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The mobile disability gap report 2020

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
December 2020

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As we move towards a more digital society, it is critical that digital technologies are inclusive of everyone, including persons with disabilities. However, research conducted by the GSMA Assistive Tech programme suggests that a disability gap exists in mobile access and use.

Driving greater inclusion of persons with disabilities requires data and evidence to inform actions from multiple stakeholders. This report looks to understand the digital divide experienced by persons with disabilities, identify existing barriers to digital inclusion and define strategies and actions to close the mobile disability.

This report uses data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to explore the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in eight LMICs: Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda. This report looks at key stages and milestones in the journey to mobile internet use that can pose barriers to regular and diverse mobile use

Product Narrative: Digital Assistive Technology. A market landscape and strategic approach to increasing access to digital assistive technology in low- and middle- income countries

SAVAGE, Margaret
LIAO, Cynthia
CHAUDRON, Matilde
BOYER, Jeffrey
BHATNAGAR, Tigmanshu
LAURENTIUS, Dennis
TORRENS, George
PERRY, Katherine
MORJARIA, Priya
BARAJAS, Felipe Ramos
GOEDDE, Barbara
November 2020

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This document is the final in a series of in-depth analyses that identify key barriers and promising market interventions. The previous four documents focused on wheelchairs, hearings aids, prostheses, and eyeglasses.

The report provides market landscapes of 3 areas of digital AT: mobile phones; screen readers; and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.

A common set of recommendations focused on improving access emerged from the individual product landscapes:

  • Develop and adopt policies, including legislation, regulations, minimum product standards, and guidelines to support accessibility and uptake of digital AT at the global and country levels.
  • Support governments of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to increase awareness of digital AT by including digital assistive products such as smartphones and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices on national assistive product lists.
  • Support innovative financing schemes or negotiate pricing agreements to reduce the cost of digital AT to end users.
  • Increase availability of training programmes for users, suppliers, and service providers on the availability of digital AT and digital literacy skills.

Pivoting to inclusion : Leveraging lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for learners with disabilities

McCLAIN-NHALPO,Charlotte Vuyiswa
KULBIR SINGH,Ruchi
MARTIN,Anna Hill
et al
August 2020

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As governments respond to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the global community must ensure that persons with disabilities are included. This will require disability inclusion to be considered in all interconnected sectors; education, health, social protection, and inclusion from the planning stage all the way through to delivery and recovery efforts that are inclusive of all and are sufficiently differentiated to meet the specific needs of children with disabilities. The issues paper focuses on the following objectives: (1) addressing education, social needs, barriers, and issues for learners with disabilities at a global, regional, and country-level during the COVID-19 crisis; and (2) recommending practices for education and social inclusion, and reasonable accommodations utilizing the twin track approach and principles of universal design for learning.

Human-centred design in humanitarian settings: Methodologies for inclusivity

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This report documents the human-centred design process used in a project conducted in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya. It includes research tools that can be used in other contexts, as well as the adaptations that were made to research tools to ensure they were inclusive. These tools are followed by the main lessons learned, and recommendations for others who want to implement a similar process.

The goal of this project was to better understand how people living with disabilities in humanitarian contexts use mobile technology, the barriers they face in accessing mobile services, and the opportunities that mobile might present to increase access to basic services in their daily lives. The target population for this project was urban refugees living with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The human-centred design tools used included: Location Mapping, User Journeys, Communication Mapping, Future Me and Daily Diaries. 

Radical Accessibility: Research and Recommendations. A deep dive into how accessible charities are during Covid-19 and beyond

REASON DIGITAL
July 2020

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Insights are shared into the world of digital accessibility in the charity sector: the attitudes and behaviours of beneficiaries, the accessibility needs of those accessing charity websites, the impact of coronavirus and, what should be done by charities. The authors build on knowledge gained from 12 years in the digital charity sector, their annual research into digital charity trends, a new (2020), bespoke and nationally representative survey of the general public, and insights from some of the industry’s leading minds in making charities accessible. A list of evidenced and sector-specific recommendations is provided.

 

The research and report were part of a virtual event, Radical Accessibility, hosted by Reason Digital, Microsoft UK and Charity Digital on July 9th 2020

The digital lives of refugees and Kenyans with disabilities in Nairobi: A human-centred design approach to identifying mobile-enabled opportunities

HAMILTON, Zoe
CASSWELL, Jenny
ALONSO, Aline
July 2020

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This research focuses on disability, using human-centred design methods to better understand how refugees and Kenyans with visual and hearing impairments in Nairobi use mobile technology and potential opportunities that it could provide.

