Editorial Information: Publications Office of the European Union ISBN 978-92-76-42553-3
The document is a report on the policy and practices of digital transformation and digitalization in Cyprus with regards to accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Though the rhetoric of the national disability strategies and actions plans includes accessibility and digital inclusion current policies and practices do not comply yet to any standards, legislation and guidelines. In addition, there does not yet seem to be any remarkable progress in digital transformation developments in Cyprus, and as the implementation of emerging and innovative technologies is still in the very early stages, there is little evidence of the experiences of persons with disabilities.
Recent experience comes mostly from the sudden and forced shift to digital, online and distance solutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this has not been very positive. For example, in education, children with disabilities were further marginalised and stigmatised, as digital-enhanced learning and distance education during lockdown periods failed to include all students.
Lack of access to appropriate technology, inaccessible digital content and learning materials and a lack of digital competency on the part of educators and students, especially in relation to inclusive education, resulted in practices of exclusion and sometimes in no education being provided at all. In other sectors, digitalisation of disability-relevant services and schemes has not yet been implemented, and hence there is no evidence regarding their use.