Mobile for Development Blog

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Improving accessibility for vulnerable populations – the mobile industry’s efforts

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Smartphones are so convenient. From reading a map to paying a bill or making a business deal, to sending schoolwork or ordering medication and groceries, they help us with our everyday lives, across all the generations. And now, this portal in the palm of your hand is ...

The digital inclusion of persons with disabilities: Key learnings from our recent disability inclusive research

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Data on the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is often scarce and unreliable. The GSMA Assistive Tech programme has been working to address this gap, specifically focusing on understanding access and use of mobile ...

Digital Inclusion at MWC Barcelona 2022

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MWC Barcelona and 4YFN 2022 kicks off on Monday 28 February and runs until Thursday 3 March. When you’re at MWC in person, you very quickly realise that it really is the world’s largest and most influential connectivity event. The impressive exhibits and conference agenda ...

Mobile money can drive the financial inclusion of persons with disabilities in Ghana

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Over the past decade, the proliferation of mobile money across Sub-Saharan Africa has been a catalyst for the financial inclusion of millions of those previously underserved by traditional banks. More than half of the globe’s active mobile money accounts are now located in ...

Announcing the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech Grantees

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15 per cent of the world’s population, live with a form of disability, 80 per cent of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). For persons living with a disability, access to assistive technology (AT) can be life changing. Yet around 90 per cent of persons with ...

GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Technology: Highlights from the Top Pitches

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According to the World Bank more than a billion people worldwide, or 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with a form of disability. It is estimated that 80 per cent live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The World Health Organisation also estimates that ...

Promoting inclusive digital agriculture: GSMA’s new self-assessment tool

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Digital agriculture solutions have the potential to provide farmers with improved access to markets, information and farm equipment. However, many farmers, including those with disabilities, still face barriers to accessing these benefits. Agritech companies and other ...

Driving digital accessibility: the mobile industry perspective

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Having worked on the Assistive Tech Programme for almost two years, it’s become habit to notice accessibility and inaccessibility all around me. A few days ago I was staring at the braille on my daughter’s medication packaging and it ...

Driving inclusion of farmers with disabilities through digital agriculture

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Around 70 per cent of world’s population relies upon food produced by smallholder farmers[1]. However, many farmers experience poor access to services, markets and assets that impact their livelihoods and leaves them vulnerable to external events like climate change. Digital ...

Providing meaningful feedback to research participants with visual and hearing impairments

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In February and March 2020, the GSMA Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation (M4H) team worked with partners, including UNHCR, Safaricom and Butterfly Works, in Nairobi to better understand how both Kenyans and refugees with visual and hearing impairments use their mobile phones. ...

Once upon a time… and the importance of telling new stories

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We all need a good story once in a while. I had the opportunity over the recent winter break to dive into the realm of old folk and fairy tales, journeys of characters leaving their homes behind to go on an adventure, overcoming obstacles, being patient and being good, ...

The Mobile Disability Gap Report 2020

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Through our previous research, in the GSMA Assistive Tech programme, we learned that mobile phones have the potential to be a life changing technology for persons with disabilities. However, the evidence in the latest Mobile Disability Gap Report 2020, shows that persons ...

Digital accessibility in education and employment during COVID-19

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This blog forms part of a blog series to be published over the coming weeks as we investigate how the digital and social exclusion of persons with disabilities are heightened during the pandemic and how mobile and digital solutions can combat the barriers. You can read part ...

Use of digital solutions is key in a disability inclusive response to COVID-19

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This blog forms part of a blog series to be published over the coming weeks as we investigate how the digital and social exclusion of persons with disabilities are heightened during the pandemic and how mobile and digital solutions can combat the barriers.  The COVID-19 ...

GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech Launch

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The GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech is open to innovators addressing the varied needs of people with disabilities and tackling the barriers to digital inclusion.

We need to support growth of digital assistive tech innovation in Africa and Asia

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The GSMA Assistive Tech team conducted research to identify digital solutions emerging from Africa and Asia that are addressing the needs of people with disabilities.

How to use mobile accessibility features: A guide for using mobile with a visual or hearing impairment

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This is the second blog in a 6-part series to mark the re-launch of the GSMA Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit (MISTT). You can read Part 1 here. This series will deep dive into each of the new MISTT modules (Online Safety, Mobile Money, Android, Accessibility Features ...

The digital divide at the intersection of gender and disability

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Our GSMA Connected Women and Assistive Tech teams analysed data from the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019 to better understand the characteristics of digital inclusion of women with disabilities. The message is clear: women with disabilities are disproportionately ...

Adapting services for digital inclusion during COVID-19: Grameenphone’s Sign-Line

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone is digitally included. However, mobile internet and digital content are out of reach for many.

Supporting mobile operators to ideate solutions for customers with disabilities

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From research conducted by the Assistive Tech team last year, we know that a mobile disability gap exists in some low- and middle-income countries and, while some mobile operators are actively working to increase the inclusion of persons with disabilities, others need ...