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Qualitative Data Collected by Variable for Oman

Country Laws and Regulations

General Law protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

Oman has ratified many international agreements on the rights of persons with disabilities and has issued relevant local laws and policies:

Laws and Regulations to Protect Persons with Disabilities

Definition of ICT accessibility:

  • The e-Accessibility Policy was issued to regulate the ICT inclusion of the persons with disabilities and define the guidelines of web accessibility: e-Accessibility Policy
    • Chapter One: Definitions and General Provisions [Articles 1-4]
    • Chapter Two: Rights of the Persons with Disabilities [Articles 5-12. Article 8 provides that the Ministry is to provide appropriate opportunities for professional qualifications and certificates for persons with disabilities. Article 9 provides that enterprises of over 50 employees are to allocate a certain percentage of places for persons with disabilities]
    • Chapter Three: The National Committee for Welfare of the Persons with Disabilities [Articles 13-15]
    • Chapter Four: Rehabilitation Centers for Persons with Disabilities [Articles 16-18]
    • Chapter Five: Penalties and Compensation [Articles 19-22. Articles 19 and 20 contain provisions for penalties for employers who do not respect the legal requirements for the payment of wages for workers with disabilities and compensation for persons with disabilities].

e-Accessibility is the extent to which an ICT-based product, tool, information or service can be used by persons with disabilities and the elderly people as effectively as it can be used by a person without disability.

Definition of Reasonable Accommodation:

  • Royal Decree No 63/2008:

Universal Service Obligation includes Persons with Disabilities:

Article (38-3) of the Telecommunications Act supports the International Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities by requiring the telecom sector to provide telecommunications services to persons with special needs.

Oman is committed to the availability, affordability and accessibility of services for persons with disabilities as stated in the Persons with Disabilities Care and Rehabilitation Law issued by the Royal Decree No. 63/2008 and the e-Accessibility Policy: e-Accessibility Policy

Royal Decree No 63/2008: Chapter 10: The Government entities are committed to take all the necessary requirements to ensure that people with disabilities benefit from the public services.


Oman has drafted a national e-Accessibility policy, that covers all aspects of ICT for people with disability.

The purpose of this policy is to provide fair and equal life opportunities to persons with disabilities and the elderly people through the use of information & communication technologies (ICT). Inclusion of this minority section of the public in life opportunities is critical in discharging the government’s social and economic responsibilities. e-Accessibility Policy in Oman

Country Capacity to Implement

  • Government agency for Persons with Disabilities:

The Ministry of Social Development is responsible for the welfare of persons with disabilities.

The Information Technology Authority is the body responsible for implementing national IT infrastructure projects and supervising all projects related to implementation of the Digital Oman Strategy (e.oman) while providing professional leadership to various other e-Government initiatives of the Sultanate. It has also included accessibility as part of the national program for transforming the country digitally: eGovernment Transformation Plan. It is worth mentioning here that the ITA is providing the Read Speaker License for many government entities. Most importantly, it provides IT training programs for people with disabilities. Also, in collaboration with all government entities draft e-Accessibility policy. General IT Training

  • Government agency for accessible ICTs:

Telecom Regulatory Authority Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) aims to have the right regulatory environment to enable the provision of world-class services to all, by 2018.

It is the national authority to regulate the telecommunications and postal services sectors by translating government policies into regulations, rules and guidelines and ensuring their enforcement and compliance to enable competitive and sustainable supply of services in order to facilitate access and safeguard the interest of users with respect to price and quality.

  • Process to involve DPOs in ICT accessibility policy making:

According to the e-Accessibility Policy , it is important to follow the best practices in this area:

Requirements for both the majority and the minority sections of the public have to be taken into consideration in the development and implementation of public information, e-services, and ICT-based public equipment.

Involve the process of designing and testing of websites, e-services and ICT-based public equipment by persons with disabilities, in particular the blind, deaf and mobility.

