Insights / News

The state of digital accessibility in Middle East and North Africa

Governments in various parts of the Middle East started to pursue policies and adopt measures aimed at facilitating their citizens’ access to public spaces, workplaces, and others. Governments in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, and Oman worked on initiatives like:

  • Activating disability-related policies in the health and labour market sectors.
  • Developing digital platforms for education.
  • Digitalizing many governmental services.
  • Activating national teleworking policies and processes.
  • Allocating funds to support employed citizens’ salaries.
  • Allocating funds to support small and sole proprietorships.

While these initiatives have greatly escalated the issue of accessibility and pinned it as a priority for businesses globally, there is still an issue of adopting proper physical and digital accessibility standards. Many Businesses in the Middle East are still not aware of how to implement accessibility in their work environments, products, and services. Some businesses do beat the “Accessibility” drum, yet without ensuring the effectiveness of what they adopted as accessibility measures. Other businesses still depend on ad-hoc solutions and still do not address the inclusion of persons with disabilities strategically. This is where governments need to take urgent steps to implement accessibility laws and standards along with ensuring that they are properly adopted by businesses and entities from all sectors.

Today, the business case for accessibility has become stronger than ever and smart businesses will take this opportunity to run this very competitive and harder than ever race for survival.