Information communication technology for the disabled
In June 2009, the UK government ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which includes the first universal legal and policy framework promoting the accessibility of ICTs and Assistive Technologies (AT). However the accessibility of mainstream ICTs such as mobile phones, websites and other digital interfaces used in everyday life remains limited. For example, websites are often inaccessible for people with visual disabilities, and the Emergency Services are frequently inaccessible to people with sensory limitations. This POSTnote will discuss accessibility and usability issues surrounding new ICT. It will also discuss public and private sector initiatives to improve accessibility, such as recent pilot schemes of text messaging for emergency services. Ofcom has required all mobile providers to make these services available on a permanent basis for hearing and speech-impaired consumers, reflecting a new European law on electronic communications that came into effect in May 2011. This note will review EU and UK legislation and discuss international initiatives aiming to address this issue in the developing world.
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ICT for the disabled
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Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology of the UK Parliament (POST)
United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland