4.5.2 Mobile learning

Lack of access to a computer in developing countries restricts many people’s access to the Internet. Mobile phone ownership is far greater in developing countries than PC ownership. For example, according to a report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, approximately 5 million new mobile subscribers joined the ever-growing population of mobile phone users every month in 2006.132 Content delivered via mobile phone is being used for a variety of applications, including education. Mobile learning, or “m-learning,” is an array of e-learning over mobile devices such as mobile phones, whic is of potential benefit to users in developing countries, especially those living in remote rural locations.

The challenges of providing content on a mobile phone include "how to efficiently render visual Internet content into short, precise, easily navigable, meaningful and pleasant to listen to audio content."133 Still, the penetration of mobile phones in developing countries does present a potential opportunity for reaching more people than the current provision of content to desktop computers. Any country developing policy or initiatives to promote the provision of services over mobile phone networks should consider the implications for persons with disabilities, for example, using accessible books stored on mobile phones.

See proceedings from the ITU/UNESCAP/G3ict Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Bangkok, 2009) on access to the internet for persons with disabilities via mobile phone and the use of mobile phones for children with disabilities.

132Nokia India. Position Paper – Mobile Internet UX for Developing Countries http://research.nokia.com/files/Joshi-MIUXforDevelopingCountries.pdf