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Special Session on “Remote working and the new elevated importance to build flexible work environments that facilitate PwDs socio-economic inclusion” - Part of COSP14

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ITU Office for Europe and the Zero Project co-facilitated a Special Session on “Remote working and the new elevated importance to build flexible work environments that facilitate PwDs socio-economic inclusion", which held virtually as a side event of the 14th Conference of States Parties to the CRPD – COSP14, on Friday, 18 June 2021 from 16:00-17:15 CEST (10:00-11:15 EST). This session was held within the framework of the Accessible Europe initiative, more precisely its workstream on fostering the ICT centric innovation ecosystem.

The global pandemic has elevated the importance of remote work and work from home as a normal practice that will enable everyone, including persons with disabilities, to have access to job opportunities using their home office. In effect, we must ensure that this new focus also creates a working environment that encourages people to be themselves and reach their full potential. People can perform their best if they work in an instinctively inclusive environment.

Our partners from Austria, Spain, and Switzerland outlined best practices when it comes to ensuring that built environments allow all people to fully participate in the digital benefits of tomorrow. Based on the COVID-19 experience, our partners' works in ICT accessibility reiterate the need of policymakers from public and private sectors to develop inclusive policies and strategies that support and facilitate remote work (working from home) opportunities, which will expand the opportunities for persons with disabilities to the job market, and thus, promote their independent lives and socio-economic development.​

List of speakers:

  • Roxana Widmer-Iliescu, Senior Coordinator - Digital Inclusion, International Telecommunication Union, Presentation
  • David Banes, Director, Access and Inclusion, Presentation
  • Sabine Lobnig, Director of Communications, Mobile and Wireless Forum, Presentation
  • Sabina Lobato, Director of Training and Employment, Operations and Transformation, Fundación ONCE
  • Alberto Prieto, Marketing Manager of Visualfy, Winner of Accessible Europe Competition 2021, Presentation

This session ​has benefited from Live Human English Captioning and International Sign Language Interpretation.