UN releases report on international ICT accessibility

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Wednesday, 29 June 2011 17:05pm

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT), an arm of the United Nations, has released a report on international developments in ICT accessibility, finding a gap between countries’ commitment and real-world implementation.

The ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2010 ICT Accessibility Progress Report’ has found that, while many countries have statements of commitment on the rights of people with disabilities to access ICT, much more work is needed to implement real access solutions.

The report is based on a survey of 33 of 147 countries which have signed or ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, representing a combined population of 4 billion people.

Results include:

  • 91% of countries have some kind of law defining the rights of people with disabilities
  • 79% have policies promoting access to ICT in primary and secondary education
  • 39% have a government fund dedicated to promoting digital accessibility
  • 79% have closed captioning or sign language interpretation on television
  • 62% have accessible Government websites and
  • 45% have accessible commercial and media websites amongst that country’s top 10 websites

The survey examined a range of issues on ICT accessibility, including each country’s:

  • General legal and regulatory framework to promote access to ICT
  • Policies covering ICT accessibility
  • Capacity to implement a Digital Accessibility Agenda, including support provided to not-for-profit and disability representative organisations
  • Actual implementation of a Digital Accessibility Agenda and results across telecoms and media services, access features for computers, and specific ICT products and services
  • A new report is planned for later this year, aimed at more countries which have signed or ratified the convention, with updated and more detailed questions.

Although Australia has signed and ratified the convention, it was not represented among survey respondents. For information on Australia’s commitments to access at home and overseas, visit our Australian access regulation and International access regulation pages.

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