IGF 2019 WS #232 Digital Accessibility in Asia-Pacific: How (dis)ABLE are we?

Organizer 1: Waqas Hassan, Internet Society Pakistan Islamabad Chapter
Organizer 2: Amrita Choudhury, CCAOI

Speaker 1: Muhammad Shabbir, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Gunela Astbrink, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Benjz Gerard Sevilla, Government, Asia-Pacific Group

Policy Question(s): 

What is the current level of Policy development for digital accessibility in Asia-Pacific?
Are the accessibility standards being followed by the Government and private sector websites?
What are the best practices/replicable solutions for digital accessibility in Asia-Pacific?
What are the collaboration opportunities for stakeholders to reduce the inclusive inequality in the region?

Relevance to Theme: An issue paper published by Internet Society Asia-Pacific Bureau states that one in six people in the Asia-Pacific region lives with disability which translates to about 650 million disabled men, women and children. True digital inclusion can only be realized if Persons with Disabilities become digital empowered to become more than equals. Barriers to inclusion must be removed in order to give them an opportunity to become a self-sustainable part of the Society. The workshop aims at highlighting these important considerations and pave way for an all-inclusive Internet in South Asia.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The session follows the principles of Internet Governance by bringing the Government, civil society, Persons with Disabilities and Internet experts at one platform to deliberate on the accessibility issue and shape the outlook of Internet in future. When multiple stakeholders sit down and share their perspective on the subject, we expect some useful consensus to be built during the course of session.


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Description: Introduction and scene setting by Moderator (5 min)
Accessibility situation analysis of South Asia & Pakistan (15 min)
Accessibility situation analysis of Southeast Asia & Philippines (15 min)
Accessibility situation analysis of Pacific & Australia (15 min)
Open Discussion on Way Forward (40 min)
This session will be divided into two halves: First 50 minutes will be country case studies about the digital accessibility in different sub-regions of Asia-Pacific. Next 40 minutes will involve audience views where moderator will ask specific Policy related questions arising out of the information disseminated during the first half.

Expected Outcomes: -Due attention to the need of digital accessibility in Asia-Pacific through case studies and situation analysis
-Policy recommendations to the Governments by comparison of best practices in other countries
-Healthy discussion and experience sharing, especially by representatives of developed countries present in the audience
-Start of Policy development process in the countries where digital accessibility is still not part of the national agenda.

Onsite Moderator: 

Waqas Hassan, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator: 

Amrita Choudhury, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Amrita Choudhury, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

We will engage the audience by asking questions about the accessibility situation in their countries. Since 40 minutes have been reserved for open discussion/Q&A, it provides sufficient time for audience to interact with the speakers.

Online Participation: 

We will disseminate the workshop brief/link to the regional and global mailing lists and also within the ISOC chapter network.


GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals