International Initiatives

Digital accessibility is a priority in key global initiatives, such as the Disability Inclusion Strategy, CRPD, the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, and the standards of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The 2030 Agenda includes disability issues in many of its Goals and targets, with a clear call for cooperative efforts in achieving the SDGs pertaining to persons with disabilities, in line with CRPD. The disability-related Goals are SDG1 on poverty, SDG2 on hunger, SDG4 on education, SDG5 on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, SDG8 on decent work and economic growth and industry, and SDG9 on innovation and infrastructure, particularly access to ICT (target 9.c). The ITU Strategic Plan 2020-2023[1] calls upon all countries to create an accessible ICT environment for persons with disabilities by 2023. CRPD calls on all signatory countries and organizations to develop and implement laws and policies ensuring the rights of persons with disabilities. The fundamental issue of accessibility is clearly highlighted in article 9, stipulating the elimination of all barriers facing persons with disabilities, and equal and reasonable access to public facilities, services and ICT infrastructure.

General Assembly resolution 64/154[2] of 2009 requests the Secretary-General to continue the progressive implementation of standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services of the United Nations system. Since then, the Department of Global Communications has been promoting web accessibility within the United Nations system to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities. They dedicated a website[3] to guide designers in developing accessible webpages that are easy to navigate, with a simple layout. The site recommends simple and clear requirements based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) regarding multilingual content, navigation, design, scripts, forms, and site validation.