Understanding the mobile disability gap: Insights on mobile phone access and usage by persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh

GSMA published a report on the mobile disability gap that looks at the potential of mobile phones as assistive technologies (ATs) for persons with disabilities in Kenya and Bangladesh. It examines the gap and barriers to mobile phone ownership experienced by persons with disabilities, the usage patterns of four main mobile-enabled services (voice, SMS, mobile internet and mobile money), and the role of mobile phones to enable access to basic services, such as education, healthcare, transportation, employment and financial services. Some of the key findings of the report include a) the level of mobile phone ownership among persons with disabilities is high and their use mobile-enabled services is similar to that of non-disabled persons; b) there is no clear gap in mobile phone usage between persons with disabilities and nondisabled persons; c) mobile phones play a life-changing role for many persons with disabilities, for example, break some social barriers and isolation, and stimulate their participation. Yet, persons with disabilities face barriers at all stages of the customer journey of mobile phone awareness, access, ownership, and usage; and d) the impact of gender and disability on digital inclusion is large in Bangladesh but almost non-existent in Kenya.