Slow global progress on accessible ICTs

Access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for people with disabilities, still remains limited around the globe, according to a report jointly written by the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT (G3ict) and Disabled People’s International (DPI).

Due to be released next month, The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Progress Report on ICT Accessibility, highlights key concerns about a lack of progress towards incorporating accessibility with technological innovation as specified by the CRPD. Out of 71 countries that participated in the report, only a quarter of them were acknowledged to have policies that define accessibility and specifically promote it within the development of technologies and ICT.

The report also highlights that more than 80 per cent of the countries currently have minimal or no levels of implementing accessibility with essential services such as websites, mobile and fixed phones, address systems on public transport or on automatic teller machines (ATMs). The number of countries with government funding in programs that support ICT accessibility has also not changed in the past year.

The inclusion of accessibility in procurement policies continues to remain a key issue, with only 31 per cent of countries who participated in the study stating that ICT accessibility is incorporated into their respective policies.