The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) alongside inABLE has launched Kenya Standards (KS 2952-1:2022 Kenya Standard — Accessibility-ICT products and services — Part 1-Requirements, First Edition and KS 2952-2:2022 Kenya Standard — Accessibility-ICT products and services — Part 2 –Conformance, First Edition) in Africa. The announcement was made at the Inclusive Africa Conference that was held at the end of May.
The new standard was first published in the Kenya Gazette at the start of May.
Its goal is to ensure that Public and Private sector digital products and services are accessible to Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s), older persons largely disconnected from most e-government services, and business-owned digital platforms.
The standards were developed by the Joint Working Group on Accessibility of ICT Products and Services for Persons with Disabilities under the guidance of the Standards Projects Committee of the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
They are in response to the National Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Policy of Kenya of 2020.
The standard provides a framework for gauging and ensuring public ICT products and services are sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities – Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service
The Standards specify the functional accessibility requirements applicable to ICT products and services covering requirements and conformance with both software and hardware as well as services are covered and intended for use with web-based, non-web, and hybrid technologies.
Lastly, the standard will be used by a lot of people and groups, including policy makers, regulators, providers, procures, and users of ICT products and services.
Speaking during the event, Prof. Margaret Kobia, Ph.D., EGH, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service said, “I am pleased to note that today we witness yet another milestone in our Country’s quest for disability inclusion. This is the launch of the Kenya Standard (KS ISO 2952) on Accessibility for ICT Products and Services for persons with disabilities. This launch makes Kenya the first country in Africa to develop a digital accessibility standard for persons with disabilities.”
Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director, stated, “To accommodate all people in the society, inclusive design and universal design principles should be integrated into digital products and services.”