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Debra Ruh

  Employability & Technology


Oman – Setting a Best Practice for the World?

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The Information Technology Authority (ITA) Sultanate of Oman invited Debra Ruh to visit Muscat, Oman to help them draft an eAccessibility Policy. Ms Ruh writes about her experience.

The Information Technology Authority (ITA) Sultanate of Oman invited me to visit Muscat, Oman last week to help them draft an eAccessibility Policy. It was an amazing experience and I was quite surprised in the eagerness to not only comply, but to raise the bar in eAccessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens. 

I met with many of the stakeholders, including Social Services, Telecommunications, Banking, Health, Media, Education (Primary, Secondary, Higher Education and Vocational Training), and other IT stakeholders. It was refreshing to have a dialog with these groups and hear the steps that were proactively being taken to include PwD and seniors in society. Typically these meetings are a lot more stressful and there are significant bumps along the way. 

They have a lot of work to do but have the opportunity to learn from other countries and set the bar high for Oman. Is there a lesson in cooperation for the world to learn as we watch The Government of the Sultanate of Oman adopt eAccessibility and other policies that include PwD and senior citizens in every aspect of society? It will be an interesting case study to watch them create, implement and then manage the policy process moving forward. I predict they will have more success than the countries that went into this process without including and getting all stakeholders to buy-in.

Oman ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on January 6, 2009. Read the country profile for Oman here.

Related Blog: New Opportunities for Assistive Technologies: Axel Leblois provides insight on how the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is energizing the agenda of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict). Click here to read the article.
Related Publication: CRPD Progress Report on ICT Accessibility 2010: A G3ict Report Assessing the Degree of Compliance  of States Parties with the ICT Accessibility Provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Download the free report here.
Related Event: G3ict Side-Event at Fifth Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on September 12-14, 2012 at the United Nations HQ in New York, USA. Read more about the event