Andrea Saks is an international telecommunications specialist for the deaf. She has been a key person in the creation of all ITU accessibility initiatives and events. She began her work at the ITU starting in 1991 with assisting engineers in writing the first accessibility standard for Text Telephony ITU-T V.18. Her accessibility experience began very early in her life with aiding her deaf parents with telephone calls at the age of two and then later she went on help her father in his work in founding the first deaf text telephone network in the early 1960. She is the Chairman of the Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility and Human Factors (ITU-T JCA-AHF), which coordinates the accessibility work throughout all of the ITU and communicates directly with other UN agencies.
She is also the coordinator of the Internet Governance Forum’s Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) helping to raise accessibility awareness for industry responsibility and for direct inclusion of persons with disabilities globally.
In 2008 she was given the ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award and made a Laureate for her lifelong work in accessibility to telecommunications and ICTs for persons with Disabilities.