Elements of a strategic framework of Internet

Marjan Krofliè

FIMITIC vice president

Federation of Disabled Workers of Slovenia


The FIMITIC way in future: elements of a strategic framework of Internet

There is no doubt that Internet accessibility for all is an essential component of a broad rights-based approach to development among organizations of the disabled people. If some disabled persons have a limited access one cannot fully and effectively participate in social life, development and equality. Internet is a tool that enables exchanging views, ideas etc. If it is not used by FIMITIC members the FIMITIC can neither implement its mission nor can FIMITIC member organizations fully realize a civil dialog successfully with their governments or can they promote awareness and support for practical action to further implement the U.N. Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in their countries.

Unfortunately, many in FIMITIC members countries currently have a limited access to the great potential of the global Internet.

The bellow is to illustrate some basic facts on accessibility to Internet between FIMITIC Members:


E-mails: 25 FIMITIC Members have e-mail addresses. The following members do not have e-mail address: 

1.      Belarusian Society of the handicapped, Belarus

2.      Association 'Invalides du Travail' A.S.B.L., Belgium,

3.      Sojuz Na Trudovi Invalidi na Makedonija,  Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

4.      Associacao Nacional dos Deficientes Sinistrados no Trabalho - A.N.D.S.T., Portugal


Websites – 19 FIMITIC Members do not have an access to Internet.

Only 10 FIMITIC Members have websites and access to Internet, 5 of them also an introduction in English language.

1.      Österreichischer Zivil-Invalidenverband – OZIV


2.      Hrvatska udruga paraplegicara i tetraplegicara – hupt

http://www.hupt.hr   English 

3.      Eesti Liikumispuudega Inimeste Liit – ELIL

http:// apollos.ttu.ee/elil English

4.      Bundesverband Polio e.V.


5.      National Federation of the Associations of Disabled Persons - MEOSZ


6.      Polskie Stowarzyszenie Osob Niepelnosprawnych - PSON


7.      Polish Federation of Organizations of persons with Physical Disability -http://www.idn.org.pl/lublin/ofoonr  English

8.      Asociatia Handicapatilor Neuromotor din Romania - AHNR
http://www.ahnr.org  English

9.      Zveza Delovnih invalidov Slovenije

http://www.zveza-zdis.si   English

10.  Procap - für Menschen mit Handicap


The question of access to Internet relates to the current structures and mechanisms for Internet connectivity in different countries: there remain many areas where there is little or no access to an Internet service or the cost of Internet access is beyond the means of the many of our fellow citizenÂ’s ore even FIMITIC memberÂ’s organizations. We note in this regard the special attention that the eEurope initiative directs to the promotion of affordable and reliable Internet connections for all.

The next question of access to Internet relates to the design and content of information goods and services provided over the Internet. The FIMITIC users must tell us if our Web design and proprietary data formats the FIMITIC website are inappropriate. This certainly holds true for those who use assistive devices and who do not have state-of-the-art computers and telecommunications services are not able to use such good and services. We are aware of that an inappropriate web design and content can restrict opportunities of many disabled people. They cannot participate in the global cyber-society on the basis of equality with 'mainstream' populations.

FIMITIC future task is to make the website alive


The current phase of FIMITIC homepage is generally presentational; it does not contain a lot of new up to date information or fresh links. The news posted are mostly reports from conferences, board meetings held a while ago and some documents. People are not driven to visit the pages every day, since there is not enough new up to date information. A possible reason is also that perhaps representatives of the disabled NGO do not know how to use the forums.  .


In order to attract more page views from the visitors, to make things »live« we would need a person with power of an attorney to be an editor. He would regularly check other Internet sites, scan documents and decide what to post on the FIMITIC Portal site. Also the FIMITIC members should also have a person who would regularly send to the FIMITIC webmaster news about organization, about issues on disability from the country the organization belongs to.


FIMITIC website was not of use sufficiently till now, so I think it would be better to separate the presentation layer from the informational. That's where the Internet Portal comes into mind. Composed from fresh information from different categories, customizable to the visitor, it would hold mostly information and documents and it would let people communicate through the forums that would be moderated. In this way, we would form an Internet community – or make people aware of each other and of the benefits of Internet communication.




It is time to design a new FIMITIC portal-based website



It is common for websites to change their design every few years or even each year in order to attract more visitors and to indicate changes, or simply to employ progress. This can be an additional reason for switching from the FIMITIC static website to a portal-based website


A survey has been launched to all FIMITIC members. They were questioned about content they would like to see and use on the website. Depending on the replies we are now providing static info about FIMITIC and occasional news, and working on changes from static one to a FIMITIC portal, where the content would be more dynamic and every FIMITIC member association could have its news corner. This would also provide more communication between the members and visitors add various modules and provide easier news input.


Statistics of FIMITIC page views:

Measuring page views since 30. January 1999:

Total numbers of 2969 till 25.february 2003.


Number of visitors since 30. January 1999:

Germany 668 (22.5%), Slovenia 217 (7.3%), United States 176 (5.9%), Switzerland 95 (3.2%), Austria 89 (3.0%), United Kingdom 89 (3.0%), Belgium 82 (2.8%), Italy 77 (2.6%), Croatia 73 (2.5%).

Unknown  575 (19.4%), the Rest 744 (25.1%).


In numbers of the countries in bold letters some visitors from the FIMITIC members organizations are so included. But we don’t know if there are any in the categories “unknown” or “rest”. We will try to get information on visiting FIMITIC website directly from the member organizations.





The FIMITIC way in future: aims for a strategic framework of Internet


I hope we can agree on following FIMITIC aims in this area:

1.      to stay connected as well as to involve all interested disabled organizations in Internet accessibility issues and trends;

2.      to exchange ideas, lessons learned and discuss ways to meet challenges encountered in the promotion of Internet accessibility for all disabled people, separately for FIMITIC member organizations;

3.      to identify, plan and develop new opportunities to exchange knowledge and ideas and to build national capacities related to Internet accessibility with FIMITIC assistance.

4.      an effort should be made for expert groups to start communicating over secure forums, mailing lists, maybe just one group for a start, to see if it proves more productive and easier to communicate between the group members.


View Survey on FIMITIC portal-based website  slides