Information and communication technologies (ICTs) include mobile communications, televisions, computers, digital interfaces, ATMs and the Internet. ICTs are integrated into many aspects of global society today and are essential to business and public services. Through the use of ICTs, individuals and communities at all levels can access and share important information which impacts significantly on their quality of life, well-being and social development.
The importance of ICTs in international development is increasingly recognised, especially as a means to support growth and social development in low and middle income countries. However, ICTs must be accessible to the whole population, including persons with disabilities; this is supported by article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Accessible ICTs includes additions to both hardware and software so all users given a diverse range of needs can access technology. Additions include maximising basic accessibility, allowing user configuration, allowing a range of interaction methods, providing outputs in multiple forms and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies. These concepts are important components of wider accessibility and universal design issues. Accessible ICTs impact the lives of people with disabilities by enhancing participation at work, access to education, access to health information and development of advocacy and peer support networks.
This key list features general resources, manuals, tools and guides for accessible information and communication technology for people with disabilities and highlights specific resources related to ICT in inclusive education.
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This white paper seeks to document the innovative elements of a conference discussion about e-accessibility costs and benefits. Despite technological and political achievements, the economics of e-accessibility need to be understood. This paper aims to define new approaches to understand how best to promote e-accessibility models
E-Accessibility costs and benefits
28 March 2011
The blog provides a forum for discussion, news and a place to share expertise on accessibility to digital technologies by people with disabilities. It aims to be a lively forum and a place for sharing views and information and ideas with experts, practitioners and disabled technology users from across the globe
Project F123 enables access to educational and employment opportunities through free and open source assistive technologies. It provides easy and inexpensive access to powerful assistive technologies (such as screen readers or virtual keyboards) to enable people with disability needs to use almost any computer without the need to install anything on its hard disk
G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies(ICT), is an advocacy initiative of the UN GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, 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 on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop and promote good practices, technical resources and benchmarks for ICT accessibility advocates around the world. This website presents information about the initiative, related events, experts and resources. Users can regster to be a fellow and receive their newsletter. This resource is useful for anyone interested in inclusive ICTs
This database provides resources "to assist organizations better understand and apply accessible information and communication technologies to their business practices. Although many of these resources specifically address the obligations of businesses in Ontario (Canada) to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), the concepts, strategies and resources presented can be applied to any organization in any location." Useful links are provided to publications, vendors and a glossary related to accessible information and communication services
"Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has the potential both to enhance access for people with disabilities and to contribute to creating barriers. What we now call the digital divide actually began long before the introduction of computers - barriers have existed and still exist today with telephones, television, the Internet and other information technology. It is important to remember that people with disabilities have many different accessibility needs and that there are different ways to make technology accessible and that new accessibility needs emerge as technology changes. This paper looks at the state of accessibility policy in the U.S. in several technology infrastructures that may provide some lessons and directions for increasing inclusive information and communication technologies worldwide"
Disability Studies Quarterly, Vol 29, No1
"This report contains references to the new legislative and regulatory framework set by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an important resource for policy makers. It also covers practical elements required for a successful implementation of those programs and policies: technical accessibility features for handsets, accessible and assistive applications and services as well as business cases of companies which have implemented significant accessibility programs...(T)his report will be a useful resource for telecom regulators, mobile operators, organizations of persons with disabilities and other mobile stakeholders to develop successful accessibility policies and programs in their respective countries to equally serve persons of all abilities"
This report "contributes to a better understanding of the extent to which information and communication technologies (ICTs) enable and accelerate the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. It highlights that when ICTs are available, affordable and accessible, they significantly improve access to all aspects of society and development. It also lists challenges that are still to be addressed while outlining concrete actions to be undertaken by each group of stake holders - including national governments, the private sector, and civil and international organizations - and relevant indicators to monitor progress towards the achievement of a disability-inclusive development agenda"
Note: report is available in pdf and word formats, additional annexes can be downloaded from the link above
This report aims "to provide governments, civil society, industry, academia and other groups with an insight into the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by persons with disabilities to access information and knowledge around the world; To present an overview and critical assessment of existing information policies and strategies as well as challenges and advantages in using ICTs to access information and knowledge for persons with disabilities; To identify practices at local, national and global levels on effective application of ICTs by persons with disabilities to access information and knowledge; To foster future frameworks on the use of ICTs to access information and knowledge of persons with disabilities (PWD); and Based on the best available information and analysis, to make recommendations for strategy formulation, action-oriented initiatives and new synergies at national, regional and international levels"
