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The Electronic Festival: Cyberpsace for persons with special needs
UNIC Moscow Director Alexandre Gorelik shares notes on a session of 'Cyberspace for people with special needs' held as part of The Electronic Future festival at Sochi, Russia in May 2011
In the framework of its communications program dedicated to human rights of persons with disabilities, UNIC Moscow joined the organizers of the "The Electronic Future" festival and acted as a partner of the event (19–20 May 2011), which took place in Sochi, the venue of the 2014 Olympic Games.
"The Electronic Future" Festival in Sochi: conference "Cyberspace for persons with
special needs" | 20 May 2011: a view of the panel of experts
UNIC director Alexandre Gorelik introduced one of the sessions - Cyberspace for persons with special needs – at the conference. His remarks focused on the significance of the UN Disability Convention and the significant achievement of the "Group of Friends" (an outcome of the treaty) set up by UNIC, which brings together experts in usability and accessibility as well as advocates of persons with disabilities from civic society. In particular, he stressed that the United Nations remains committed to promoting accessibility in all aspects of society and development.
The key-note address was made by Oleg Smolin, a Duma deputy and a prominent advocate of social inclusion of persons with disabilities (a blind person himself). Both speakers shared the goal of encouraging the State Duma to ratify the Convention without further delay. However, Mr Smolin did recognize that the odds are that Russia's accession to the treaty is unlikely before 2012.
Mr Gorelik also made an overview of best international practices based on the latest G3ict reports, including the e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities, which is currently being translated into Russian thanks to a collaboration of the UNIC and the World Bank Country Office. his has been a useful advocacy exercise. Thanks to a visible UNIC involvement, disability/social inclusion issues featured prominently on the agenda of the meeting, which was originally conceived as a discussion on the “information society’s” advancement in Russian regions.
UNIC Moscow is the United Nations Information Centre based in Moscow, Russian Federation