Zambia to improve ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities

LUSAKA: Zambia’s information and technology regulator on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with an agency representing people with disabilities aimed at enhancing access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for people with disabilities.

Person with vision disability using computer with braille display and a computer keyboard.The deal will result in the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) working with the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities in ensuring equal and unfettered access to ICT services by people with disabilities.

Patrick Mutimushi, acting director-general of the regulator said people with disabilities faced a number of challenges in accessing and using ICTs, a situation he said was against the objective of ensuring equal and unfettered access to ICT services.

According to him, no one should be excluded from using ICT gargets following the global impact of ICTs across all sectors, adding that being excluded from the use of technology implies being shut out not only from the information society but also from accessing essential public services.

Ensuring access to ICTs for people with disabilities was a key element of global, regional and national strategies, he added.

Julien Mwape, chairperson of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities said the signing of the agreement was an excitement following challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing and using ICTs.

The collaboration with the regulator was a significant step forward in advancing access to ICTs for people with disabilities, she added.

According to her, people with disabilities need access to ICTs in order to contribute meaningfully to development.

The agreement will allow the two organizations to collaborate on key areas by way of creating a platform where issues and challenges around provision of communication services to people with disabilities will be raised and efforts to resolve them initiated.

It will also encourage the design of accessible ICT products and services among other issues.

Source: Xinhua

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