Persons with disabilities and access to information and communication services
This research was based on three interconnected and interrelated levels of analysis:
1 – The first analysis contemplates international laws regarding the rights of persons with disabilities and accessibility to online environments, including their regional and national specifications.
2 – The second analysis provides a retrospective view of the research process. It identifies stakeholders and assesses the fieldwork done, which took place from December 2018 to June 2019. It also addresses academic and technical discussions and methodological redefinitions typical of any research process.
3 – The third is the most important level of analysis, as it involved people’s participation of users with disabilities who interacted with digital technologies under a predefined context.
• Disability is a Human Rights issue. It is a “social construction”. There are social and cultural barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully exercising their citizenship rights. This approach to disabilities is known as social model.
• The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been incorporated by Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile and must be applied transversally along with national laws and the standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to enact laws and design public policies for the digital environment.
• States must be accountable and make a commitment by allocating resources to strengthen existing scopes of action and create new areas for developing active policies promoting web accessibility. No legal text is sufficient on its own merit to transform social reality or promote social justice and inclusion.
• States must prepare and provide statistical data regarding disability, with a special focus on information and communication technologies. • States must establish and make public audit agencies in charge of monitoring mechanisms and supervising applicable laws as well as the relevant public policies.
• Persons with disabilities and the organizations they belong to must be treated as priority stakeholders in all processes involving the analysis, adoption or assessment of laws, lines of action and public policies relative to the access of information and communication services in online environments. • Civil society as a whole must get involved in promoting the necessary cultural and legal changes using the mechanisms of engagement available in each country for citizens. • The public and private sectors must promote and finance researches furthering and improving web accessibility conditions for persons with disabilities.
• The syllabuses of courses of studies that are strategic for the inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWD) must be revised so as to include a broad notion of accessibility as the transversal axis of professional practice.