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2013 World Summit on the Information Society (ITU WSIS Forum)

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) is a unique two-phase United Nations (UN) summit that was initiated in order to create an evolving multi- stakeholder platform aimed at addressing the issues raised by information and communication technologies (ICTs) through a structured and inclusive approach at the national, regional and international levels. The goal of WSIS is to achieve a common vision, desire and commitment to build a people-centric, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information.

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Thematic Workshop at WSIS Forum: Towards a Disability Inclusive Development Agenda with ICTs

  • May 15, 2013 | 04:30 p.m. - 06:15 p.m.
  • Venue: ITU HQ - Montbrillant Building, Room K 

Background

There are more than 1 billion people living with disabilities. This figure represents 15 per cent of the global population. According to the World Report on Disability, released in 2011 by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, this percentage is expected to increase over the forthcoming years, due to factors such as the greater availability of medical treatment and longer life expectancy, and also because people may acquire disability through aging, accidents, wars and circumstances of poverty.

In this scenario the information society represents a historic opportunity to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities, promote their inclusion in society and expand their access to information and basic public services, such as health, education or government services. The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, the Internet or digital TV and radio, can enable the implementation of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities, by removing many of the barriers that limit the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.

To achieve this goal, it is important that ICTs are made fully accessible for persons with disabilities. This can be achieved through the introduction of universal design principles in technical standards and by promoting ICT accessibility through public policy and regulation. The combination of these actions can contribute to introduce a certain critical mass that would make the use of ICTs more affordable for persons with disabilities

The workshop “Towards a disability inclusive development agenda with ICTs” will be an interactive debate to look at the opportunities and challenges that ICTs offer to achieve disability-inclusive international development agenda. The workshop will launch the Global Consultation on ICTS, Disabilities and Development, which will collect recommendations from all stakeholders on how to better leverage the contribution of ICTs to achieve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda. The results of the consultation will be presented at the High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development (HLMDD), to be held in New York, in September 2013 during the opening of the UN General Assembly.

Moderator: H.E. Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva and Chairperson of G3ICT. 

For more details, please visit the conference website at: http://www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/2013/forum/