December 14, 2023, 14:09

The digital inclusion practice in Ukraine may evolve more rapidly than in Europe, but it will take years

When compared with European countries, strengthening digital inclusion in Ukraine may proceed rapidly, but it’s still years away. 

Dmytro Popov, UNDP expert on digital accessibility, expressed his belief, during a presentation of research on digital web accessibility at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“Unfortunately, there’s no way it will happen in a heartbeat. Even if we take the EU as an example, the progress has been slow there too. Only in 2016, a public sector web accessibility directive was adopted, and the requirements for government agencies will come into effect in 2025. Since there is no need for us to develop standards and acts, we already have ready-made practices and can apply them. So I think the proliferation of these technologies may advance faster here. However, it will definitely take years,” he explained.

Dmytro Popov noted that in addition to adopting laws and standards, it is also important to inform and train web accessibility specialists who could implement these efforts in the future.

“Adopting laws and standards is good, but informing people is very important. Now the acute shortage of specialists is noticeable, and by the way, this is a global problem. When preparing the survey analysis, I dived into how research monitoring is done in other countries, all the reports read that they lack web accessibility specialists. Therefore, it’s critical also to support education and training for people to gain skills for inclusive digital participation and specialists who could further implement digital accessibility, apart from only relying on the legislative framework,” he emphasized.

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