In India, while the principal disability rights law, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, mandates that every service provider, whether government or private, must make their services disabled friendly in accordance with the rules on accessibility formulated by the Government of India, the reality is very different.
From ordering food to groceries, from finding a partner to socialising, from consulting doctors to booking flight and train tickets – technology is used for a whole range of everyday activities. This practical reality prompted us to ask the question — how disabled friendly are the most widely used apps in India?
Vidhi, I-Stem and Mission Accessibility conducted an evidence-based evaluation of the accessibility of ten of the most widely used apps in India, from the standpoint of persons with disabilities. This report contains the findings of this exercise, along with practical recommendations for what each relevant stakeholder can do to ensure that the disabled are able to participate in the digital marketplace like their able-bodied counterparts.
About the Authors
Ameen is a Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi, and leads the Centre for Applied Law and Technology Research (ALTR). His interest and research focus lies in AI ethics, and the governance of AI. Within ALTR, he has been leading the team's collaborative research on data trusts, and artificial intelligence. Ameen has also worked on the intersection of technology and the justice system, as a senior fellow working on the JALDI mission's engagement with the Supreme Court of India's AI and E-Courts' committees.
Ameen has a formal educational background in social research methods and evidence-based policy. He completed his master’s programme from the Institute of Education (University College London), focusing on the use of research evidence in policy processes, and was awarded an MSc. with an overall distinction. Before this, he completed his undergraduate legal studies from the W.B. National University of Juridical Sciences [B.A. LL.B. (Hons.)] in 2012. Prior to Vidhi, Ameen worked at J. Sagar Associates, in the firm’s regulatory and policy team. He has practised in the Supreme Court of India, the Delhi High Court, and numerous tribunals.
Jai is a Senior Resident Fellow at the Centre for Applied Law and Technology Research (ALTR) at Vidhi. Her work focuses on the economics of platforms and its implications for regulation. Jai has previously worked at IT for Change and the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) in the areas of fintech, cryptocurrency, data commons, platforms and digital trade. Jai completed a Master of Public Policy from the University of Oxford.
Rahul Bajaj is Senior Associate Fellow, Partnerships, in the Research Director’s Office. He manages Vidhi’s partnerships with academic institutions, think-tanks and other mutually beneficial partnerships. He also works on developing grassroot networks and collaborative partnerships in select areas of Vidhi’s work. He is responsible for coordinating research work in the Research Director’s Office, in particular on Vidhi’s research projects related to COVID-19.
Rahul studied law at the University of Nagpur, graduating as the gold medallist in the university. After working at Trilegal, Delhi’s disputes practice for a year, he pursued his postgraduate legal education at the University of Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. On returning to India, Rahul clerked for Supreme Court judge D. Y. Chandrachud before joining Vidhi.
Shakul Raj Sonker
Corporate Lawyer and Certified Accessibility Professional
Lawyer and Company Secretary