To make ICT more
accessible for persons with disabilities, the Supreme Council of
Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), has introduced
the country’s first eAccessibility Policy.
The policy aims to ensure people with
disabilities in Qatar have equal access to the technologies that can
enrich their lives, and covers a range of e-accessibility issues,
including websites, telecommunications services, handsets, ATMs,
government services, access to assistive technologies and digital
The policy is effective immediately and
ictQATAR will oversee the implementation of the policy across sectors
and monitor progress.
“For many people with
disabilities, information and communication technology can be a
tremendously empowering and enabling tool, however, if these
technologies are not fully accessible, they may actually become tools
of exclusion or isolation. Qatar’s eAccessibility Policy, which was
developed in consultation with numerous stakeholder groups, will make
Qatar one of the most progressive countries in the region in terms of
bringing the benefits of technology to people with disabilities”,
said Hessa Al-Jaber, ictQATAR Secretary General.
The primary provisions of the
eAccessibility Policy include:
service providers to provide accessible handsets, user interfaces,
relay services, special rate plans, emergency services and
accessible public payphones where appropriate.
sector organizations to develop websites and mobile content that can
be accessed by persons with disabilities.
public sector organizations, including government owned banks, to
implement service improvements that will ensure that public access
terminals/kiosks and ATMs are available at strategic locations and
usable by people with low vision blindness, deaf or hearing
impairments, physical disabilities and reading problems.
Requiring Qatar’s Assistive
Technology Center (Mada) to establish a fund to improve access to
assistive technologies (AT) and services, encouraging the wide
spread procurement of ATs, spreading awareness of the available
services and benefits of ATs and providing demonstrations, special
training and evaluations.
Calling to action all producers
and distributors of digital media in Qatar to improve the
accessibility of their content through accessible eBooks, online
information and special captioning for video programming.
e-accessibility policy is available here.