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G3ict Launches the Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation (DARE) Index, a Unique Resource for Advocates and Policy Makers to Benchmark Digital Accessibility

The DARE Index, in its first edition, features 121 individual country report cards, rankings and analysis aimed at providing global benchmarks for disability advocates, governments and private sector organizations to assess their progress and identify opportunities in implementing digital accessibility for persons with disabilities.

ATLANTA (November 26, 2018) —

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) announces the release of the Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation (DARE) Index. Conducted in collaboration with Disabled People’s International (DPI), national organizations of persons with disabilities, and local advocates, the survey covers 121 countries in eight regions around the world and was made possible by the original research work and reports received from more than 130 experts’ members of its International Research Panel.

Unrestricted access to digital devices, contents, information and services is a necessary condition for persons with disabilities to enjoy their full rights. Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obligates its 177 States Parties to ensure that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) -- which support everything digital, such as television, e-books, computers, web sites or mobile devices and services -- are made accessible.

“As there are no consistent data sources available around the world on digital accessibility, G3ict is pleased to offer what we think is an unparalleled resource tool developed by ‘advocates for advocates’ to track, evaluate, and rank the digital accessibility readiness of their respective countries, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD),” points out Axel Leblois, President of G3ict.

The DARE Index measures three categories of variables in each country: country commitments (legal, regulatory, policies and programs), country capacity to implement (organization, processes, resources) and actual digital accessibility outcomes for persons with disabilities in 10 areas of digital products and services. This three steps analysis – commitments – capacity to implement – outcomes, is consistent with Human Rights monitoring principles and allows for useful gap analysis and linkages between variables. Variables were derived from the G3ict – ITU Model Policy on ICT Accessibility report and the Digital Accessibility Decennial Call for Action issued at the United Nations on 3 December 2016 by the International Disability Alliance, Disabled People’s International and G3ict.

Results show positive advances of countries legislations supporting the accessibility of ICTs, but also underline significant gaps in countries capacity to implement resulting in significant shortcomings in making digital products and services accessible to persons with disabilities.

DARE Index Key Findings

Top 10 countries with the best overall performance in promoting digital accessibility rights include Oman, Brazil, France, South Africa, Qatar, United States, Italy, the Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Kenya and Spain. Detailed country score cards posted on the G3ict web site provide information on countries performances in commitments, capacity and outcomes.

Top regional champions include South Africa and Kenya for Africa; the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan for Central Asia; Australia and China for East Asia and Pacific; France and Italy for Europe; Brazil and Jamaica for Latin America and the Caribbean; Oman and Qatar for the Middle East and North Africa; the United States and Canada for Northern America; and India and Nepal for South Asia.

Overall, the DARE Index shows considerable progress in the development of national legislations reflecting the core dispositions of the CRPD: 84% of the countries surveyed have a constitutional article, law or regulation defining the rights of persons with disabilities and 63% of the countries have a definition of ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ included in a law or regulation regarding the rights of persons with disabilities. However, capacity to implement is lagging with the most significant opportunities for progress in the following two areas:

  • Ensuring the consultation and participation of persons with disabilities in developing and monitoring policies and programs and
  • Capacity building of local stakeholders in matters of digital accessibility.

More than 62.5 percent of the States Parties surveyed reported no or minimum levels of implementation of policies or programs promoting accessibility in critical areas, such as web accessibility, television and audio-visual accessibility, inclusive ICTs for all in education, procurement of accessible good and services among others.

“Tracking and knowing how much progress is accomplished by States Parties in ICT accessibility is an essential step forward for all stakeholders in order to address gaps and opportunities in their own countries,” highlights Martin Gould, Director of Research at G3ict.

Local advocates and policy makers will be able to analyze differences between their own country score cards with worldwide averages, peer group averages by level of income and region and identify areas of opportunities to promote digital accessibility in their countries. The Country Profiles score cards include a feedback mechanism for suggestions by viewers. Those suggestions are then processed by G3ict’s analysts, allowing for a systematic grassroots-based updates and validation process.

Success stories from most advanced countries suggest that closing gaps requires more than governments’ advocacy and resources. Indeed, it requires a long-term partnership between the public sector, industry, DPOs and NGOs. The participation and continuous involvement of persons with disabilities in policy making, development and monitoring processes is vital to build a fully accessible information society that ensures the right to communicate and the use of knowledge for all.

Note on Methodology:

The first edition of the DARE Index builds on eight years of data collection and analysis experience gained through the past editions of the G3ict CRPD ICT Accessibility Progress Report. It covers 121 countries, of which 119 have ratified the CRPD. As of November 15, 2018, data is still under validation for the following 10 countries: Azerbaijan, Belize, Chad, Chile, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Costa Rica, Guinea, Mauritania, Tajikistan and Viet Nam. The total of the 121 countries surveyed have a combined population of 6.7 billion that is 89.4 percent of the world population. The DARE Index is based on one set of questionnaires completed by 130 local correspondents in 121 countries during the year of 2017. Data collection for the DARE Index was completed in cooperation with Disabled People’s International and various disabled person’s organizations and experts in countries around the world where DPI correspondents were not available. For cross-tabulation purposes, G3ict analysts use the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, World Bank and International Monetary Fund country classifications.



About G3ict

G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector and organizations representing persons with disabilities. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development, training, and certification to more than 1,700 members in 42 countries. For more information, please visit www.g3ict.org

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Contact: Viviana Montenegro, Program Officer/Research Analyst, G3ict, vamontenegro@g3ict.org