There are an estimated 18 million people in Pakistan, who have special needs. Barring some limited initiatives by the government and private organizations, special need people have largely been left out of mainstream development processes, even though they possess the capacity to be highly productive with appropriate support mechanisms.
The Internet offers many new and affordable opportunities to allow special needs people – especially those who are visually and hearing impaired or have motor control difficulties – to be more independent and to contribute productively in the socio-economic development processes. Web accessibility refers to a set of guidelines and tools, that when implemented by either the users or the designers of a website, would remove the obstacles that prevent special needs people from accessing it.
Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau together with Bytes for All are planning to organize a series of workshops in Pakistan in order to evaluate the issue, analyze present status of ‘Web Accessibility’ and suggest actions required to assist people with Visual, Hearing and Speech impairment to access the world wide web.
The first workshop was held on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at Islamabad, Pakistan with an aim to invite people with special needs, assess their accessibility requirements, identify issues / challenges, and come up with a series of proposed solutions on how these could be addressed. Also, an issue paper is intended to be written and presented by a VI (Visually Impaired) person during the workshop.