G3ict participates in Working Conference on "Developing Disability Civil Society through the Internet," Harvard Law School
Report by Professor Michael Stein
Executive Director, Harvard Project on Disability, Harvard Law School
On Friday, 26 September 2008 a Working Conference on Developing Disability Civil Society through the Internet was held at Harvard Law School. The Working Conference was organized in partnership by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society; Burton Blatt Institute; Disability Law and Policy Center at the University of Ireland, Galway; Global Partnership for Disability and Development, Harvard Project on Disability; and NOVA Nordic Centre of Excellence in Welfare Research. Some forty persons participated, including Axel Leblois of the UNG3ict initiative; Judy Brewer of the World Wide Web Consortium, disability rights advocates from Bangladesh, China, and Vietnam, and Professors Peter Blanck, Rune Halvorsen, and Michael Stein.
The meeting was an open, free ranging, and collaborative discussion on how disability civil society can and should be supported in developing their human rights identity and capacity through the internet and other forms of information and communication technology. There was no formal presentations, and the participants focused on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities as a focal point for discussion. The Working Group emphasized the inclusion of especially marginalized groups, such as persons with intellectual disabilities. A strong consensus emerged regarding the potential for on-line collaboration among disabled persons and disabled persons organizations and on the need to promote the use of open source accessible collaborative tools. The expected outcome is a white policy paper that will be disseminated for education and advocacy purposes.
Please visit the Harvard Project on Disability website at www.hpod.org