G3ICT MEETS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S TRANSITION TEAM ON DISABILITY ISSUES
The Presidential Transition Team invited G3ict to share its perspective and suggestions prior to Inauguration Day.
Washington, DC. 01/14/2009 —
Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Director External Relations, G3ict
firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (678) 534-8518
The Presidential Transition Team invited G3ict to share its perspective and suggestions prior to Inauguration Day. Ambassador Luis Gallegos, Chair of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and John Kemp, Chair of the G3ict Research Committee, principal of the Washington-based law firm Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, and President of the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), met with Kareem Dale and other transition staff leaders for President Barak Obama on Tuesday, January 13. Mr. Dale is President Obama's point-person to the disability community and himself a blind attorney from Chicago.
The G3ict delegation reported on the fast adoption of the Convention around the world and expressed the hope that the United States may ratify it, as stipulated in President Obama’s electoral platform. The G3ict delegation also emphasized the importance of the Digital Accessibility agenda of the Convention which the United States would be in a position to greatly influence and help implement around the world should it become party to the Convention.
Ambassador Gallegos reported on the mission and objectives of G3ict, a United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development Advocacy Initiative supported by a number of international organizations including the ITU, the Inter Parliamentary Union, leading disabled person organizations and private industry. He also emphasized the potential of harmonizing standards to lower the cost of accessible and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities.
Mr. Kemp, an expert on the areas of disability, rehabilitation, health care, and nonprofit organizations, reinforced the accomplishments of the December 3, 2008 G3ict meeting at the United Nations to which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon participated and the need for the United States to ratify the Convention. He also noted that the Digital Inclusion Index, produced by G3ict, has moved much further and faster to monitor the implementation of ICT accessibility around the world than any other measurement available to monitor other aspects of the Convention.
In addition, Mr. Kemp suggested that accessible ICT is essential to employment, entrepreneurship, education, social networking and citizenship in the worldwide community. He hoped the Obama Administration would be adding a high ranking official to assure accessibility would be covered.
G3ict was one of several disability advocacy organizations invited to meet with the Obama Transition Team. Towards the end of the meeting, a participant representing deaf persons spoke eloquently of the value of VRS/I (video relay services/interpreting), reinforcing the importance of accessible ICT under the ADA and ADAAA, as well as , if ratified by the United States, Article 9 of the Convention. Participants also reported that among political leaders supporting the Convention, Senator Hart had offered to lobby the 50 states to make the ratification of the Convention possible.