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Kenya joins the world in marking global accessibility awareness day amid calls for more inclusion

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The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is rooting for the realization of disability inclusion on both public and private digital platforms as the world celebrates global accessibility awareness day.

KNCHR Chairperson Roseline Odede says alternative text descriptions for meaningful images and use of the keyboard instead of a mouse to interact with interactive element must be provided for those with visual impairment.

Odede says the day is important as it draws attention to the need for persons with disabilities to experience web-based services, content and other digital products on an equal basis with others without disabilities.

“Closed captioning for video presentations and visual indicators in place of audio cue for those with hearing impairments, use of alternative keyboards, eye control or other adaptive hardware to help in typing and navigating on devices for those with motor disabilities as well as use of organized screen, consistent navigation and the use of plain language instead of heavy jargon for those with cognitive disabilities needs to be realized.” Observed Odede.

According to Odede, Kenya has made significant progress in entrenching disability inclusion on digital platforms including use of sign language interpretation and captioning in news broadcasts, considerable number of disability-friendly websites with accessibility tools such as speech narration, large text, zooming capabilities without affecting functionality and others.

“The Commission welcomes the Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2023 provision on accessibility to information and communications, and calls for its expeditious enactment into law by Parliament.” Said Odede.

Marked every third Thursday of May, Global accessibility awareness day focuses on digital access and inclusion for the more than one billion people who live with disabilities or impairments.