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 Friday, March 13, 2009

Joint ITU-T & G3ict Forum 2008 - "The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities for ICT Standards" 

  • ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
  • April 21, 2008
  • Co-hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
ITU-T Web site for the event: http://itu.int/ITU-T/worksem/accessibility/200804

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest human rights treaties ever adopted. It was developed with the active participation of country delegations and NGOs representing persons with disabilities, and includes a number of detailed mandates related to accessible and assistive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Today, ICT devices such as personal computers, fixed and mobile telephones and television are widespread, with over one billion people, globally, having access to the Internet. An increasing number of applications and services for e-commerce, e-government, transportation, public services, health services, cultural life and leisure are delivered electronically. However many of these services are developed without consideration of the needs of the 10 per cent of the world population with disabilities. This directly impacts the rights of these persons. The Forum explored the likely impact of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the evolution of ICT standards with the active participation of industry, Standards Development Organizations (SDOs), NGOs, and other interested parties. It was addressed to leaders overseeing accessibility standards issues, representatives from the industry, SDOs, NGOs representing persons with disabilities, research institutions, assistive technology developers, governments and academia.

Objectives:
-Reviewed existing and in-progress technology standards and standardization of product development methodologies
-Discussed the role of public policy and procurement in support of standardization and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
-Identified follow-up actions to facilitate the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Expected Outcome of Meeting:
Review and document the areas of standardization which match the mandates of the Convention and explore critical gaps. Receive feedback and suggestions from industry, policymakers and NGOs to explore how they can best support the work of SDOs in fostering greater accessibility of ICTs.