The target populations for the project were urban refugees and host communities with visual or hearing impairments in Nairobi, Kenya. 

 

This report is divided into four main sections, following an introduction, the second section focuses on insights learned from the hearing impaired, the third on the visually impaired and the fourth highlighting issues that were cross-cutting insights across both groups. Sections two and three include insights related to mobile, health and financial services. The fourth section includes insights related to humanitarian and disability support services

 

Opportunities for digital assistive technology innovations in Africa and Asia

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
et al
July 2020

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Digital assistive technologies (ATs), particularly mobile-based ATs, have the potential to be a valuable and cost-effective tool for persons with disabilities. To realise this opportunity there is a need for locally relevant digital ATs that meet the range of needs of persons with disabilities.

This report looks to better understand the landscape of digital innovations for assistive solutions in LMICs and to capture experiences from innovators in Africa and Asia working in this space. Through a literature review which looked at 60 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, examples of frontier technologies and ICTs used as ATs were identified. From these, 10 innovations in Asia and Africa were selected for deep dive analysis. Findings were complemented by 30 interviews with global experts in AT, accessibility, and innovation. 

Does the criminal justice system treat disabled people fairly? Inclusive justice: a system designed for all

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
April 2020

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The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry to understand the experiences of disabled defendants and accused people in the criminal justice system. They looked at:

  • whether their needs are properly identified
  • the types of adjustments being made to accomodate their needs, and
  • whether they can fully participate in court processes and understand the charges they face.

Based on their findings, recommendations are made to UK Governments.

 

The use of video hearings was rapidly expanded in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In April 2020, interim findings from this inquiry were released to help mitigate the risks that this technology poses to disabled people in the criminal justice system.

Zero Project Report 2020: Inclusive education. 75 Innovative Practices and 11 Innovative Policies from 54 countries

BUTCHER, Thomas
et al
January 2020

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There are several sections in this report:

  • Executive summary
  • Impact of the Zero Project: Survey results
  • Innovative policies and practices: Factsheets and life stories
  • The Zero Project Impact Transfer accelerator programme
  • An analysis of ICT supporting innovations in inclusive education
  • SDGs, Data and inclusive education
  • Summary of report in Easy Read. 

Themes were:

  • Early childhood and preschool
  • Formal education (primary and secondary education)
  • Universities (tertiary education)
  • Vocational education and training
  • Non-formal education
  • ICT-driven solutions related to education/digital skills

Emergency services accessibility for persons with disabilities

VIVIER, Benoit
LUMBRERAS, Cristina
MICHAEL, Rose
2020

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This document explores the main legislation in the European Union regarding accessible emergency services, including the 2018 European Electronic Communications Code and the 2019 Accessibility Act. It presents the functional requirements of effective solutions, including caller location, reliability, roaming and call-back, among others. Several solutions are currently in use in different European countries, including total conversation, relay services, SMS, smartphone applications and fax. The document explores the pros and cons of these systems and defines a number of recommendations for countries implementing solutions.

Understanding the mobile disability gap Insights on mobile phone access and usage by persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

ARANDA-JAN, Clara
BOUTARD, Alizee
December 2019

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This research aims to bridge the knowledge gap and to understand the potential of mobile phones as assistive technologies (ATs) for persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. This report presents, for the first time, an evaluation of the gap and barriers to mobile phone ownership experienced by persons with disabilities, as well as the usage patterns of four main mobile-enabled services (voice, SMS, mobile internet and mobile money) and the role of mobile phones to enable access to basic services, such as education, healthcare, transportation, employment and financial services. Finally, the report explores the characteristics of access and usability of mobile products and services along the customer journey.

Making it count: The power of youth advocates in the disability movement

WILM, Suzanne
LEONARD CHESHIRE
HANKS, Phil
May 2019

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The 2030 and Counting pilot project sought to give youth with disabilities a seat at the table on the SDGs – providing them with the tools and confidence they need to become their own agents of change. This report provides an overview of the project, together with learnings and recommendations for the future.

In its pilot year, 2030 and Counting brought together young women and men with disabilities and DPOs from Kenya, the Philippines and Zambia to report on and advocate for their rights through the framework of the SDGs

The project had three consecutive phases: Training, Story gathering (data collection) and Influencing. 

In total, 332 reports were collected between June and September 2018. The highest number of reports were submitted under the theme of Education (44%), followed by Work (33%), and Health (14%). The category of Other, which almost entirely focused on discrimination in daily life, accounted for 8%. 80% of reporters had smartphones, offering the potential to increase the use of this feature in future.
 

