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Name : FORTUZI, Sidita
Date : January 14, 2016
Organization : Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF)
Country : Albania
Job Title : Free legal Aid Coordinator

Contribution : Albania has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2013. Access to internet for persons with disabilities in Albania has been treated in the framework of general access (including technology, physical environment, communication etc). As far as we know, there haven't been any study regarding the access to internet of persons with disabilities in Albania. While for many especially young users, internet is the only way to get in touch with the outside world from their houses (because of stigma, prejudice, physical barriers etc.), they have became regular users of internet. However, state institutions do not provide with accessible information, services are not offered online to ease the users, no training or programs aim at persons with disabilities to equip them with skills for using internet. No financial aid is provided to persons with disabilities who cannot move from their houses. The main challenges are faced for persons in rural areas, not being able to have access to internet. This due also to lack of financial means and lack of programs enabling persons with disabilities to use. There are no incentives for them to use internet. This also as a result of lack of accessible websites, very poor and scarce information in the official sites of public institutions. The role of government is crucial in terms of prioritizing programs which help persons with disabilities to have access to internet and parallel making use of e- government services. Inclusion in laws about accessibility of articles putting obligations on the state institutions and having respected those obligations are some steps which would address the gaps existing.