Assessing the Barriers to Accessing ICT by People with Disability in Kenya

This study has presented an analysis of the current legal and policy framework in relation to ICT, access to information and disability in Kenya. It has also presented the realities of access to and use of ICT for persons with disabilities including the use of mobile phones and the challenges of interfaces and e-government services. While there are robust policies and institutions set up for the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, in reality, these have many shortcomings. While ICT can promote access to information by providing and transforming information into different formats, such as from visual to audio and vice versa, if the needs of persons with disabilities are not considered when developing content, they may not be able to access the content. Access to ICT including smartphones generally correlates with access to education. Persons with disabilities could benefit from the use of internet-enabled devices. Access to education and such devices could enable persons with disabilities to gain ICT skills and empower them to compete in the job market. In seeking to establish what strategies could be adopted to enhance sustainability of ICT access and use by persons with disabilities, the study found that affirmative action and policies on persons with disabilities’ access and use of ICT is a useful way to achieve ICT access and usability among persons with disabilities. Further, implementing policies that provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to access ICT including tax waivers on ICT would be a progressive move. The study also confirmed that there is the need for service providers to be versed with the Kenya Sign Language (KSL) to help realise the constitutional recognition of KSL as an official language (Article 120(1)) in which the business of parliament may be conducted.