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Global Dialogue on Disability and ICT: Empowering People with Disabilities for the Information Age

A Case Study of the e-Disabled Project in Tunisia

  • Washington, D.C., USA
  • September 10, 2008  (9:00-11:30 a.m. ET)
  • The World Bank
  • Co-hosted by the e-Development Thematic Group/Global ICT Dept, HDNSP Disability & Development team, WBI K4D, Africa GDLN, ITSLC and partners

This event was repeated in French on Sep. 15 for Francophone countries in Africa (Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi).

GDLN Classroom (MC-C2-137), 1818 H Street NW,  Washington, D.C. ; or at GDLN Centers (Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia), WB COUNTRY OFFICES (Rwanda) and via LIVE WEBCAST available at: http://www.worldbank.org/edevelopment/live

Chair Carlo Maria Rossotto, MNA Regional Coordinator, GICT, The World Bank

Opening Remarks Deepak Bhatia, e-Government Applications Practice Leader, GICT, World Bank 

Keynote Speaker: Tarek Ben Youssef, National Director, Ministry of Social Affairs, Solidarity and Tunisians Abroad, Tunisia


Marco Nicoli, Senior Knowledge Officer, Disability and Development, HDNSP

Chitranganie Mubarak, Programme Head, ICT Agency of Sri Lanka

Moderator Oleg Petrov, Coordinator, e-Development Thematic Group, Global ICT Department, World Bank

Program Description

World Bank's Global ICT Department, The Republic of Tunisia's Ministry of Social Affairs, Solidarity and Tunisians Abroad (Ministère des Affaires Sociales De la Solidarité et des Tunisiens à l’Etranger) and e-Development Thematic Group  hosted a Global Dialogue GDLN workshop to share experiences of active projects and good practices in the use of information and communication technology for empowering disabled populations.

This workshop highlighted some key results, good practices and lessons learned from Tunisian "e-Disabled: Social Inclusion through ICT" project as well as discussed experiences from other parts of the world and implications for World Bank operations and clients.

The Tunisian e-Disabled project (about $2 million) is a key component of WB-funded ICT Sector Development Project ($13 million). This component funded computer laboratories in schools for disabled children, providing them with multilingual Arabic/French/Sign language software reinforcing school curriculum.  Out of a target population of 10,000 disabled students, already 3000 have regular access and usage of the computer laboratories and software. By 2009, the full disabled school children population will be covered.  The project also funded 24 centers throughout Tunisia offering Internet access to the disabled population, including access to government services. Each center is equipped with hardware and software to allow citizens with disabilities (physical, intellectual or auditive) to access content online, such as Braille keyboards, Braille printers, touch-screens, software to magnify Internet browsing, software to convert text into voice, and sign language translation. In 2007, the first group of these centers served over 500 disabled Tunisians in their Internet research and interactions with government services.

Key Speaker Bio

Mr. Tarek Ben Youssef is the National Director of the Poverty Portfolio at Tunisia's Ministry of Solidarity and Tunisians Abroad, as well as the Project Manager for Tunisia's e-Disabled Project supported by the World Bank . He is an expert in social statistics (labor, poverty, persons with special needs) and monitoring of socio-economic development projects. Particular areas of interest include the fight against poverty and exclusion, empowerment of handicaped persons, adult education, research and statistical analysis. He holds a doctorate in Statistics from the University of Paris 6.

All workshop materials will be available at: http://go.worldbank.org/U7VSO2OR40

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