Funka in Kenya
During the last week of October, Funka, G3ict and the local NGO InAble, performed a two day-workshop on procurement policies and standards for digital accessibility. The workshops were sponsored by the World Bank under the Kenya Accountable Devolution Program.
Kenya has ratified the UN Convention on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities and developed a set of policies and regulations to better include persons with disabilities in society. The goal of this assignment was to provide policymakers with a roadmap for adopting a Kenyan national ICT accessibility standard and procurement policy.
The first workshop was held with procurement officers at county level. Susanna Laurin from Funka and James Thurston from G3ict shared experiences from the EU and U.S. around procurement legislation, implementation and enforcement, with a specific focus on the EN301549. After lunch, participants got the opportunity to use the standard in group exercises based on different procurement scenarios and specific tasks.
It was very rewarding to see that the audience, where many were quite new to the topic of accessibility, started using the EN-standard after just a half day of training, says Susanna Laurin, Chief Research & Innovation Officer at Funka.
The participants of the second workshop were national policy makers and representatives of disabled persons organisations. The program was more focused on policy and how experiences made in the EU and U.S. could potentially inspire similar work in Kenya. Lively and constructive round table discussions lead to important results that can form the basis for a process leading to a more inclusive society.
This kind of assignments really show the power of the EN-standard, says Susanna Laurin. We have been doing similar work in Mexico and Australia, and more countries are preparing for adoption as well.