December 14, 2023, 13:47

Digital inclusion in Ukraine: what assistive technologies do people with disabilities need today?

Only 17% of surveyed citizens with visual, motor, and other functional impairments claim to have all the assistive technologies they need within reach.

That’s evidenced by the data of the study “Use of Assistive Technology by People with Disabilities”, presented at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

The author of the study, UNDP digital accessibility expert Dmytro Popov, noted that the most commonly used types of assistive technologies include: voice-enabled ATMs (52.8%), voice-enabled healthcare and medical devices (37.5%), more advanced text-to-speech synthesizer tool for Ukrainian language (27%), refreshable Braille display (25.4%), and a paid screen reader software (18.2%).

Based on the survey data, Dmytro Popov explained, it is worth considering setting up a program to partly cover purchasing the assistive technologies solutions, to improve speech synthesizers in Ukrainian, as well as to introduce regulatory framework for ATM system accessibility, to make a website providing objective information about assistive technology product, and also to follow the Mobile First design principle for public digital services, and, in addition to PDF, add text files in MS Word formats to websites.

It is worth mentioning that 307 respondents participated in the online survey, with 55% of interviewers were men and 45% were women. In particular, these are visually impaired citizens (84%), almost half of them are totally blind, citizens with disability in mobility (about 10%), and other groups with functional limitations (about 5%).

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