CRPD 2012 ICT Accessibility Progress Report
G3ict publishes the second edition of the CRPD Progress Report on ICT Accessibility, in cooperation with Disabled People's International
The CRPD 2012 ICT Accessibility Progress Report includes the latest data on 52 countries representing 77.4 percent of the World Population. The report offers disability advocates, governments, civil society and international organizations - monitoring the progress of the implementation of the Convention by States Parties - a unique benchmarking tool that collects data on country laws, policies, and programs pertaining to accessible and assistive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) around the globe. All results are available cross-tabulated by region, level of income per capita of Human Development Index to facilitate benchmarking by advocates and policy makers.
The study indicates that significant deficits remain to set in place a foundation to promote ICT accessibility. For example:
- Only 36 percent of countries have a definition of accessibility which includes ICTs or electronic media in their laws of regulations compliant with the definition of accessibility in CRPD Article 9;
- While 71 percent of the countries have dispositions to consult persons with disabilities at large, only 16 percent have a mechanism to involve Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) in the design, implementation and evaluation of laws, policies and programs regarding ICT accessibility;
- Although 82 percent of the countries have a government body dedicated to persons with disabilities, and 62 percent have a government body solely dedicated to ICTs, only 31 percent of the countries have government funds allocated to programs in support of digital accessibility;
- Only 26.7 percent of States Parties mention having public procurement policies promoting accessible ICTs, meaning that the vast majority of States Parties continue to purchase equipment or services which may be inaccessible to persons with disabilities; and
- In relation to the above, only 35.6 percent provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities.
A vital area of ICT accessibility with the greatest impact on the largest population of users, the accessibility of the information infrastructure, is lagging behind ratifying countries’ general commitments to the CRPD. More than 75 percent of ratifying countries report no or minimum levels of implementation of policies or programs promoting accessibility in critical areas such as mobile telephony, web sites, fixed telephony, public address systems, television or Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).
More than 75 percent of ratifying countries report no or minimum levels of implementation of policies or programs promoting the accessibility of the information infrastructure
A second critical area of ICT accessibility which speaks to the role of persons with disabilities in the CRPD implementation, that remains low among surveyed countries, involves the support for DPOs. This is inconsistent with Article 4 (i) 3 of the CRPD and reflects a lack of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities in the digital age, as exemplified by ratifying countries which report that:
- About 45 percent only offer financial support for DPOs and NGOs;
- Merely 16 percent provide a systematic mechanism to involve DPOs working in the field of digital accessibility in the drafting, designing, implementation and evaluation of laws/policies;
- A scant 7 percent offer any awards or other types of recognition to persons with disabilities or their representative organizations which have done extraordinary work in the field of ICT accessibility.
Knowing how much progress is actually accomplished by CRPD ratifying countries in ICT accessibility is an essential step for all stakeholders in order to address gaps and opportunities in their own countries. As the above results indicate, while most countries are generally aware of their basic obligation to implement ICT accessibility, they have not translated essential CRPD dispositions into actual policies or programs.
Confirming the imperative of supporting the involvement of disabled persons’ organizations in policy making, the following key success factors were identified through regression analysis in relation to ICT accessibility outcomes, which States Parties should consider as priorities:
- Financial support for DPOs and NGOs working in the field of digital accessibility for persons with disabilities
- Involvement of organizations of persons with disabilities in the drafting, designing, implementation and evaluation of ICT accessibility laws and policies
- Government funding for programs in support of digital accessibility
- A systematic review mechanism (e.g., regular report of progress) of existing legislation and/or policies concerning digital accessibility