This page gives links to some of the programmes, content and outputs resulting from workshops and events that we have convened, mainly focused on turning rhetoric into reality with respect to the empowerment of people with disabilities through ICTs in different parts of the world.
WSIS 2019, Geneva
The UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and the Inter-Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) were delighted to have convened and hosted the first session on Accessibility Day (8th April 2019) at the tenth anniversary WSIS Annual Forum held in Geneva. The theme was “Digital technologies and accessibility: from rhetoric to reality”, and the session began with three short opening presentations:
- Monica Halil Lövblad (Head, Accessible Books Consortium) on The Marrakesh Treaty and the Accessible Books Consortium
- Alex Jones (Head of Emerging Futures and Technology, DFID) on DFID’s activities at the interface between “digital” and “accessibility”
- Akber Gardezi (Inter-Islamic Network on IT) on ICT accessibility: data, good practices and gaps
Building on these presentations, participants then turned their attention to discussing what still needs to be done to turn rhetoric into reality with respect to the empowerment of people with disabilities through ICTs. This was captured in a mind map that highlighted ten key areas where further action is required.
Bangkok 2018, UN ESCAP and INIT
This expert meeting was convened by UN ESCAP and INIT (The Inter-Islamic Network on IT) on 30th August 2018 on the margins of the ESCAP Regional Consultation on Inclusive Technology and Innovation Policies (28-29 August) which was held in the run-up to the ESCAP Committee on Information and Communications Technology and Science, Technology and Innovation, Second Session (29-31 August) in Bangkok. It provided a forum for participants to discuss the main impediments preventing persons with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific from being empowered through technologies, and to identify priority policy actions to overcome these. It included a small number of short presentations, but most of the time was spend by participants in co-creating mind-maps around three key questions.
Main outputs co-created by participants
- What practical issues do persons with disabilities face in accessing and using technologies in our region?
- What public policy actions at the national level can help solve these challenges?
- How can we promote the development and implementation of these priority public policy actions?
- Tim Unwin’s opening scene setting remarks on Practical issues and challenges faced by people with disabilities in the ESCAP region in accessing and using new ICTS
In February 2015, the CTO and the Antiguan government’s HEART initiative convened a workshop, with the support of the ITU and other agencies, for organisations from across the Caribbean to explore what needs to be done to convert the rhetoric about the use of ICTs by people with disabilities into reality.
- Commonwealth perspectives on the use of ICTs by people with disabilities, Tim Unwin (Secretary General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation)
- MADA Assistive Technology Center, David Banes (CEO, Mada Center, Qatar)
- What more can be done?, Cleveland Thomas (ITU Area Office Representative for the Caribbean)
Outputs co-created by participants
- Identifying good practices in existing policies and strategies in the Caribbean
- Main challenges limiting the implementation of good practices, and how these can be overcome
- Hardware and software that participants recommend for people with different disabilities in the Caribbean
- The most important things we can do to enhance more effective use of ICTs by people with disabilities in our own contexts