One billion people worldwide live with some form of disability and can only use accessible information and communication technologies (ICTs). This means that if someone cannot see a typical screen they need a way to understand what is on it, such as text-to-speech functionality. If a user cannot hear information, they need a way to get that information, such as captioning on television or speech-to-text they can read on a mobile phone. Likewise, if someone cannot input a command on an ICT device with their hand, they need alternative ways to do this.
ITU members, including policy makers, regulators and service providers have an important role to play to ensure that ICTs in their countries are accessible for persons with disabilities and to eliminate ICT accessibility barriers. BDT activities are designed to assist ITU members to better understand the accessibility needs of persons with disabilities, the technical solutions that are available and the policy and regulatory solutions they can take to ensure such solutions are widely available at affordable prices.
The resources below provide a framework for ITU members to develop policies and strategies for mainstreaming digital accessibility at national, regional and international levels in line their requirements under Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which defines ICT accessibility as an integral part of accessibility rights on par with transportation and the physical environment.