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Alexandre Gorelik



06/05/2012

UNIC Moscow Working Session: Rights of Persons with Special Needs

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On 24 May, the UNIC Moscow held a working session revolving around the issue of rights of persons with special needs. The meeting of the "Group of Friends of the Disability Convention" brought together 23 UN colleagues, members of civil society and experts. Also, officials from two government agencies joined the group for a meaningful discussion, reports Alexandre Gorelik.

Participants focused on a wide range of topics of the day and problems to be solved in the context of the Convention, ratified by the Russian Federation in late April: Russia now joins 112 countries that have already acceded to the treaty which recognizes the human rights of people with disabilities and commits Governments to helping them fully participate in their societies. Ms.Tatiana Poliakova of the Moscow City Government, and Ms.Natalia Motina of the Federal Ministry of Labour, stressed that the ratification was not an end of the road but rather, the start of a process in which the country will review and harmonize its legislation and policies to ensure compliance with the Convention.

Members of the "Group of Friends” discussed outcomes of two significant international events, which were held in Moscow earlier this month: the Fourth conference on inclusive society “Equal Rights – Equal Opportunities” and the second exhibition “Integration. Life. Society”.  Dwelling upon its lessons, Olga Oreshkina and Yulia Saphonova, experts of the Educational Centre for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities of the Moscow Bauman State Technological University, drew the panel’s attention to practical foreign experience in successfully adopting assistive technologies in education.

The exchange of views was quite substantive during a report by Mr. Anatoly Popko, Head of the IT Department of the All-Russian Society of the Blind, on his participation in the UN Expert Group meeting on Building Inclusive Society and Development through Promoting ICT Accessibility, which took place in Tokyo, Japan, April 19-21, 2012.

In addition, the meeting discussed several other topics: UNESCO and ILO regional projects on establishing IT centers for visually impaired people in several CIS countries; an electronic magazine for the disabled, «PRO Association», the need to promote mobile services accessible for persons with disabilities in Russia (the translation into Russian of G3ict report on mobile technologies and its public presentation at the end of summer were raised).

At the end of the meeting, recommendations were formulated for joint actions to further policies and practices that facilitate social inclusion and advancement of persons with disabilities. In particular, participants agreed on steps to raise awareness of the Second Russian Congress for People with Special Needs, which will be held in the city of Ekaterinburg, from September 23-26, 2012.

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Related Publication: Making Television Accessible - A report prepared by Peter Olaf Loofs, Chairman, ITU-T Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility, in cooperation with G3ict | Download the report, free.

Related Blog: Web Accessibility: Putting People and Processes First by Brian Kelly | Read the blog.

Related Event: M-Enabling Global Briefing Tour: Inaugural Session, 'New Milestones for Mobile Accessibility" | View proceedings of the event | View event agenda and speakers list.