements to Indian regulation and languages. This process resulted in the publication of the Indian Standard 17802 – Part 1 at the end of 2021. Part 2 of this Indian Standard, covering the determination of conformance (corresponding to Annex C of the EN 301 549), is in preparation by BIS for publication in 2022.

STF (Specialist Task Force) 600 set up processes to update EN 301 549 and began listing revisions to align with standardization requirements relative to the EAA and WCAG 2.2 of W3C.

STF 604 updated ETSI Guide 203 499 with the translation of its reference terminology in a total of 19 European languages. 

STF 605 is currently developing accessibility requirements for multi-party conference calling including real time text (RTT) and video (Total Conversation). The results will have a direct impact on the revision of EN 301 549 for the European Accessibility Act.

Meanwhile the Technical Report TR 101 550 – ‘Documents relevant to EN 301 549 (V1.1.1) "Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe”’ – was also subject to further revisions.