The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), in partnership with inABLE, launched the first-ever Kenyan standards (KS 2952-1:2022) on accessibility of ICT products and services for people with disabilities in Africa at the Inclusive Africa conference .
The new standard, published on May 13, 2022, aims to ensure that public and private sector digital products and services are accessible to people with disabilities, older people who are largely disconnected from most online government services and business-owned digital platforms. .
Speaking at the event at the hotel in Nairobi, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Civil Service, Gender, Elderly Affairs and Special Programs, Margaret Kobia, said: “I am happy to note that today we are witnessing a new milestone in our country’s quest for the inclusion of people with disabilities. This is the launch of the Kenyan standard (KS ISO 2952) on the accessibility of ICT products and services for people with disabilities.
Kobia said the launch makes Kenya the first country in Africa to develop a digital accessibility standard for persons with disabilities, with the standard providing a framework to assess and ensure public ICT products and services are responsive to the needs of people. People with Disabilities.
“To accommodate all members of society, inclusive design and universal design principles must be embedded in digital products and services,” said KEBS Chief Executive Officer Lt. Col. (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini.
“KEBS commends all industry partners and stakeholders who have worked effectively and collaboratively to develop clear standards to inform the implementation framework on disability inclusion, including improved access to ICT, products and services,” Njiraini added.
According to Executive Director Irene Mbari-Kirika, inABLE “Accessibility Standards – ICT products and services are a game-changer for public and private organizations who now need to prioritize digital accessibility compliance to ensure everything the world, especially people with disabilities, can access their websites, mobile apps and other digital resources”.
The standards specify functional accessibility requirements for ICT products and services covering requirements and compliance for both software and hardware as services are covered and intended for use with web-based, non-web and hybrid technologies.
The development and implementation of these standards are in line with the global trend of technology enabling people to do more. Assistive technology (AT) is widely adopted to ensure people with disabilities can access products and services. The combination of accessible ICT and AT improves the function, independence and general well-being of people with disabilities.
By Hamdi Mohammad