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Overview
Proceedings
Agenda

ITU/ESCAP Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
 
 
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • August 25-27, 2009
  • United Nations Conference Centre
  • In partnership with G3ict, NecTec

ASIA PACIFIC: Leading the Path Towards Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility
UN ESCAP – ITU – G3ict   Asia Pacific Forum

Proceedings

From August 25 to August 27, the International Telecommunication Union and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)  will host the first Asia Pacific meeting specifically dedicated to  “Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities”.   UN ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region with a membership of 62 Governments. 

 With an agenda closely following the sections of the ITU-G3ict e-Accessibility Toolkit for Policy Makers, the Forum is expected to facilitate exchanges on practical ways to implement the ICT accessibility agenda of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities among country representatives who oversee its implementation.   Most country delegations will join the meeting with a significant background in promoting ICT Accessibility given UN ESCAP past initiatives in the region:

  • UN ESCAP established in 2002 the Biwako Framework on “Promoting an inclusive, barrier-free and rights-based society for people with disabilities in the Asian and Pacific region in the twenty-first century” which includes specific guidelines for ICT accessibility (article 6). 
  • It also extended the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002, for another decade, from 2003 to 2012.  

Senator Monthian Buntan of Thailand, who played leadership role in developing the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society regarding ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities and during the preparation of the Convention will be participating as well as Ambassador Luis Gallegos, G3ict Chair and former chair of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations General Assembly for the Convention, Susan Schorr head of ITU-D Special Initiatives and Axel Leblois, Executive Director of G3ict.

A very dynamic group of participants representing all stakeholders including persons with disabilities, industry and governments is expected to make this event an important milestone for ICT accessibility in the Asia Pacific region.

To read about the 2008 KADO – UN ESCAP meeting click here: http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2008/sep/g46.asp


Brief Description


With 139 countries having signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (“CRPD”), and 51 having ratified it as of October 2008, legislative and regulatory activities related to the implementation of its digital accessibility agenda will be a priority among ITU member states.  Yet, few references and guidelines are available for country regulators and legislators to implement such measures or foster national programs supporting the digital accessibility agenda of the CRPD.  

In order to address this challenge, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized a joint global forum on April 21st, 2007 on Digital Accessibility standards in relation to the CRPD.  At this occasion, ITU-D and G3ict launched a “Toolkit for Policy Makers”, an on-line tool designed to provide practical references and case studies to support implementation of the digital accessibility agenda of the CRPD at country level.  The Toolkit will be ready by July 2009.  G3ict released Version 1 of its self-evaluation methodology and is currently collecting country data for is benchmarking program, the “Digital Accessibility Index” in cooperation with Disabled People’s International and the support of the law firm Powers, Pyle, Sutter and Verville.

Objectives

•    To launch training through the global online “Toolkit for Policy Makers” that will  support stakeholders in developing policies and strategies to address ICT accessibility and service needs of persons with disabilities to meet the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
•    To ensure proper publicity and generate momentum in support of the implementation of the Digital Accessibility Agenda of the Convention focusing on practical implementation at country level;
•    To share country experience and case studies as well as to learn about innovative assistive technologies and applications;
•    To discuss a framework for national implementation as a step forwards.

Target Audience

Policy-makers, regulators and NGOs of those countries which have ratified the Convention or are close to doing so, or have significant experience and digital accessibility legislation and regulations in place; industry and international organizations involved with disability issues.   

The number of participants expectedly is 80-100 participants including Policy Makers & Regulators, Private Sector, NGOs, Operators, Dynamic Coalition and International Institutions involved with persons with disabilities.