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Meeting on draft National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The sixth meeting of the Sub-Committee set up for drafting the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility was held in New Delhi recently. The meeting was conducted to discuss suggestions received from various Ministries and Departments on the draft National Policy, circulated by the Department of Information Technology (D.I.T.), in August last year.

During the meeting, mostly all the Ministries expressed support and gave suggestions for improvement and mentioned some special focus areas. Only the Ministry of Finance expressed reservations as to the need of a separate policy on the grounds that existing initiatives could be used to promote accessibility. However, other members pointed out that there are hardly any policy initiatives and that Government, by virtue of its ratification of U.N.C.R.P.D. and also by virtue of mentions made in its own Eleventh Five Year Plan, is required to formulate policy on I.C.T. accessibility.

The Committee also appreciated the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to create awareness through media by drawing up a communication strategy and an action plan to raise awareness.

At the end of the meeting, it was decided that D.I.T. will circulate the final draft policy with incorporated inputs in track changes format to the Committee members.

D.I.T. through the Centre for Internet and Society had undertaken a global research on the internet and electronic accessibility policies of 17 countries and the European Union (E.U.). More information on the research is available on www.e-accessibilitytoolkit.org.