Fable’s Kate Kalcevich Appointed to Accessibility Standards Canada’s AI Committee

Technical committee focuses on clearing barriers to inclusion in artificial intelligence systems

TORONTO, Jan. 24, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fable, a leading accessibility testing platform powered by people with disabilities, announced today that Kate Kalcevich, its Head of Accessibility Innovation, has been appointed to Accessibility Standards Canada’s technical committee for Accessible and Equitable Artificial Intelligence Systems (CAN-ASC-6.2). Accessibility Standards Canada is an accredited standards development organization created in 2019 to develop accessibility standards for the country’s federal organizations and federally-regulated entities. Its standards are recognized as the National Standards of Canada.

Accessibility Standards Canada’s committee for Accessible and Equitable Artificial Intelligence Systems focuses on areas in which people with disabilities may experience barriers to accessibility in artificial intelligence systems. Barriers to AI equity can include not just shortfalls in access to a system for people with disabilities, but also a lack of privacy of disability data, bias in the system’s algorithms towards people with disabilities, an absence of a mechanism for challenging decisions made by AI or missing ethical oversight. Accessibility issues can stem from excluding people with disabilities from a system’s design and development process, decisions around its implementation and use, and evaluation and improvement of the system. All of these factors can drive or contribute to unfair outcomes.

As AI becomes a mainstream technology, innovation and inclusion must be leveraged in tandem to create solutions that improve the quality of life for everyone. Fable invested in innovation early, using research and experimentation to create solutions for companies who want to create inclusive digital products. Innovation allows Fable to be proactive instead of reactive and we believe now is the time to proactively ensure that AI systems are developed inclusively.

Fable helps organizations learn directly from people with disabilities who use assistive technology. Our approach to innovation centers the idea that those who have the most challenges using digital products or services hold the keys to the most meaningful innovations. This unique approach can be applied to the development of any emerging technology, including AI.

Fable's innovation team is a thought leader in the accessibility space – elevating the voices of people with disabilities and challenging organizations to think differently about accessibility problems.

As the Head of Accessibility Innovation at Fable and a background that spans working in government and private sector, experience creating policies and delivering digital services, building accessibility programs, advising large organizations on accessibility strategy, working with Fable’s diverse community of assistive technology users, and her owned lived experiences with disability, Kalcevich brings a unique perspective to balancing the potential of AI innovations to improve accessibility for all with the need for safe and inclusive development of emerging technologies.

“Given the enormous potential of artificial intelligence and the speed at which AI is changing digital experiences worldwide, it’s critical that standards are put in place during its nascent stages to protect digital accessibility,” said Kalcevich. “I’m proud to be working with members from industry, academic and research bodies and government to help improve AI accessibility in Canada and for the international community at large.”

The 2019 Accessible Canada Act (An Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada) included a mandate to help achieve a barrier-free Canada by 2040, through the development of accessibility standards, the advancement of accessibility research and by sharing information related to accessibility. While its standards are voluntary, its framework allows for the proactive identification, removal, and prevention of barriers wherever Canadians interact with areas under federal jurisdiction.

“At Fable, we believe that digital accessibility makes our society more inclusive, and that inclusion drives innovation,” added Kalcevich. “Leveraging inclusive design can create AI-based tools and services that are more functional, adaptive, and customizable.”

About Fable
Fable is a leading accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities. Fable moves organizations from worrying about compliance to building incredible and accessible user experiences.  Digital teams work with Fable to improve accessibility for over one billion people with disabilities. Fable Engage connects digital teams to people with disabilities remotely and on-demand for accessibility research and testing. Fable Upskill provides custom accessibility training for digital teams to gain skills to build inclusive products. To learn more, visit makeitfable.com.

Media Contact
Maura Lafferty
Firebrand Communications for Fable