Industry E-accessibility Adoption

1. Web browsers accessibility

Universally accepted and leading web browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Firefox have implemented accessibility features as part of their commitment to ensuing that the Internet is accessible to all. Their design of accessibility shortcuts, icons and other accessibility features are internationally accepted by people of different backgrounds. Many basic features are common among all browsers, including resizing text to accommodate the needs of users with partial vision impairment, colour adjustment, page zoom, keyboard navigation, and third-party accessibility extensions to help users with different impairments. All browsers have built-in screen readers in English only (for PDF also), and users need to install a multilingual text-to-speech feature. Many other features are readily available within the design of the browsers, which can be used to access and search old websites or those that do not include any accessibility features. These features serve people with different impairments and are designed in line with the most commonly required WCAG and UAAG guidelines.

2. Mobile phone accessibility

Mobile communication and smartphones are the most common means of accessing the Internet, including by persons with disabilities, for various reasons including design, interoperability and size. The most popular mobile operating systems (iOS and Android) have implemented more features for e-accessibility than web browsers, and are considered friendlier and more accessible. Smartphones using both operating systems include numerous important features for various disabilities. Users with vision impairment or no vision can enjoy hearing and vision support features, such as screen readers, translators, real-time transcripts, and live caption to navigate their phones. Additional features employ assistive technologies to help different disabilities, such as limited manipulation and mobility, limited language, cognitive and learning abilities, or any combination of multiple impairments. WCAG guidelines for web accessibility are easily mapped to mobile phones, since most interfaces are similar in terms of layout, colours, web pages, and mobile apps.

According to the latest G3ict report,[1] the percentages of implementation for various ICT accessibility areas show a low overall implementation of 49 per cent, but with promising trends mainly in web and accessibility in education. Figure 1 shows the global percentage of implementation and outcomes for the various ICT accessibility areas.

Figure 1.  Global levels of implementation and outcomes of accessibility areas

Global levels of implementation and outcomes of accessibility areas: mobile 38%, ATs and ICTs for independent living 39%, public procurement 46%, enabling ICTs for employment 47%, internet availability and usage 49%, e-government and smart cities 50%, e-books 51%, inclusive ICTs in education 54%, web 58%.

Source: DARE Index 2020: Global Progress by CRPD States Parties.