To enable persons with disabilities, the United Nations (UN) has adapted one clause that empowers disabled people to access ICT in the convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities.
The convention says that states Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to Information and Communications, including Information and Communications Technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. The convention, under discussion for three years, now goes to an editing stage to ensure the language is consistent with other UN conventions.
It will then be put to the nations of the UN for ratification. The government’s Digital Strategy already has provisions concerning the removal of the barriers to access by disabled users to ICT. New Zealand’s ambassador to the UN, Don McKay, chaired the ad hoc committee, which drafted the convention.