December 7, 2020 – GSMA, a London-based organization representing mobile network operators worldwide, released new digital inclusion guidelines called the "Principles for driving the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities." Pointing to World Health Organization research finding that out of one billion people with disabilities, only 10% have access to assistive technology. The GSMA developed the guidelines to encourage the mobile industry to close this gap. The guidelines outline three core principles: embracing disability inclusion at every level of an organization, understanding how to reach and serve people with disabilities, and finally delivering inclusive products and services. GSMA recommends improved data analyses and customer research to better understand customers with disabilities' pain points and needs. They also suggested developing mobile products that are affordable and accessible for all and training customer service agents in the use and delivery of such devices.
The guidelines have been supported by several key mobile operators and received funding from the U.K. government. Going forward, the goal is to have mobile operators and stakeholders endorse the guidelines to inspire a global effort towards inclusion in the entire mobile value chain. [Source: Clare McDonald, computerweekly.com]