Web Accessibility Policy Making: An International Perspective
G3ict and CIS are pleased to announce the publication of a new, improved edition of the Web Accessibility Policy Making: An International Perspective. The report published in cooperation with the Hans Foundation provides an updated synopsis of the many policies that governments have implemented around the world to ensure that the Internet and websites are accessible to persons with disabilities.
The report contains a Foreword by Axel Leblois, Founder and Executive Director of G3ict, an introduction and studies from countries like Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, and the European Union. The report contains contributions from Prashanth Ramadas, Asma Tajuddin, G Aravind, Katie Reisner, Sucharita Narasimhan, Bama Balakrishnan and Nirmita Narasimhan. Axel Leblois, Donal Rice, Immaculada Placienca Porrero, Kevin Carey, Licia Sbattella and Sunil Abraham are the expert reviewers.
Foreword by Axel Leblois
This third edition of our joint report with CIS “WEB ACCESSIBILITY POLICY MAKING: AN INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE” provides an updated synopsis of the many policies that governments have implemented around the world to ensure that the Internet and web sites are accessible to persons with disabilities. With 153 countries parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as of December 2011, an increasing number of governments are now in the midst of developing policies and programs to ensure that web sites and services under their jurisdictions are accessible.
Indeed, the Preamble of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes “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”. Its article 9 stipulates that: “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” (1). It further specifies that “State Parties shall also take appropriate measures to … Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet” (2.g).
There is therefore no doubt that all State Parties have an obligation to act upon those commitments. However, as this report demonstrates it clearly, web accessibility policies and their levels of enforcement vary considerably among countries with some common denominators such as the compliance with the W3C – WAI guidelines on web accessibility.
G3ict and CIS hope that this new, improved edition, which will now be available in print as well as in electronic format, will help accelerate the development of web accessibility policies and programs around the world. We want to express our sincere appreciation to Nirmita Narasimhan, programme manager at CIS and editor of the G3ict Publications and Reports for her dedication to this report which would not have been made possible without her incredible work and motivation as Disability Advocate.
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