Innovative Policies 2014 regard different aspects of Article 9 of the CRPD – Accessibility: Physical environment, transportation, information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, as well as other facilities and services open or provided to the public.


Australia: Development aid as key enabler for accessibility

Woman at an accessible tube well  © Rosemary McKay, DFAT

Development for All: Towards A Disability-Inclusive Australian Aid Program

Most of the one billion persons with disability live in the Global South. Development aid plays a key role in improving their daily lives. Among the countries who give the most official development assistance, about 134 billion USD in 2011, only a few have mainstreamed disability into their development programming. Australia is one of those few.


China: Hong Kong’s retrofitting and access coordinator programme

To ensure that the design of barrier-free facilities meets their needs,
works departments arranged site visits with organisations of persons
with disabilities to elicit their feedback. © Labour and Welfare Bureau,
Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,
The People's Republic of China

Access Coordinator & Officer Scheme and Barrier-Free Access & Facilities Retrofitting Programme

Hong Kong has established programmes that heavily invest in making existing premises and facilities accessible, supported by awareness-raising campaigns within departments and accessibility officers that give assistance to persons with disabilities.


Colombia: Internet for 500,000 disadvantaged Colombians

Innovative Policy 2014 from Colombia: The internet-strategy Plan Vive Digital promotes inclusive and participatory digital accessible environments. © MINTIC 2013

Plan Vive Digital: Technology in the Life of Every Colombian

Regarding internet access, many countries in the Global South lag significantly behind, as the connectivity of the population is very low. Where there are investments in information technology, they regularly do not address the inclusion of vulnerable groups. In Colombia, this is different.


Germany: Mandatory barrier free construction in Berlin

Cover of the handbook Berlin - Design for All - Accessible
Public Buildings © Senate Department for Urban Development
and the Environment, City of Berlin

Berlin - Design for All: Accessible Public Buildings and Public Outdoor Space

Berlin’s administration has published comprehensive handbooks on barrier-free construction, that have been developed together with civil society and are mandatory for all Berlin State construction projects.


India: Copyright exception for accessible formats

Sonu Gogna is blind person in an organisation converting books into DAISY © Saksham

Copyright Amendment Act No. 27

Copyright constitutes one of the most challenging barriers in the access to information of persons with sensory impairments. Among the 50 countries with copyright exemptions, India’s approach stands out as it is inclusive and non-bureaucratic, catering to the needs of persons with disabilities living in the Global South.


Solo City (Indonesia): Access to transport that can be enforced

An accessible bus
station in Solo City ©
Sunarman Sukamto,
CBR Solo

Standard of Accessibility of Public Transportation, Information & Communication

Not many cities in the Global South have enforceable accessibility standards concerning their transportation services. The Standard of City of Solo is legally binding and uncommon in that it also includes provisions for accessible information and communication.


Ireland: Accessible services for energy customers

Image from the toolkit for SWiFT 9:2012 Universal Design for
Energy Suppliers © CEUD/NDA

Swift 9:2012 Universal Design for Energy Suppliers

Ireland’s Standard SWiFT 9 has been the first standard adopted in the energy sector worldwide that obliges energy suppliers to make all their communications accessible. It includes all written, face-to-face, telephone and video communication, and all electronic and web-based communication.


Japan: Cheaper mortgages for accessible homes

Experiments of simulated bathtub use with handrails in Japan ©
Satoshi Kose

Housing Mortgage Scheme for the Ageing Future

Addressing the need for accessible private housing is highly relevant to many countries that are experiencing an ageing society. Japan incentivises individuals and housing providers to build dwellings that respect requirements on accessibility and usability by offering them lower interest rates.


Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): Monitoring and enforcing accessibility

Access audit of the alternatives routes from the transportation hub
to the headquarters of Kuala Lumpur City Hall © Kuala Lumpur
City Hall

Access Audits under the Action Plan towards Kuala Lumpur as Accessible City

The City of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has set up an implementation framework for its accessibility standards for the built environment that includes a comprehensive monitoring and enforcement system, from design to postconstruction.


Norway: Universal design in non-discrimination law

Outside Oslo central station, the edges of the steps were marked due
to complaints of a breach of § 9 © Berit Vegheim

Anti-Discrimination and Accessiblity Act & Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud and Tribunal

Only a few countries require the application of universal design and establish that inaccessibility is a matter of discrimination. In Europe, Norway is, along with Spain, one of those countries that actively promote both concepts and practice in universal design. In Norway universal design is an enforceable legal standard.


Qatar: Comprehensive eAccessibility Policy

Welcome area of the Mada Centre in Doha, Qatar © Mada

National E-Accessibility Policy

Digital exclusion is widespread. In many countries accessible websites, digital content, kiosks, and emergency services are not available. One of the biggest challenges the Arab world faced was that Arabic did not feature in assistive technology. Qatar’s eAccessibility Policy is well on the way to reducing a number of the most severe barriers.

South Africa

South Africa: Inclusive design of Cape Town’s Bus System

Universal access
of the MyCiTi
system in Cape
Town, South
Africa © Guy
Davies, Disability

Universal Access Policy of the Myciti Integrated Rapid Transport System

Since the first Bus Rapid Transit System was developed as an alternative to the more expensive underground in Curitiba, Brazil, similar systems have been enthusiastically deployed in 147 cities across six continents, primarily in the Global South. Cape Town Bus System stands out for its commitment and ability to create accessibility.


Spain: Public-private partnership for accessibility

Avila's accessible city wall - a project of the public-private
partnership © City Council of Avila

Framework Agreement between the Institute of the Elderly and Social Services and Fundacion ONCE

In Spain, the world’s biggest public-private partnership between the government and civil society concerning universal accessibility has been established, enabling not only millions of Euros of investment but a continuous flow of information and expertise between all stakeholders.


Uganda: Mandatory accessibility standards

Accessibility Auditing and Advocacy in Uganda © UNAPD

Obligatory Accessibility Standards

In many countries in the Global South, accessibility standards do not exist. In the few countries where they exist, they are very often not legally binding, not enforced and not monitored. Uganda is among the first sub- Saharan countries to have developed their own accessibility standards. Uganda’s standards are mandatory for school construction projects.

United Kingdom

London 2012 (UK): The most inclusive Olympics and Paralympics ever

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
© Mark Todd

Accessibility Policy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

The Olympics and Paralympics are among the world’s most spectacular sporting events and represent a massive opportunity to spread a message to a vast audience. London 2012 approached the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time as one event with exemplary accessibility as a key theme and set a high standard for all events to come.