Zambian communications authority Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) has warned mobile service providers against excluding persons with disabilities in their service provision.
ZICTA consumer protection officer Edgar Mlauzi said Zambia was party to the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities hence the country must uphold their rights in all sectors, including the ICT sector.
The objective of the UN Convention is to ‘promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.” It also promotes respect for their inherent dignity.
Mlauzi added that mobile phone service providers look to print scratch cards in Braille, while other ICT providers must also make their centres accessible to persons with disabilities.
“We need to get to a level where all post offices and internet cafes countrywide should be accessible to people with disabilities by way of accessible wheelchair ways and other means,” he said, as cited by Times of Zambia.
Mlauzi emphasised that service providers are obligated respect the UN charter on universal design of products, environments, and services to be usable looking to exclude assistive devices for certain groups of persons with disabilities.
The authority enforces the law to see to it that service providers comply with the set up regulations in the ICT sector, he said, adding that service providers must promote protection of rights of children.
A ZICTA team toured Zambia;s Northern Province to conduct consumer awareness programmes. Similar exercises were carried out in Muchinga Province last week.