Agriculture and mobile-based interventions for smallholder farmers: best practice on disability inclusion, Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Research Report No. 14

AHLENBÄCK, Veronica
LEE, Harri
COE, Sue
May 2019

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This rapid review addresses the questions: What is current best practice in addressing disability and including people with disabilities within agricultural development programming? What is current best practice in mobile agriculture programming (i.e. mobile-based interventions targeted at smallholder farmers) to include smallholder farmers with disabilities as well as empower them and address key barriers they are facing? 

Delivering together for inclusive development: digital access to Information and knowledge for persons with disabilities

DARVISHY, Alireza
EROCAL, Deniz
MANNING, Juliet
2019

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This report focuses on digital inclusion as it relates to four of the 17 Goals for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda:

  • SDG 9 - Innovation, Industry, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

For each of the goals, a number of major challenges and key recommendations are defined. Finally, general recommendations are given for improving global digital inclusion overall.
 

Realisation of sustainable development goals by, for and with persons with disabilities: UN flagship report on disability and development 2018

UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (UNDESA)
December 2018

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This report represents the first UN systemwide effort to examine disability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level. The report reviews data, policies and programmes and identifies good practices; and uses the evidence it reviewed to outline recommended actions to promote the realization of the SDGs for persons with disabilities. Over 200 experts from UN agencies and International Financial Institutions, Member States and civil society, including research institutions and organizations of persons with disabilities, contributed to this report. The report covers new areas for which no global research was previously available, for example, the role of access to energy to enable persons with disabilities to use assistive technology. It also contains the first global compilation and analysis of internationally comparable data using the Washington Group on Disability Statistics short set of questions. Reviews of legislation from 193 UN Member States were conducted and analysed for this report to highlight good practices and to assess the current status of discriminatory laws on voting, election for office, right to marry and others

Expanding employment success for people with disabilities

FRUCHTERMAN, Jim
MELLEA, Joan
November 2018

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This report’s observations and recommendations were based on over fifty conversations with employers, technology vendors, disability experts—who were mainly people with disabilities, and technology experts, especially in artificial intelligence. It concentrates on human capital management (HCM) technology products used for attracting talent to companies, the actual interviewing/hiring process, and retention of employees once hired. Efforts on the market share leaders in each segment. 

Recommendations made concern:

  • Embracing artificial intelligence.
  • Boosting accessibility and accommodations.
  • Collecting and using data to inform action.
  • Guiding employers on the path from compliance to opportunity

Mobile technology and inclusion of persons with disabilities

THOMPSON, Stephen
May 2018

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This K4D Emerging Issues report highlights research and emerging evidence that show how mobile-enabled services can help increase inclusion of persons with disabilities. The aim is to provide UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) policy-makers with the information required to inform policies that are more resilient to the future. This report provides a synthesis of the current evidence on how mobile technology and mobile-enabled services can help increase inclusion of persons with disabilities. It was originally planned that this report would also explore how mobile enabled technology might exacerbate existing inequalities. Some evidence was found to focus on the barriers to ICT that marginalised groups encounter, however, no evidence was found to focus on how mobile technology might exacerbate inequalities. As such, the report focuses on the positive impact that mobile technology has been shown to have in increasing the inclusion of persons with disabilities. 

This report focuses specifically on evidence produced by academic research from low and middle income countries

Bridging the disability divide through digital technologies

Deepti Samant Raja
2016

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The exclusion and marginalization of persons with disabilities is a human rights issue as well as an economic issue for countries. Digital technologies break traditional barriers to communication, interaction, and access to information for persons with disabilities. The confluence of increasing public and private service provision through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and the growing number of mainstream, everyday ICTs that can be used as accessible devices is changing the paradigm of technology-enabled development for persons with disabilities. This paper provides an overview of the opportunities presented by the internet and ICT for the full participation of persons with disabilities. Accessible ICT can level the playing field for persons with disabilities across life domains including education, employment, e-governance and civic participation, financial inclusion, and disaster management. However, earlier divides may persist and new divides may be created when ICT-enabled development is not accessible to persons with disabilities, leading to an uneven distribution of benefits. This paper reviews the main challenges to the realization of ICT-enabled inclusive development and presents cost-beneficial policy and practice recommendations for governments and development practitioners

Model policy for inclusive ICTs in education for persons with disabilities

WATKINS, Amanda
LEBLOIS, Axel
2014

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“This document presents a Model Policy for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education for Persons with Disabilities. The focus is upon the use of ICTs to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD, 2006), specifically:

  • Article 9: Accessibility;
  • Article 21: Freedom of Expression and Opinion, and Access to Information;
  • Article 24: Inclusive Education”

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