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Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

by Radha Rao last modified Apr 02, 2011 03:16 PM
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) jointly with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and in partnerships with the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict), the National Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NTC), the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE), Australian Government, and National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) Thailand are organising the "Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Mainstreaming ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities" to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 25 to 27 August 2009. The Forum is hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) Thailand, Government of Kingdom of Thailand. Ms. Nirmita Narasimhan, Programme Manager, Centre for Internet and Society, India will be giving a presentation on Policy Formulation for Internet and Electronic Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities.

With 139 countries having signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD"), and 51 having ratified it as of October 2008, legislative and regulatory activities related to the implementation of its digital accessibility agenda will be a priority among ITU Member States. Yet, few references and guidelines are available for country regulatorys and legislators to implement such measures or foster national programmes supporting the digital accessibility agenda of the CRPD.

In order to address this challenge, G3ict and ITU organised a joint global forum on 21 April 2008 on Digital Accessibility standards in relation to the CRPD. At this occasion, ITU-D and G3ict launched a "Toolkit for Policy Makers", an online tool designed to provide practical references and case studies to support implementation of the digital accessibility agenda of the CRPD at country level. G3ict also released Version 1 of its self-evaluation methodology and is currently collecting country data for is benchmarking programme, the "Digital Accessibility Index" in cooperation with Disabled People's International and the support of the law firm Powers, Pyle, Sutter and Veryille.

The upcoming Asia-Pacific Regional Forum aims to:

  • Bring together policy makers, regulators, operators, industry, NGOs and international organisations involved with persons with disabilities, as well as experts and ICT professionals including disabled persons from across the region and beyond;
     
  • Discuss the global online "Toolkit for Policy Makers" that will support stakeholders in developing policies and strategies to address ICT accessibility and service needs from persons with disabilities to meet the dispositions of the CRPD;
     
  • Ensure proper publicity and generate momentum in support of the implementation of the Digital Accessibility Agenda of the CRPD focusing on practical implementation at country level; and,
     
  • Exchange country experiences and case studies among participants as well as learn about innovations of accessibility and assistive technologies and applications.

URL: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/asp/CMS/Events/2009/PwDs/programme.asp

    Asia-Pacific Regional Forum
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