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The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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  1. ICT ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Axel Leblois Executive Director G3ict Kampala, Uganda 6 May 2010

  2. G3ict Mission “To Facilitate the Implementation of the ICT Accessibility Agenda Of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” A Flagship Advocacy Initiative of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development With the participation of Disabled Persons Organizations, Industry, Governments, Academia, and International Development Agencies and Standard Development Organizations

  3. Purpose of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities To promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity (Article 1)

  4. Persons Living with Disabilities • 18% of the world population lives with disabilities, including those related to aging • 10% or more than 650 million people live with life long -altering disabilities • Two thirds of which are in developing countries

  5. Types of Impairments: % of Population Example of South Africa 21.30% to 23.50% Source: Ministry of Health, South Africa

  6. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 13, 2006 Universal framework for the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities 8th Universal Convention on Human Rights and 1st of this millennium 144 countries have signed it as of March 2010 – 88 with the Optional Protocol 85 have ratified it, representing over 75% of the World Population The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 6

  7. Sub Sahara Africa Update: All East African Nations Signed as of May 2010 – • Mali • Signed: 15-5-2007 • Signed Protocol: 15-5-2007 • Ratified: 7-4-2008 • Ratified Protocol: 7-4-2008 • Mauritius • Signed: 25-9-2007 • Signed Protocol: 25-9-2007 • Ratified: 8-1-2010 • Mozambique • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Niger • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 2-8-2007 • Ratified: 24-6-2008 • Ratified Protocol: 24-6-2008 • Nigeria • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 • Rwanda • Ratified: 15-12-2008 • Ratified Protocol: 15-12-2008 • Senegal • Signed: 25-4-2007 • Signed Protocol: 25-4-2007 • Sierra Leone • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 • South Africa • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 • Ratified: 30-11-2007 • Ratified Protocol: 30-11-2007 • Sudan • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Ratified: 24-4-2009 • Ratified Protocol: 24-4-2009 • Swaziland • Signed: 25-9-2007 • Signed Protocol: 25-9-2007 • Togo • Signed: 23-9-2008 • Signed Protocol: 23-9-2008 • Uganda • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 • Ratified: 25-9-2008 • Ratified Protocol: 25-9-2008 • United Republic of Tanzania • Signed: 30-3-2007 • Signed Protocol: 29-9-2008 • Ratified: 10-11-2009 • Ratified Protocol: 10-11-2009 • Zambia • Signed: 9-5-2008 • Signed Protocol: 29-9-2008 • Ratified: 1-2-2010 Benin Signed: 8-2-2008 Signed Protocol: 8-2-2008 Burkina Faso Signed: 23-5-2007 Signed Protocol: 23-5-2007 Ratified: 23-7-2009 Ratified Protocol: 23-7-2009 Burundi Signed: 26-4-2007 Signed Protocol: 26-4-2007 Cameroon Signed: 1-10-2008 Signed Protocol: 1-10-2008 Cape Verde Signed: 30-3-2007 Central African Republic Signed: 9-5-2007 Signed Protocol: 9-5-2007 Congo (Republic of the) Signed: 30-3-2007 Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 Cote d'Ivoire Signed: 7-6-2007 Signed Protocol: 7-6-2007 Ethiopia Signed: 30-3-2007 Gabon Signed: 30-3-2007 Signed Protocol: 25-9-2007 Ratified: 1-10-2007 Ghana Signed: 30-3-2007 Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 Guinea Signed: 16-5-2007 Signed Protocol: 31-8-2007 Ratified: 8-2-2008 Ratified Protocol: 8-2-2008 Kenya Signed: 30-3-2007 Ratified: 19-5-2008 Lesotho Ratified: 2-12-2008 Liberia Signed: 30-3-2007 Signed Protocol: 30-3-2007 Madagascar Signed: 25-9-2007 Signed Protocol: 25-9-2007 Malawi Signed: 27-9-2007 Ratified: 27-8-2009

  8. Information and Communication Accessibility: New Rights for a New Era Preamble (v): “Recognizing the importance of accessibility to the physical, social, economic and cultural environment, to health and education and to information and communication, in enabling persons with disabilities to fully enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

  9. Why the Convention Focuses on ICT Accessibility • A Massive Increase in ICT usage: • 1.1 billion personal computers • 1.6 + billion Internet users (incl. shared / mobile access) • 1.4 billion telephone land lines • 1.5 billion TV sets and 2.4 billion radios • 4.5 billion cell phones, over 2 billion text messaging users Major impact of ICT accessibility on education, economic, government relations and cultural opportunities

