Nairobi Kenya — Kenya has become the first country in Africa to develop a digital accessibility standard for persons with disabilities.
This is after the Kenya Bureau of Standards(KEBS) announced a partnership with inABLE to develop a Kenyan quality mark on digital products and services
The new standard, gazetted on May 13 is set to ensure that digitization is accessible to Persons with Disabilities, older persons largely disconnected from most e-government services, and business-owned digital platforms.
"I am pleased to note that today we witness yet another milestone in our Country's quest for disability inclusion. The standard provides a framework for gauging and ensuring public ICT products and services are sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities," said Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry Of Public Service.
This comes in response to the National Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Policy of Kenya of 2020.
Policy Makers, regulators, providers, procurers, and users of ICT products and services are intended users of this standard.
Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director said, "To accommodate all people in the society, inclusive design and universal design principles should be integrated into digital products and services."
The Standards define the functional accessibility criteria for ICT products and services, including software and hardware requirements as well as service conformance, and are intended for use with web-based, non-web, and hybrid technologies.
Speaking during the event, inABLE Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika remarked that the standards are a transition for public and private organizations that must now prioritize digital accessibility compliance to ensure everyone, especially PWDs access websites, mobile apps, and other digital resources.
Assistive Technology (AT) is widely adopted to ensure that Persons with Disabilities can access products and services. The combination of accessible ICT and AT enhances function, independence, and overall wellbeing of Persons with Disabilities.
The development and implementation of these standards is in line with the global trend of technology that makes it possible for people to achieve more.