UNICEF and its partners are driving an innovative solution called Accessible Digital Textbooks for All, to make textbooks available, affordable and accessible for children with disabilities in all contexts. By adding specific features to digital formats and following Universal Design for Learning principles, textbooks can be made accessible to students who are blind or have low vision, to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and to those who have intellectual, developmental or learning disabilities, among others. The initiative brings writers, publishers, teachers, organizations of persons with disabilities, technologists and ministry of education representatives together to develop the guidelines needed to produce textbooks in accessible digital formats. They jointly set standards for features like narration, sign language, interactivity and the audio description of images.
UNICEF is currently piloting the Accessible Digital Textbooks for All Initiative in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay throughout 2019, 2020 and into 2021. The goal of the pilots is to test and validate the process of creating quality accessible digital textbooks with the ministries of education and different stakeholders using curriculum-based content, and to measure the learning outcomes for children with and without disabilities using them.