  • Country refers to international ICT accessibility standards:

According to the e-Accessibility Policy, “Websites and e-services shall comply with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0” e-Accessibility Policy Index

  • ICT accessibility courses available at universities or professional education services: At Sultan Qaboos University, instructional and Learning Technologies Department offers one course (Learning Resources Centers TECH2112) with a component on assistive technology and web accessibility. Other courses in this Department talks in an informal way about e-accessibility issues.

Country Policy and Programs Outcomes

  • Web:

-Country Policies/Programs: Information Technology Authority has included accessibility of websites as part of the national program for transforming the country digitally: eGovernment Transformation.

  • TV and multimedia:


  • Mobile telephony:

-Country Policies: Article (38-3) of the Telecommunications Act supports the International Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities by requiring the telecom sector to provide telecommunications services to persons with special needs.

Regulation for the Provision of Telecommunication Services for People with Special Needs.

All the major service providers in both fixed and mobile services provide special discounted rates for individuals with special needs as per the Regulation; some operators provide discounted rates for their services to NGO’s disability associations and rehabilitation centers as well (Omantel, Ooredoo and Awasr). Previously video call services between different operators was not available which impacted the deaf persons’ ability to communicate amongst each other. Omantel and Ooredoo provided the service and video calling service is in operation between different operators. The operators worked on making their websites and applications accessible to enable access to billing and other services to the persons with disabilities through them.

  • E-books and digital contents:


  • Promoting the Internet Availability and Usage among Persons with Disabilities:

-Country Policies: There is no specific program dedicated to this, however the Regulation for the Provision of Telecommunications services for people with special needs tries to address this issue and ease the accessibility and access of the persons with disabilities to the various telecom services and specifically the internet. The Regulation aims to make the service more affordable to enable the persons with disabilities to get offer the price barrier, as well as that, handsets and devices are provided with accessibility features, the service providers also provides installment schemes for postpaid customers as well as discounted handset offers on low end smartphones for low entry level subscribers to get them to switch to smartphones.

The schemes provided by the service providers are not specifically targeted towards the individuals with special needs; however, they could benefit from the offers. Ooredoo provides their subscribers with disabilities with 1GB for free as part of their Suhoola plan. Omantel has discounted plans for people with disability.

  • Inclusive ICTs for all in education:


  • Enabling ICTs for all in employment:

-Country Policies: For the Ministry of Civil Services (MOCS), the Mawred Application for Human Resources Management is following the Oracle standards for its GUI. There are also standards applied to mobile applications in both iPhone and galaxy environments. The website is following the W3C standards too. MOCS has a circular specifying under each job advertisement that 2% of the job vacancies must be for persons with disabilities. Deaf and mute category for handicrafts jobs (for persons without high school certificates) requires an agreement with the Ministry of Social Development to nominate a specialist in sign language during the personal interviews. Deaf and mute category for handicrafts jobs (for persons with high school certificates) in which the examination process is described through a video (e.g. TV) for positions that involve writing.

  • E-government and Smart Cities for all:


  • Enabling Assistive Technologies and ICTs for independent living:

-Country Policies: The TRA tried to addressing this matter in the Regulation for the Provision of Telecom Services for Persons with Disabilities by requesting the service providers to have emergency services through relay services and encouraging the service providers to assist in supplying assistive devices and technologies; however, they faced difficulties finding the suppliers.

In addition, in Oman there are institutions of civil society that play an important role in e-Accessibility.

Al Noor Association for Blind People has launched a mobile App: The Omani Currency Reader is an application that reads the Omani Rial bills and shows the value on the iPhone screen in addition to pronouncing the value. The App can read both sides of all Omani currency bills and it can also calculate the amount in case the user has different bills.

In addition, the app can translate the value of the currency into different vibrations instead of words. It can also identify forged bills, and it has the ability to use both front and back cameras.

  • Procurement of accessible public goods and services for all citizens: