“Accessible Information and Communication Technology : The person with Disability Perspective”
Sep Tue 2020 01:02:18
Health Organization estimates that nearly 15% of the global population lives
with some forms of disability and out of which nearly 2-4% belongs to severe
difficulties due to their disability. In the Nepal Census 2011, it has reported
nearly two percent (1.94%; 513,321) of the total population of Nepal reported
having “some kind of disability”. It is claimed to be a very low estimate due
to inadequate capacity in collecting information on disability.
are different barriers like environmental, attitudinal, and institutional
barriers for meaningful participation of persons with disabilities in decision
making. Within the environmental barriers, there are barriers related to
physical and information challenges of accessibility. If Information
Communication Technology (ICT) is accessible then it can contribute to the
challenges of accessing information and strengthen the communication skills of
a person with disability.
is also revealed that women are more likely to experience challenges of
disability therefore there should be more discussion on challenges faced by
women with disability in accessing these ICTs for promoting their leadership
and participation to access basic public services.
this context, CAN Federation, Women in ICT (WICT) committee organized the
virtual discussion to discuss on “Accessible Information and Communication
Technology: Person with Disability Perspective”.
discussion initiated with a warm welcome remark from the President of
CAN Federation, Mr. Nawaraj Kunwar. He shared that there is marginalization
faced by the person with disability in access to Information and Communication
Technology (ICT). He emphasized that government and private sectors should
collaborate more for making digital accessible technologies to protect the
rights of the person with disability.
in ICT Committee advisor Ms. Shikha Shrestha, moderating the
discussion shared about different barriers faced by the person with disability
that challenged them in occupying a meaningful position in decision making. She
shared that barriers of accessing information and communication technology is
one of the key challenges that need to be addressed for empowering the person
Mr. Prakash Maharjan and Ms.Santoshi Ghimire helped with sign language interpretation.
· Mr. Anil Kumar Dutta, Joint Secretary at the MoCIT (Ministry of Communication and Information Technology)
· Dr. Birendra Raj Pokharel, Chairperson at Action on Disability Rights and Development Nepal (ADRAD)
· Ms. Jaya Luintel, President & CEO at The Story Kitchen
· Mr. Sagar Prasai, Founder & Director at Diverse Patterns
· Ms. Tika Dahal, President at NDWA (Nepal Disabled Women Association)
Ms. Tika Dahal from NDWA presented her valuable
opinion on the situation of differently-abled persons and women in the ICT
sector. She also reflected on the responsibility of the government and
policy-makers to disseminate information properly.
She doubts if the
information meant for the disabled is really intended for them. Furthermore,
she questions if the disabled can actually access such information.
Even in this pandemic, it
might be difficult for the disabled to adapt to the online study fashion. In fact,
women are also a victim of a male dominant society when it comes to ‘work from
home’ adaptation, according to her. She pointed out that most women may have to
sacrifice the usage of technology for their husbands or children for chores.
Also, she praised the
recent attempts of the government and other associations for advocating the
rights of the differently-abled. She requests the government to collaborate
with private organizations such as the NDWA to move forward with digitizing the
Ms. Sagar Prasai explained about digital
accessibility and how essential it is to make documents accessible for
all. To ensure accessibility for all, both parties should meet in the middle
For example, if creators
are optimizing information for access to all, a differently-abled person should
have an assistive device to access the information.
However, the concept of
digital accessibility should not be limited to only the disabled, according to
Use of Digital Signature
Mr. Anil Kumar Dutta shared that the government has
been implementing the practice of digital signature. Or, at least is in the
Many government offices
have provisions of online services that allow people to stay at home and avoid
the obligation of physical presence.
Ms. Jaya Luitel highlighted the importance of
security while using online resources and platforms. Sharing a global survey of
women in Media, she explained that the voice of women has been silenced.
However, that is changing but not fast enough.
Both Global and Nepali data
shows that media channels invite men as expert or spokesperson. There is a
minimum presence of women in media in terms of their stories being heard or introducing
them as role models.
She demands that the voices
of marginalized, silenced, and disabled women should be heard. The Story
Kitchen came to be as an alternative platform to amplify such voices, she explained.
Collaboration is the key
Dr. Birendra Raj
PokharelS explained the
fundamentals of accessible technology. It promotes equality,
non-discrimination, and participation.
Furthermore, he stressed
the need for collaboration with private-public entities to bring this matter
into attention. This will help to tackle the accessibility issues and develop
technologies such as apps and GPS to empower and secure the disabled.
Kansakar Karkee, Chairperson, Women in ICT Committee, CAN Federation thanked all the resource persons,
President of CAN Federation, Immediate and Past Presidents, CAN Federation
board as well as executive members, CAN Federation staffs, Participants, technical
teams, including Women in ICT Committee members for their strong support in
organizing the event. She thanked the interpretations as well as note-taker for
their effort in making these deliberations accessible. She opined that this
event will be a milestone event for promoting collaboration between CAN
Federation and Disability right promoting agencies to contribute to the common
goal of making ICTs accessible to all.