Assessing the Barriers to Accessing ICT to People with Disability in Tanzania
Persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups in Tanzania. Like in many other countries, they are often under-educated, untrained, unemployed or underemployed, and poor. As such, they face numerous challenges including limited access to transport and information, lack of access to public services and premises, inadequate representation, and negative attitudes of others at home, school and at work. Figures from the 2012 National Population and Housing Census show that there were 3.6 million persons with disability in Tanzania, representing 8% of the total population. The internet and related technologies have the potential to make significant improvements in the lives of people with disabilities, through empowerment, access to information, and enhancing their social and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them. However, for this to happen, the rights of persons with disabilities must be provided for in laws and policies, and countries must take deliberate steps to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy these rights, have unfettered access to quality information and ICT, and are protected from all forms of discrimination. This study presents an analysis of the legal and policy framework relating to disability, ICT and access to information in Tanzania. It highlights the challenges in access and use of ICT by persons with disabilities and makes recommendations on how access to information and ICT can be enhanced.