ICT accessibility criteria in public procurement in OECD countries - the current situation
Public procurement is the process by which government bodies purchase their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) products and services. Including accessibility criteria in the procurement process may improve employment opportunities in government for people with disabilities and could have flow-on effects for increased accessibility. Various methods of incorporating accessibility criteria in public procurement need to be assessed to ascertain the most effective processes to achieve e-inclusion. This paper outlines a research project investigating the current status of legislation, regulation and policy of ICT accessibility criteria in public procurement in OECD countries. Using mixed-methods research to gather information, the paper draws on contrasting cases for comparative analysis. The research finds that voluntary schemes contributed to the failure of these programs. It is apparent that lack of understanding about ICT accessibility plays a key role. Mandatory processes based on uniform global standards coupled with compliance will have an impact.