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11.1 Scenario

There has been a spurt in development of mobile applications due to shift to digital governance. This has empowered citizens like never before. Most of the mobile platforms come bundled with assistive technologies which has been a boon for persons with disabilities. Developers should give due consideration to platform specific features including accessibility in order to ensure rich and useful experience for all users.

Government initiatives such as the Digital India campaign are increasingly delivering basic functions of governance through information technologies. In the past year, the government, private sector and the world at large have embraced mobile applications as a preferred medium for user interactions and transactions.

In addition, the overall app market in India has also grown manifold. The users are downloading apps for accessing various everyday services like transportation, communication, health and entertainment.However, for persons with disabilities, many of these apps, and consequently the services they provide, are inaccessible and often impossible to use.

The Government of India has recognized that accessibility is a concern which it needs to address if it has to engage comprehensively and effectively with the public. The Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW 2009), the National Policy on Universal Electronics Accessibility (2013) and most recently the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 all require compliance with web accessibility standards and provision of public information and resources in accessible electronic format. The increasing adoption of mobile as an engagement platform hence necessitates the adoption of guidelines to ensure that applications are accessible to and usable for persons with disabilities.