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Special Initiatives Portal  

The purpose of the special initiatives is to promote access to, as well as use and knowledge of, telecommunications and ICTs for women and girls, children and youth, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and people living in rural, isolated and poorly served communities. The Special  Initiatives are designed to ensure that people with special needs are targeted by efforts to bridge the digital divide. Our work includes sharing information on best practices and practical experiences, including through this website and toolkits, such as the Toolkit on e-Accessibility & Service Needs for Persons with Disabilities; raising awareness on the importance of connecting the special initiatives targeted populations to ICTs; supporting education, capacity building and training opportunities, such as the Youth Education Scheme (YES); connecting schools to ICT; organizing Youth Forums together with ITU TELECOM events; developing ICT applications and services, for example ICT portals for indigenous people, and implementing ICT connectivity projects and providing technical assistance such as the multi-purpose community telecentres (MCTs) project for the special initiatives targeted populations. The special initiatives are actively seeking partnerships to expand the scope of its work.  Potential sponsors are kindly requested to contact the Special Initiatives Division of the BDT at


News related to Persons with Disabilities RSS 2.0

Women and Girls website

“Equality for women and girls is not only a basic human right it is a social and economic imperative. Where women are educated and empowered, economies are more productive and strong. Where women are fully represented, societies are more peaceful and stable."
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Women play a key role in reducing poverty and promoting social and economic development, for themselves, their families and their countries. ICT is an essential tool for the social and economic development of women and girls. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can provide women and girls an education and job training, promote literacy, improve access to health care, enable the exercise of legal rights and participation in government. Investing in women has a multiplier effect. Women reinvest in their families and communities. Accelerating broadband and ICT provision to women and girls will promote gender equality, empowerment and social and economic development of both men and women. ITU supports the social and economic development of women and girls by promoting:



Connect a School, Connect a community website

The ITU Connect a School, Connect a Community initiative is designed to promote broadband Internet connectivity for schools around the world so that schools can serve as community ICT centers for rural, marginal urban and isolated areas with a particular focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as women and girls, indigenous people, persons with disabilities and youth and children. Its goal is to promote understanding and awareness among Communications Ministers and National Regulatory authorities as well as Education Ministers and other relevant governmental agencies with responsibility for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations on the need for coordinated policies, regulations and practices to promote school connectivity in order to achieve the WSIS targets of connecting all primary, secondary and tertiary schools to ICT by 2015.


Connect a School, Connect a Community Toolkit of Best Practices and Policy Advice for Connecting Schools:






Executive Summaries:


Indigenous Peoples website

In accordance with the decision of WTDC-02, endorsed by WTDC-06 Resolution 46 within the framework of the Special Initiative “Assistance to Indigenous People” the BDT develops actions and projects dedicated to indigenous communities targeting to use the ICTs as a tool to achieve the integration into the Information Society of these communities.

BDT included the relevant provisions in the activities of its Operational Plan with a view to support Member States in addressing special needs of indigenous people for creating dedicated actions and projects as regards to equitable access, use and knowledge of information communication technology (ICT’s), based on the preservation of their heritage and cultural legacy.

BDT develops activities targeting to achieve the goal of digital inclusion, enabling universal, sustainable and affordable access to ICT’s for All, including disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable groups, as well as indigenous people


 Children and Youth website


The young people represent the best promoters of ICTs and are the key contributors to building an inclusive Information Society. Therefore, this should be taken into account in all actions and projects targeting the use and access of ICTs, not only as a way to widen ICTs opportunities for children and young people but also as a way to accelerate bridging the Digital Divide and to contribute to the development of the telecommunication sector as a whole.

Copyright : ITU Source: ITU/BDT/YAG, Roxana Bustos #00437The ITU-D Children and Youth Special Initiative, supports children and young people from developing countries and those in transition to improve their access, use and knowledge of information and communication technologies to bridge the Digital Divide and integrate the Information Society.

Aligned with WSIS Geneva and Tunis Action Plans, this Special Initiative also aims at ensuring the follow-up of the ITU TELECOM Youth Forums, through actions and projects that respond to the needs related to the promotion of the ICTs among the youth in a specific region or worldwide. Through the implementation of these activities, our target  is to facilitate the participation of young people in the Information Society.


 Persons with Disabilities website

A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual of their group. The term is often used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease. This usage has been described by some disabled people as being associated with a medical model of disability.

TU-D and G3ict agreed, on 21 April 2008, to develop an on-line toolkit that will serve as a global electronic repository of policies and strategies and as a platform for sharing experiences on best practices on ICT accessibility.





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Updated : 2012-11-28