Driving the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities: Policy considerations for low- and middle-income countries

A study was conducted on enhancing digital inclusion for people with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. It emphasizes integrating disability perspectives into policies, addressing barriers to inclusion, collaboration for sharing best practices, and making recommendations like raising awareness, improving affordability of devices, providing targeted training, supporting relevant content development, and ensuring online safety.

GSMA published a study on Driving the Digital Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities: Policy considerations for low- and middle-income countries which outlines a framework for action to increase digital inclusion for persons with disabilities. The study hinges on recent gathering data and evidence on the mobile disability gap alongside a policy review in 28 countries across Africa and Asia by a) integrating a disability-inclusion perspective into relevant policies, b) addressing the barriers to digital inclusion, c) working together and sharing good practices and lessons. The study is concluded with a number of recommendations to address current barriers to digital inclusion and support effective policy implementation including:

  • Raising awareness of the accessibility and usability needs of persons with disabilities across a range of stakeholders;
  • Improving the affordability of smartphones and mobile data services;
  • Raising awareness of the range of skills needed to inform targeted training interventions;
  • Supporting the development of relevant content, as well as the growth of innovative, local, digital AT ecosystems; and
  • Providing persons with disabilities with sufficient safeguards and mechanisms to enable a safe and secure online experience.