e-Access: How online tools can promote the rights of people with disabilities

Educational software in Bosnian language
Educational software in Bosnian language

The situation for people with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina is difficult.  No framework law exists to regulate the area of disability, which in practice means that people with disabilities have different rights and benefits depending on where they live.  This has created new migration patterns that often add an additional layer of poverty to those that are already marginalised.

Highlights

  • No framework law exists to regulate the area of disability, which in practice means that people with disabilities have different rights and benefits depending on where they live.
  • A report on e-Accessibility in South Eastern Europe is available, which showcases how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used to remove many barriers to participating in society.
  • The first regional web site for people with visual impairments, www.infoservis.ba has been developed - started by a person with a visual impairment.

In searching for new ways to promote the rights of people with disabilities, UNDP has helped to develop several web based tools and has involved people with disabilities in the design, implementation and testing of these tools, as follows:

A web portal, www.visemogucnosti.info, has been set up where people can report discrimination, share project ideas, suggest changes to policies, and find out about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The portal is essentially a one-stop-shop for people with disabilities, where they can access, in easy-to-read formats, all relevant legislation and information on human rights mechanisms in Bosnia and Herzegovina and internationally.

A report on e-Accessibility in South Eastern Europe is available, which showcases how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used to remove many barriers to participating in society.

Additionally, the first regional database of assistive technologies, dat-see.com, provides a one-stop-shop for e-accessibility for the nine countries in South East Europe. People with disabilities can find out about types, availability and prices for assistive technologies (such as mobility and hearing aid devices, and speech recognition software) in South East Europe and in the European Union (EU), in order to make informed decisions.

Educational software has also been designed, for the first time in the Bosnian language, and has been developed, tested and applied with great success in special education classrooms for children with autism.

The first regional web site for people with visual impairments, www.infoservis.ba has been developed - started by a person with a visual impairment - and includes an online tutorial for people with visual impairments on writing and editing news.

Finally, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed the desire to make Government websites fully accessible, and fundraising is underway to make this happen.

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