G3ICT AND GLOBAL ACCESSIBILITY LEADERS ANNOUNCE PROCUREMENT CHARTER
New G3ict Global Charter released on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015 calls for governments around the world to purchase only accessible technology.
Mexico City. 12/03/2015 —
The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) – a digital inclusion and human rights advocacy organization launched in 2006 at the initiative of the United Nations – announced today a global charter calling on governments worldwide to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities by demanding only accessible technology from their suppliers. G3ict recognized the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching this charter with an international group of accessibility leaders, including the Australian Communications Consumer Action network (ACCAN), the Mexican National Council for the Development and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the Turkish Confederation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities, and several other leading accessibility organizations and experts from around the world.
“Governments at all levels, local, regional, national, and international, can use their substantial purchasing power to influence how the technology industry designs its products and services,” said James Thurston, Vice President for Strategy and Development at G3ict. “With this charter, we recognize that governments worldwide are among the largest customers for technology and we urge them to use that power to require increasingly accessible ICT products that support greater digital inclusion of persons with disabilities. We are proud to be launching this global charter with partners from government, civil society, academia, and industry. We invite others to join this movement toward even more accessible technology.”
The G3ict Global Procurement Charter calls on governments at all levels and around the world to promote the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons by adopting ICT public procurement policies that include requirements for accessibility. The charter points out that despite the known economic, innovation, and human rights benefits of such procurement policies, G3ict analysis shows that to date only 33 percent of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) have enacted them. The charter also points out that today there are tools, standards, and training to support the successful implementation of effective accessible ICT public procurement policies.
“ACCAN welcomes the release of the Global Charter and congratulates G3ict for leading this initiative,” said Teresa Corbin, CEO of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN). “In Australia we have seen the adoption of accessibility as a desirable requirement of products and services for government tenders. We look forward to this becoming an Australian and an international standard.”
Jesus Toledano Landero, Director General of the Mexican National Council for the Development and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS), added, “Requirements for the public procurement of accessible technology can create many benefits, for persons with disabilities, for society, and for the economy. Accessible technology is key to programs to promote inclusion.”
Steve Tyler, RNIB’s Head of Solutions Strategy and Accessibility affirmed that “In today's climate, it is no longer acceptable that, in particular, technology based products and services are inaccessible. We welcome and wholeheartedly support the leadership of G3ict in moving the dial on this issue. It is more the case now than ever before that technical platforms host a range of accessibility support infrastructure, tools and guidance that are capable of delivering genuinely inclusive services to all.”
The President of the Turkish Confederation of Organizations of Persons with Disabilities, Turhan İçli announced that "Not only do we support this important Charter led by G3ict but today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we announce a campaign to promote the Charter and public procurement here in Turkey."
This new charter is part of an ongoing G3ict initiative to promote the use of public procurement to advance the human rights of persons with disabilities. It builds on a core G3ict principle that government, civil society, and industry can take action collaboratively to drive the expeditious creation of policies and standards that support the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities in education, the workplace, and society generally. Civil society, including organizations representing persons with disabilities, must play an important role in all global efforts to promote the widespread adoption of inclusive ICT procurement policies and the technical standards that support them.
G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 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 on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. For more information, visit us at www.g3ict.org
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