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Buying Inclusive Technology Is Key to Improving Access to Education for Students with Disabilities

The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) today launches two new tools to support more inclusive education, 9 Steps to Procuring Accessible ICTs for Inclusive Education and A Discussion Guide for Engaging ICT Vendors. The two new inclusive education tools help schools procure technology that works for all students.

NAIROBI, Kenya (October 22, 2018) —

The Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) today launches two new tools to support more inclusive education, 9 Steps to Procuring Accessible ICTs for Inclusive Education and A Discussion Guide for Engaging ICT Vendors. Both tools provide help to schools and education system institutions of all levels to integrate accessible information and communication technologies (ICT) into their policies and practices. G3ict developed the new tools to ensure that these institutions are well equipped to move toward a stronger commitment to making accessibility a part of their ICT procurement. The two new tools build on a suite of several resources that G3ict and its partners have developed to support inclusive education worldwide and fulfill commitments to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On the occasion of the launch of the G3ict tools, Frederick Haga, Acting Director for Special Needs Education at the Kenyan Ministry of Education, stated “In Kenya, we are fully committed to including learners with disabilities into mainstream classrooms. We know that by purchasing only inclusive and accessible ICTs, we can support progress toward that goal. We congratulate G3ict for making these new tools available for use in Kenya.”

According to the World Report on Disability, approximately one billion people in the world are living with a disability, with at least 1 in 10 being children and 80% living in developing countries. Children with disabilities are less likely to start school and if they do, they are unlikely to transition to secondary school. Access to school for children with disabilities is often limited by a lack of understanding about their needs, and a lack of trained teachers, classroom support learning resources and facilities. In the United States, 72% of all classrooms include students with disabilities and impairments. Information and communications technologies (ICT) that are designed to be accessible to students with disabilities can help reduce the stigma of learning challenges and provide all students with the tools they need to fully engage with their curricula, classmates, and teachers in powerful new ways.

“The issue of including learners with disabilities is an important one and we welcome new tools by G3ict to help schools and ministries worldwide focus on purchasing only accessible technology,” said Mr. Indrajit Banerjee, Director of Knowledge Societies Division, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO.

The 9 Steps to Procuring Accessible ICTs for Inclusive Education tool lays out specific actions that schools and ministries can take to make sure that their ICT procurement process fully embraces principles of accessibility and inclusion and helps every learner to get the most out of learning and reach his or her maximum potential. The Discussion Guide for Engaging ICT Vendors tool is a direct result of input to G3ict from both education system institutions and technology vendors that engagements between the two often are not as productive and enlightening as they might be. It is designed to help education system institutions engage technology vendors in better discussions about ICT accessibility and digital inclusion as part of their larger strategies and goals.

Announcing the new tools, G3ict Vice President for Global Strategy James Thurston said, “Large companies like Pearson, Microsoft, and Apple and smaller educational technology companies like ITWORX Education have so much to offer students of all abilities. We encourage schools and education ministries to use these new tools and have specific and strategic conversations about accessibility and inclusion with all their technology vendors.”

The two new tools are being launched today in Nairobi at a summit of leading Kenyan and international experts and practitioners from the technology sector, government, academia, and civic community, Technology and Inclusive Education for Learners with Disabilities: A Roundtable Discussion, being hosted by the Microsoft Corporation, inABLE, and G3ict.





About G3ict

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 by the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies.

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Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict, udita.singh@g3ict.org