Accessible ICTs: B...

Accessible ICTs: Beyond the Convention

On 4 December 2008, infoDev worked with other parts of the Bank, including the Disability and Development team, to organize a half-day seminar on Accessible ICT: Implications and Trends for World Bank operations. A recording of the event, which was webcast live, is available online. The event was held one day after the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and six months after the formal entry into force of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which now has 42 ratifications, achieved in record time for UN Conventions.

The keynote presentation was given by Mr Axel Leblois, of G3ict (Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs) who argued that the Convention opens a new era in international thinking about disability. He noted that Convention establishes the first universal framework for addressing the accessibility of ICTs, especially through Article 9. Other presentations at the event included the results of World Bank projects in Tunisia and Sri Lanka, both of which have important components on accessible ICTs.

Tim Kelly, infoDev's Lead ICT Policy Specialist, gave a presentation on the importance of standards in accessible ICTs. He put forward five reasons for supporting this argument, namely that standards are mandated, they make commercial sense (see Figure), they reduce costs, they are the result of international teamwork and because simple, intuitive interfaces benefit everyone.

Number of people (in millions) potentially deprived of access to ICTs as a result of disability

Fixed Lines Mobile Internet Users TV Sets Radios
Global, 2007 (m) 1,285 3,330 1,350 1,500 2,400 900
Low vision 26.9 69.6 28.2 31.2 50.4 18.8
Blind 7.7 19.9 8.1 2.0 14.4 5.4
Hard of Hearing 9.6 24.8 10.1 11.2 18.0 6.8
Deaf 5.1 13.4 5.4 6.0 9.7 3.6
Mobility 41.2 106.8 43.2 48.0 77.4 28.9
Cognitive 24.9 64.6 26.2 29.0 46.8 17.5
Total 115.5 299.1 121.2 127.4 216.7 81.0

Download infoDev's presentation here:



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