Internet: A Window to the World for Persons with Disabilities - UN in Russia launches a new website adapted for persons with disabilities

On 19 October 2007, in view of the annually marked United Nations Day the UN Office in the Russian Federation organizes a launch of its new website adapted for persons with disabilities.

Adaptation of the UN website for people with disabilities was carried out in accordance with international standards developed by the Web Accessibility Committee of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As a result, the website that has English and Russian versions, has become one of few websites with full access for blind and visually impaired users in Russia and globally.

The question of accessibility to electronic means of communication has become central at UN events dedicated to the rights of disabled persons and modern information and communication technology (ICT). In Russia, this issue has gained importance in view of the coming ratification of the recently adopted international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the same time, there is a better understanding that ICT for disabled persons is not only an essential instrument for integration in the life of society, but also a significant operational factor that allows these people making a valuable contribution for the benefit of the society.

A global audit of web accessibility of one hundred most popular websites in twenty countries of the world commissioned by the United Nations in 2006 showed that most of them cannot be accessed by many persons with disabilities. Only three websites – of the Spanish Government, the German Chancellor and the British Prime Minister – received Single-А accessibility rating, with some websites within grasping distance of this level. However, the majority of websites require significant changes to comply with de facto international standards on web accessibility.

The United Nations Organization hopes that the new UN in Russia website will stimulate further adaptation of more Internet resources for persons with disabilities at a minimum cost and keeping websites user friendly and informative.

Representatives of government agencies, the United Nations Organization, non-governmental organizations and business community will take part in the event.

The presentation will take place at 11 am on 19 October 2007 in the RIA Novosti press centre at 4, Zubovsky blvd., Moscow. Accreditation: tel. 981 64 72, 637 50 19. Please see a tentative agenda attached.


For additional information please contact Victoria Zotikova, Communications Officer, UN in Russia, at (+7 495) 787 21 15 or by email: