"Mastering ICT/digital accessibility: Paving the way for a digitally inclusive world for ALL"
16th COSP-CRPD NY- ONU
13th June 2023 – 1:15h-2:30hPM (in person participation)
In the age of digital interconnectivity, information, and communication technologies (ICTs) are now woven into our daily lives. Our actions span various socio-economic domains, such as education, employment, entertainment, and social interactions, both online and offline.
To enable everyone, exercise its fundamental right to access information and communicate, in online as in offline space, be digitally included in societies and environments has become a compulsory requirement which can only be attend if ICTs products and services are designed and developed in line with accessibility requirements, standards and universal design principles.
This event will present the role of ICTs/digital accessibility in ensuring equal and equitable digital inclusion of all people including persons with disabilities. It will further highlight the digital accessibility role in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as in other regional and global digital inclusion related commitments.
The aim of the event is to strengthen Member States and stakeholders’ participants, involved in CRPD implementation, understanding and knowledge on the key role that ICT/digital accessibility play in building a barrier free world, inclusive for all of us. To achieve this goal, the side event will also include an engaging and interactive executive workshop, aimed at providing participants a thorough understanding of terminology that may otherwise lead to confusion, such as: connectivity, access, accessibility, accessible ICTs, assistive technologies (AT), and ICT accessibility, and will differentiate between AT and accessible (SMART) devices while identifying the beneficiaries of accessible features. The side-event will further provide from the perspective of regional organisations such as European Commission, end user representatives from Zero Project and Billion Strong as well as from G3ict their views on the importance of ICT/digital accessibility to achieve inclusivity in the digital space for persons with disabilities and for all of us. The importance of Accessibility Professionals as a success factor in implementing digital accessibility will be presented.
Also, the collaboration with persons with disabilities and their key role as experts’ validators in the development of ICT products, services and applications will also be further stressed as critical to achieve in a collaborative manner the overarching goal of equal and equitable digital inclusion and active participation of everyone in the societies and economies of our digital era.
Additionally, the discussions will encourage the participants to discuss jointly with representatives from global community of persons with lived experiences of disabilities the main challenges to surmount, whether they stem from technological limitations or ingrained mindsets. The audience will be further contemplating the meaning of inclusion, envision the world we desire to inhabit, identify emerging global trends, and all together determine the next steps toward establishing inclusive digital societies and communities.
The workshops ultimately strive to stress that by mastering ICT/digital accessibility is a win-win for all stakeholders and parties involved, who can cultivate collaboration, effect change, and jointly sculpt a digital future that is accessible, inclusive, and equitable for everyone, laying the foundation for a universally inclusive digital world for current and future generations.
Speakers’ interventions (75 min):
Introductory Remarks: Ambassador Cornel Feruţă, Romania’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Roxana Widmer-Iliescu, Senior Coordinator Digital Inclusion, International Telecommunication Union (ITU – (executive workshop)
Robin Tim Weis, Director of International Affairs at the Zero Project
Axel Leblois, President and CEO of G3ict
Inmaculada Placencia Porrero, Senior Expert in Disability and Inclusion at Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission
Interactive discussions Q&Q
Closing remarks: Debra Ruh, Co-Founder and Executive Chair of Billion Strong / CEO of Ruh Global IMPACT