The Regional Forum for Europe on “Accessible Europe: ICTs 4 ALL" will take place virtually from 23 to 25 March 2021. This regional event for Europe is being jointly organised by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Commission (EC). The organisation of this event is supported by the Government of Portugal and is conducted as part of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Accessible Europe is held within the framework of the Regional Initiative for Europe on Accessibility, affordability and skills development for all to ensure digital inclusion and sustainable development adopted by the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017. This regional initiative aims at bridging the digital divide and equipping all groups of society, including persons with disabilities and other groups of people with specific needs, to take advantage of ICT, by enabling capacity building in digital skills.
In this context, the Forum will focus on further promoting the development of accessibility in countries and institutions, through the collective effort and cooperation of stakeholders and through sharing of successful outcomes of projects and initiatives implemented, in order to interchange resources and solutions and make the European region a more inclusive society. Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are of vital importance for people's empowerment and in promoting accessibility policies. The event highlights the relevance of joining efforts to remove barriers and enable human development and social inclusion of persons with disabilities and other groups of people with specific needs, through cooperation, programmes and projects development, generating partnerships, and training.
Accessible Europe is an important milestone of joint collaboration between ITU Office for Europe with partner organizations to foster enabling environment and inclusive digital society in the region. This joint effort to promote ICTs accessibility consists of the following tracks:
- Annual ITU-EC Forum on Accessible Europe: ICT for All;
- Towards Digitally Accessible Europe (in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disability);
- Regional Competition for Innovative Digital Solutions for an Accessible Europe;
- Regional Assessment of Enabling Environments Ensuring Accessible Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Persons with Disabilities in the Europe Region;
- Technical Assistance in Enhancing ICTs Accessibility.