  10. Accessibility Obligations: ICTs On Par with Physical Environment & Transportation « To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems... » (Article 9)

  11. Implications of Article 9 for Policy Makers Based on the definition of Article 9, all sector specific accessibility dispositions cover ICT accessibility The terms “Accessibility” and “Accessible” appear respectively 9 and 17 times in the text of the Convention The term “Reasonable Accommodation” is included 7 times with equal impact on ICT applications

  12. Main Dispositions with Implications for ICT Accessibility and Assistive Technologies

  13. Private Sector Services Accessibility “The state must insure that private entities that offer facilities and services to the public take into account the accessibility of those services” (Art. 9) (Also mentioned in Art. 21)

  14. Special Dispositions Promoting Accessible & Assistive Technologies Mandate to promote R&D ICT Products Development and Universal Design Reasonable accommodation defined and mandated Obligation for States to set accessibility standards Intellectual property rights Promoting New Media and the Internet for Persons with Disabilities

  15. Legislative and Regulatory Process • Signing of the Convention • Ratification • Parties States must then align their legislation and regulations with the dispositions of the Convention unless already more favorable • Optional Protocol and Committee on Disability • A long but irreversible process with worldwide pressure from NGOs representing persons with disabilities

  16. Challenges for State Parties to the Convention • Limited references available to implement the dispositions of the Convention covering ICT Accessibility • Speed of change due to technological developments • Requirement to make accessible and assistive ICT products affordable : • Use policy to create favorable conditions for industry and operators • Support standards for mass production, economies of scale, competition, interoperability and lower prices

  17. G3ict – ITU Toolkit for Policy Makers

  18. Areas of ICT AccessibilityCovered by the e-AccessibilityToolkit for Policy Makers Government Areas

  19. Today’s Agenda by Area of ICT Accessibility Session 2: e-Accessibility basics, latest technology advances with a demo, analysis of the future of e-Inclusion Session 4: Technologies and Standards in promoting accessible ICT services and products Session 5: Web without Barriers: Designing accessible web sites, Web Accessibility standards, Web Accessibility Checkers and a demo Session 6: Real Time Captioning, Total Conversation relay and Application in Emergency Services Session 7: Wireless Services, TV Broadcasting, e-government web sites, Access to published works, Internet cafés and community access and Assistive Technologies in schools Session 8: Panel discussion on key areas of government involvement in ICT accessibility and tools available to policy makers for promoting accessibility: Special focus on the G3ict - ITU e-Accessibility Toolkit for Policy Makers

  20. PUBLICATIONS SPONSORS CO-HOSTS Thank You www.e-accessibilitytoolkit.org www.g3ict.com Request for information: axel_leblois@g3ict.org +1 (404) 641 5661

  21. AnnexesSpecial Dispositions onICTs and Assistive Technologies

  22. 1 - Promoting R&D for Assistive Technologies State Parties...undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the availability and use of new technologies, including information and communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, suitable for persons with disabilities, giving priority to technologies at an affordable cost (Article 4 – g)

  23. 2 - ICT Products Development • Early Stage Accessibility Definitions: • “Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost” (Art. 9) • Universal Design: • “To undertake or promote research and development of universally designed goods, services, equipment and facilities, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, which should require the minimum possible adaptation and the least cost to meet the specific needs of a person with disabilities, to promote their availability and use, and to promote universal design in the development of standards and guidelines” (Art. 4)

  24. 3 - Reasonable Accommodation Defined and Mandated “Reasonable accommodation” means necessary and appropriate modification and adjustments not imposing a disproportionate or undue burden, where needed in a particular case, to ensure to persons with disabilities the enjoyment or exercise on an equal basis with others of all human rights and fundamental freedoms (article 2) General obligation in article 3, referenced in articles on education and employment

  25. 4 - Standards « States Parties shall take…appropriate measures to develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public » Article 9-2 (a)

  26. 5 - Intellectual Property Rights “States Parties shall take all appropriate steps, in accordance with international law, to ensure that laws protecting intellectual property rights do not constitute an unreasonable or discriminatory barrier to access by persons with disabilities to cultural materials.” (Article 30 on Cultural life)

  27. 6 - New Media and the Internet « States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to…promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet » Article 9 (g)