Centre for Internet & Society

Over the past few months the Centre for Internet & Society along with some like minded organizations had been working on framing a feasible accessibility guidelines for mobile apps which they could recommend to the Government of India, since there is no single standard in existence at the moment.

Problem Statement

The   shift   to   digital governance   and   availability   of   assistive   technologies   have   been   both   empowering  as   well   as   frustrating  for   persons   with  disabilities,   who  comprise  approximately   150  million  of   the  Indian  population. Government   initiatives   such   as   the   Digital   India   campaign  are  increasingly   delivering  basic   functions   of   governance  through  information  technologies.   In  the  past   year,   the  government,   private  sector   and  the  world  at   large  have  embraced  mobile  applications  as   a preferred  medium   for   user   interactions   and  transactions.

The   Mobile   Seva   App   Store   hosts   790   government   apps,   which   provide   services   including   voter   information,   agricultural   assistance,   welfare   scheme   signups,   and   educational   content   provision. In  addition,  the  overall  app  market  in  India  has  also   grown  rapidly,   with  almost   5  times   as   many   apps   downloaded   in   2015   compared   to   the   previous   year. These   include   apps   which   let   users   access   everyday services  like   transportation,   communication   and   entertainment.

However,   for   persons   with   disabilities,   many   of   these  apps,   and  consequently   the  services  they  provide,   are   inaccessible   and   often   impossible   to   use.   Research   in   the   past   year   that   looked   at   several   apps,   both   government   and   private,   found   that   a majority   of   the  apps  are  inaccessible  and  unusable,   especially   for   persons   with  low   vision  and blindness.

Read the full submission

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