Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Access to information is a key component in improving the opportunities for and participation of persons with disabilities in their communities. Accessible information and communication technologies, such as computer software and hardware and mobile phones, can aid the participation of people with specific impairments and communication needs. A growing policy and budget commitment by donors and international organisations has seen a range of case studies, guidelines and policies emerge around the role of ICT in different sectors such as Health, Education and Disaster Risk Reduction.

See also: Assistive devices

CBM (2017) Digital Accessibility Toolkit

This toolkit provides guidance, practical examples and links to resources on producing accessible digital content and communications. It includes: - an overview of key international frameworks on digital accessibility and why it is critical for inclusion for people with disabilities - tools for producing accessible content in electronic documents, videos, and checking web accessibility - tools and information for ensuring procurement of accessible Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) The toolkit is a useful reference to promote the awareness and practice of digital accessibility.

The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (2012) The 2012 CRPD ICT accessibility progress report

This report collates and analyses results of a survey carried out with Disabled Peoples International. It provides information on 52 countries, and can be used by governments, civil society and international organisations to monitor progress on the implementation of the UNCRPD in relation to accessible and assistive ICTs. It identifies six areas that affect ICT accessibility compliance and makes recommendations on how to progress ICT accessibility compliance targeting government, civil society, and educational institutions.

G3ICT (2012) Web accessibility policy making: An international perspective

A white paper for policy makers that identifies good practice in relation to web accessibility policies and practices from 14 countries and the European Union. Though examples are mostly from developed nations, different approaches taken and factors for success are highlighted which may be useful considerations for policy development in developing countries.

World Federation of the Deaf (2018) Position paper on technology & accessibility

The World Federation of the Deaf is recognised by the United Nations as the official representative for Deaf people in policy formulation. In this position paper, it highlights the role of information and communication technologies as a powerful channel for information creation and exchange, for promoting equitable access to social opportunities, for capacity building and training and for providing new opportunities for Deaf persons. It sets out guiding principles to maximise the incorporation of communication and information technology in every Deaf person’s life.

International Federation of Hard of Hearing (2008) Accessibility guidelines for Hard of Hearing people

International Federation of Hard of Hearing (IFHOH) is the global peak body for persons who are hard of hearing. These guidelines discuss the use and availability of devices (other than hearing aids) that assist hard of hearing people and the measures required to improve their accessibility to all aspects of society. The paper notes that levels of development differ across the world, depending on such things as hearing screening programs, rehabilitation, hearing aid distribution, legislation and the general availability of information regarding hearing loss. These must be taken into account when addressing accessibility.

AusAID (2013) Accessibility design guide: Universal design principles for Australia's aid program

Annex G of the Accessibility design guide provides information to enable development practitioners and planners make ICT accessible to everyone. It includes information about telephones, public access terminals, television, informational technology and websites. This Annex should be used in conjunction with Annex A: Built environment.

UNESCO (2013) UNESCO Global report: Opening new avenues for empowerment: ICTs to access information and knowledge for persons with disabilities

This report provides information about accessible ICT and highlights good practices from five regions. It provides recommendations at all levels, and thus can be used by policy makers, educators, the IT industry, civil society and persons with disabilities.

Humanity & Inclusion Source: Key list resources on accessible ICT

This key list presents information about accessible communication technology. The resources featured include general information and reports, manuals and tools, and also provides specific resources related to ICT in inclusive education.

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Picture of a young woman from India with a vision impairment reading Braille plates attached to the wall.  (The plates contain information about computer parts.)

Photo: Christoph Ziegenhardt, 2010

Young Indian woman with a vision impairment, enrolled in computer technology training using Braille. Copyright: CBM