This meeting report provides information "to promote greater awareness of environmental and ICT accessibility and advancement of persons with disabilities in the context of development, and to identify innovative and cost-effective approaches to accessibility both in the physical environment and in the fields of information and communications technologies as means to further inclusive processes of development"
"Expert meeting on environmental and ICT accessibility: innovative and cost-effective approaches to inclusive development"
28-30 June 2010
This report is the outcome of a United Nations Expert Group Meeting (EGM) consisting of plenary and working group sessions. Presentations and discussions on issues and trends in accessible and usable information and communications technologies (ICTs) and development are provided. The working groups recommendations include: (1) policy frameworks and institutional arrangements to promote accessible and usable ICTs, (2) accessibility technologies and technical standards and (3) accessible and usable ICTs in disaster responses and emergency situations
United Nations expert meeting on building inclusive societies and development through promotion of accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs) : emerging issues and trends
19-21 April 2012
This website presents general information and resources related to accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs) for people with disabilities. Information related to specific impairments and links to assistive technology companies and organizations are also provided. This website is useful to people with disabilities, researchers and practitioners interested in accessible ICTs
"From both a business and a disability rights perspective, this paper describes the value for organisations of adopting techniques to produce accessible web content compliant with global standards"
A G3ict White Paper Series
Note: The user is required to enter details to download a pdf version
Manuals, guides and toolkits
This project website provides information to create accessible office documents and choose accessible office applications for organisations. The guidance is based primarily on WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 1.0. Governments, public sector organizations, and service organizations will find this resource useful for creating accessible office documents
This handbook is a companion to the toolkit and contains contributions from more than 60 experts around the world on ICT accessibility. It is useful for policy makers and regulators, advocacy and research organisations and persons with disabilities on the implementation of the ICT dispositions of the CRPD
Note: Braille and DAISY formats are available from the web link
This practical online toolkit is designed for policy makers and regulators focusing specifically on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provisions regarding accessibility to information and communication technologies (ICTs) for persons with disabilities. It provides comprehensive information about ICT accessibility, and highlights that it is a cross-cutting issue that concerns a broad range of government agencies and ministries, including those for broadcasting, communication, education, employment and human rights areas. It gives detailed information about technology areas, policy guides and assessment framework
This webguide provides information on why it is important to make information accessible to people with visual impairments and what accessible information is. There are detailed instructions on how to use Word, Excel, PDF, and other formats in an accessible way. The webguide also provides a glossary of terms along with a list a groups that can assist those with visual impairments
"WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page"
This website presents information to promote the use of ICT for access to information and knowledge for persons with disabilities. It provides useful links to education related information about meetings, news, resources and websites
"The use of technology in education plays a particularly vital role by enabling flexible curriculum development and assisting students with disabilities to participate as equals in the learning experience. The recommendations contained in this report target teachers, policy makers and administrators. The main recommendations centre on a number of core themes that include maximising the use of the myriad of accessibility features in mainstream ICTs such as personal computers, tablet PCs, mobile phones etc. already in use in classrooms; empowering students to learn their own preferences and settings when using technology for learning and removing attitudinal barriers to the use of technology for inclusive education, in particular those of teachers who may struggle with modern ICTs"
Collaborative Expert Meeting Report
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris
17 -18 November 2011
This article presents a study that "conducted an in-depth case study of two developing countries, Bangladesh and Tanzania, and thoroughly reviewed existing (inclusive education) IE projects around the world and other relevant literature. Three experts in the field and 18 informants of the two selected countries were interviewed in person, by phone or by email. The analysis of findings from interviews and literature review shows that obstacles to effective use of (assistive technologies) AT for IE come from three different levels - school, national, and network"
IJEDICT, Vol 6, Issue 4
"The course is intended to provide the specialists involved in education of people with special educational needs (SEN), with an overview of main ways, methods, and principles of information and communication technology (ICT) usage in their professional activities.
Materials of the course represent the best international experience, supported by comprehensive training materials and special sections with references, summaries, glossary, assignments, and bibliography for supplementary readings. The course offers the opportunities to acquire knowledge and develop practical skills on specifics of ICT application in faceto-face and distance education meeting the needs of six main groups of disabilities: physical, visual, hearing, speech and language, cognitive, learning. Particular emphasis of the course is placed upon the basic aspects of ICT policy development in special needs education (SNE), including promotion of ICT infrastructure, integration of ICTs into curriculum, training and retraining of ICT specialists in SNE
The materials presented in the course will be of interest to a wide range of specialists involved in education of people with SEN, from high-level policy- and decision-makers to researchers, teachers, programme planners, and curriculum developers"
"This paper looks at the issue of school inclusion by referring to the concept of Universal Access to Education. It focuses on the strong potential Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide to avoid any kind of discrimination among students. The paper also argues that teachers play a fundamental role in capitalising the opportunities offered by new technologies to support the full inclusion of all students in mainstream education systems"
e-Learning Papers, No 6
“This document presents a Model Policy for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education for Persons with Disabilities. The focus is upon the use of ICTs to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD, 2006), specifically:
- Article 9: Accessibility;
- Article 21: Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Access to Information;
- Article 24: Inclusive Education”