Wireless RERC Publishes Mobile Phone Accessibility Review

22 Feb 2019

Wireless RERC has published a Mobile Phone Accessibility Review as input to the US Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) biennial evaluation of the impact of the commission's regulations that implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and measure compliance. The report provides 'input on the state of accessibility of “mobile” or wireless services, including basic phones and feature phones (collectively referred to herein as non-smartphones), as well as smartphones'. The report contains comparative analyses and graphs showing different accessibility features on a variety of different devices, addressing different types of disabilities including vision, hearing, cognition, and mobility/dexterity.

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Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).

According to UN estimates, there are 1 billion people with disabilities in the world. The factors that contribute to increasing this number include war and destruction by natural as well as human causes; poverty and unhealthy living conditions; and the absence of knowledge about disability, its causes, prevention, and treatment. The Internet provides new possibilities for social inclusion and for safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities.

 

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