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Nilofar Ansher



02/21/2012

Under Construction: A Global Leadership Network of AT Centers

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G3ict presents at ATIA - AIA "Taking Accessibility Mainstream: Making the Case for an International Society of Accessibility Professionals" at the CSUN 2012 Conference, San Diego, California. Here's a review of the inaugural meet held at ATIA 2012 conference in Orlando by MassMATCH News Quarterly.
 
Last month, MassMATCH News Quarterly had a chance to attend the AT Centers Leadership Network Forum held at the ATIA 2012 conference in Orlando. The Forum's goal was to interest attendees in the formation of an advising body for the development of AT Centers around the world, a network of advisers to uncover and share best practices, policies, and experiences for furthering AT use.

 

Axel Leblois, executive director of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) - an advocacy effort of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development - launched the session with a review of the progress of the UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention, he informed us, has gained considerable traction, and is now ratified by over 100 countries. As a result, many nations are now obligated to develop access to AT and information and communication technologies, in addition to policies and legislation similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

The Network is looking for members from the global community of professionals with experience developing and managing AT Centers. ATIA Executive Director David Dikter summed it up this way: "AT Centers, no matter where they are - Brazil or Qatar or Italy - we all have to do the same work: provide services, support, awareness. And we all have to break through the same barriers: the Dept. of Education, Department or Ministry or Council of Labor, whatever! And so why shouldn't we collaborate? I'm hoping you will join in and make this possible".

 

Forum panelists included David Banes of Mada, the Assistive Technology Center in Qatar; Lou Orslene of the Job Accommodation Network in the U.S.; Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf of the Emilia Romagna Regional Center for AT in Italy. Together they presented the Network's vision, mission, and charter. 

 

The Network was founded by the G3ict and Mada. Interested? Visit the G3ict website. Also review the AT Centers Leadership Network Forum presentation which includes information on membership.

 

Access the MassMATCH News Quarterly issue here.