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This text is also available in German language.
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Institut für Industrielle Elektronik und Materialwissenschaften.
fortec - Working Group on Rehabilitation Technology, Vienna University of Technology.

Vienna, Austria.
Dr. Wolfgang Zagler.

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This publication is dealing with the report of Austria on experiences of user participation in R&D oriented work.


Regarding the fact that Austria is a rather small country, the attempts to do R&D in the area of assistive technology for handicapped persons is big. In the R&D places the integration of handicapped persons in the process of developing and testing is done, the users have the possibility of modifying the systems until they fit their needs.
The Austrian Standards Institute (Österreichisches Normungsinstitut) is the managing and organising standardisation activity in Austria. This institute has no special user training like 'how to do standardisation work', but several attempts to ease the problems of disabled participants. Information is presented in a way that persons with impairments do not have disadvantages. Blind and visual impaired persons, invited to a standardisation meeting, get the documents before the meeting in Braille or transmitted by e-mail. At the meetings, reading systems are available. Access to the meeting rooms is possible for wheelchairs.

All political parties in the Austrian Parliament have a person who is responsible for handicapped persons, but only the speaker at the 'green party' is handicapped. After submitting a petition, a hearing was held where the political parties set in handicapped experts. This led to the setting-up of a working group to prepare a law of anti-discrimination of handicapped persons. Disabled people are among these participants. In the committee of the Austria Parliament, handicapped persons are integrated and represent the disabled.

PDF-Download of Austrian Report (404KB).

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