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The Story of Tish Kerfoot  

Photo of Tish Kerfoot
Tish Kerfoot, who is deaf, says that SignVideo, a video interpretation service in the United Kingdom, has had a dramatic impact on her life...


WTISD-08: Demonstration of assistive technology

VISIT THE NEW ITU SITE ON ACCESSIBILITY TO ICTSLogo of ITU activities on accessibility to ICTs

Click here to visit our new home page on Accessibility to ICTs. Over the next few weeks we will be update the site and organizing our archive of materials. Update your bookmarks to www.itu.int/accessibility

Thanks for your patience!


The stories highlighted on this site concern the lucky ones for whom assistive technology is available. However, every day, millions of people around the world who have a disability, are faced with frustrating – even impossible - situations. ITU believes that these people should enjoy the same services and opportunities in life as everyone else.

       World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2008
Taking place in Cairo, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2008 gave particular attention to “Connecting Persons with Disabilities”. Read more about WTISD 2008...


Webcast of the Ceremony (with captions) - Real Player requiredWebcast of the Ceremony (video with captions) *
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Achieving the goal of equitable communication for everyone requires:

  • Accessible design: Accessibility has to be built in into products and services from the very beginning
  • Availability: Accessible products and services must be on hand to users
  • Affordability: Access to products and services must be reasonable

Finding solutions to these challenges is not always a simple matter. On the one hand, equipment and software is now available that provides amazing breakthroughs for people with disabilities. On the other hand, there are many barriers to finding the most appropriate equipment, particularly at a price that is affordable. This is a policy and digital divide issue because the majority of disabled persons, even in OECD countries, are unemployed and in low-income brackets.

Ensuring easy and effective communication for those with disabilities is by no means a “fringe issue.” With an estimated 10 percent of the world’s population – or around 650 million people – living with a disability, this represents a significant communication challenge. And with current trends in population growth, medical advances and an increasingly greying population, this number will only grow. Which is why ITU will continue to work hard – around the world – to improve the quality of life and help build an inclusive information society.




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Contact for this page: Strategic Planning and Membership Department
Updated : 2012-11-30