G3ict The Global Initiative for Inclusive Accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTS) released its Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation (DARE) Index 2017-2018 last month. The index measures the progress made by the 177 countries, that signed the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), in promoting and implementing digital accessibility.

The DARE Index includes 3 categories of variables in each participant country: country commitments (legal, regulatory, policies and programs), country capacity to implement (organization, processes, resources) and actual digital accessibility outcomes for persons with disabilities in ten areas of products and services.

Following, we summarize its results.

1. Country Commitments

These results show the considerable impact of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on the progress of countries legislations, policies and regulations. While a minority of countries had a general legislation protecting the rights of Persons with Disabilities prior to 2006, today 84% of the countries have legislation in this matter. Similarly, legal definitions such as “Reasonable Accommodation”, which existed in the legislation of 5 countries prior to the CRPD launch, is now present in almost two-third of the countries surveyed.

Country commitment Global Average % of countries with Law/Regulation/Policy in Place 
CRPD Ratification 93%
General law protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 84%
Reasonable Accommodation Definition 63%
Definition of accessibility includes ICTs 49%
Universal Service Obligation includes People with Disabilities 35%
Country Commitments Global Average  65%

49% of countries have formally included Accessibility of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their definition of accessibility requirements compared to a handful when the CRPD was launched in 2006.

2. Country Capacity to Implement Digital Accessibility

Country Capacity to Implement Global Average of Countries with Implementation Resources and Processes 
Government Agency for Persons with Disabilities 84%
Government Agency for ICT 99%
Process to involve Persons with Disabilities in Policy Making on ICT Accessibility 23%
Participation in Standard Development Organizations 40%
ICT Accessibility Courses Available at Major Universities in the Country 37%
Country Capacity to Implement Global Progress Average 57%

It is disappointing to see the lack of involvement of persons with disabilities in the development of digital accessibility policies and programs. Without their involvement, the policies and programs created to address their needs are likely to fail and be discontinued. 

Regarding ICT Accessibility Courses, just 37% of the countries have those available. This means that students in 63% of the countries graduate in computer sciences or related disciplines without knowledge of ICT accessibility. Several organizations are trying to close this gap, such as TeachAccess, which develops a college level accessibility curriculum, or the accessible AMAC MOOC in the United States. Meanwhile, in Europe, MOOCs have also been launched for university level students and cooperate in matters of curriculum. 

For organizations and professionals seeking training and certification in ICT accessibility, G3ict promotes the programs of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

3. Global levels of implementation by ICT accessibility area

Niveles de implementación y resultados por país Ninguna política  Políticas sin implementación Nivel mínimo Nivel parcial Nivel importante Nivel completo
Web 55% 1% 20% 21% 4% 0%
TV 50% 3% 23% 21% 4% 0%
Mobile 67% 3% 14% 14% 2% 2%
E-Books 58% 2% 25% 15% 0% 0%
Promotion of Internet Usage by Persons with Disabilities 65% 2% 19% 14% 0% 0%
Inclusive ICTs in Education 52% 5% 22% 19% 2% 1%
Enabling ICTs for Employment  59% 3% 22% 13% 3% 1%
E-Government and Smart Cities 61% 4% 14% 17% 4% 0%
Assistive Technology and ICTs for Independent Living 66% 1% 17% 14% 2% 1%
Public Procurement 67% 1% 15% 16% 0% 0%
Global Average all areas of ICTs 60% 2.5% 19.1% 16.4% 2.1% 0.5%

Levels of implementation of ICT accessibility are globally very low, with 38.1% of countries in the process of implementing policies at various stages.  Only 2.5% of the countries report that they have a policy but that it’s not implemented. This seems to indicate that countries do try to implement ICT accessibility policies once they are adopted. 


Source: “DARE Index 2017-2018: Global Progress by CRPD States Parties.”  G3ict, November 2018, https://g3ict.org/publication/accessibility-policy?submitted=email


back to index blog news