Mada e-Accessibility Standards

Mada e-Accessibility Standards

Research article Open access | Available online on: 08 September, 2019 | Last update: 21 January, 2020


Volume 6

Issue 07

Mada Center has worked to localize international digital e-Accessibility standards and make
them available for all institutions and organizations in Qatar to be used as a guide to
applying these standards on various digital platforms. Persons with disabilities are an integral part of
society, with duties and rights. E-Accessibility is one of their key rights under the UN Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 9 – Accessibility). E-Accessibility can be defined as the ease
of use of ICT by persons with disabilities. In this context, ICT is divided into six main domains: Websites,
mobile applications, electronic kiosks and ATMs, electronic documents, media content and text and
video communication services for the deaf. In this article, we will discuss the first three domains.
Web Accessibility means the ability of
persons with disabilities and the elderly
to access, understand, browse, interact
with the Internet, and contribute to the
enrichment of digital content. This is
the primary and more straightforward
definition of web accessibility. Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) provide
a wide range of recommendations to
ensure the accessibility of Web content
which often lead to making it more usable
for all users.
To support the access of persons
with disabilities and older persons to
various digital platforms in accordance
with international standards, Mada
Assistive Technology Center has launched
a national program entitled “E-Access to
Government Websites in Qatar” aimed at
improving the accessibility of websites
in the country, and increasing the rate of
e-Accessibility for persons with disabilities
and the elderly. Since the start of the
the program, 77 capacity building sessions
were offered to 134 web developers
working in Qatar. The positive impact of
this program was reflected in the rate of
e-Accessibility rising from 83% in 2016 to
94% in 2018.
Mobile Phone Apps
A wide range of portable electronic devices
are commonly used by us, but mobile
phones are the most widely used devices,
as they combine a range of technologies
including voice and video calling,
answering machines, clocks and alarms.
The UN Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities imposes general
and special access requirements. Mobile
devices must fit everyone, including the
elderly, persons with disabilities and
others. Developers of these products,
systems and applications must therefore
take into account the full range of user
needs when designing a mobile device and
its applications. Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and other guidelines,
recommendations and tools can be used to
develop accessible mobile phones.
Mada’s role in the field of mobile
applications development is reflected
in ensuring accessibility. For example,
Mada’s cooperation with the Qatari
Ministry of Interior in the development of
“Metrash” application has resulted in that
“Metrash” now is in line with the standards
of accessibility and thus it’s various and
vital services are accessible by to all.
Electronic Kiosks and ATM
Self-service machines are an important
platform for everyone. Self-service
machines can be found widely in
business, public places and government
buildings. Common types are ticket kiosks,
registration kiosks, health care, and ATMs.
However, we often note that they lack
accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
(WCAG 2.1) address accessibility
requirements for electronic kiosks and
ATMs. Also, ADA aims to design and
prepare devices that are accessible to
everyone with no exceptions.
The role of Mada is shown in cooperation
with Qatar Central Bank and other banks
institutions through the “Accessible ATM”
program. A team from Mada Center, in
collaboration with Qatar Central Bank,
evaluated the ATMs and prepared a report
outlining the weaknesses to be developed
and the creation of accessible ATMs to be
used by all.
Mada AT Center is active in this area
through its cooperation with Qatar Central
Bank and other banks operating in the
the country through the “Accessible Banking
Services” program. A team from Mada
Center and a team from Qatar Central
Bank, assessed various ATMs and
prepared a report explaining the areas
which need to be developed to
have ATMs that are accessible to

Share this