Disability and Development

Worldwide consultation launched that aims at building an inclusive Information Society for all

accessibility-blog2There are more than 1 billion people living with disabilities. But this figure doesn’t provide the full picture of how disabilities impact the lives of a much broader community because in reality, if we also take into consideration family and friends who provide persons with disabilities with daily support, almost 2 billion people are affected by disabilities.

It is just impossible to exclude such a significant proportion of the world’s population from development efforts and the opportunities provided by ICTs.

To address this important segment of the population, and to correct the fact that disabilities were not included as part of the Millennium Development Goals, the United Nations General Assembly will hold on 23 September 2013 the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development. This meeting will gather Heads of State, International Organizations, NGO’s, civil society groups and accessibility experts among others, and will define the future roadmap to achieve a disability-inclusive agenda.

In this context, and in my role of chairperson of the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT), it is my pleasure to announce the launch of a global consultation to capture the best practices, experiences and recommendations on how the use of information and communication technologies can support the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society. The consultation is a joint initiative from the Broadband Commission, G3ICT, the International Disability Alliance, ITU, Microsoft,  the Telecentre.org Foundation and UNESCO.

This consultation is a unique opportunity for all relevant stakeholders working on inclusive ICTs to speak up and be heard by global policy makers at a time when the future development framework is being shaped. I invite you all to visit www.itu.int/accessibility and take part in the survey, which will be open until 10 June 2013.

Let’s work together to build an inclusive society for all through the use of information and communication technologies.

gallegosBy Ambassador Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, Permanent Representative of Ecuador to the United Nations Office in Geneva. Ambassador Gallegos is a strong advocate of the rights of persons with disabilities, and is Chairperson of G3ICT.

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