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The special event for Europe “Accessible Europe: ICT 4 All – Celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities” was organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and took place virtually on 6 December 2022.
Accessible Europe events are 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.
The 2022 edition commemorated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is annually marked on December 3, as a day of celebration, sharing, and advocacy for the immediate and long-term improvement of the lives of persons with disabilities. This celebration also provided an ideal occasion to acknowledge the efforts committed to addressing the needs of those with disabilities and to empowering them to lead independent lives.
In this context, the event focused on collaborative efforts for an accessible digital society within the European region. It highlighted the importance of establishing a harmonized approach to ensure the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in the digital world. It also looked into the importance of digital tool and service standardization in answering needs of persons with disabilities.
Finally, in line with the conclusion of the European Year of Youth, a special youth session was held to hear the perspectives of young people with disabilities on a more Accessible Europe.
Ecmel Aysu Sürmen, Digital Inclusion Consultant - ITU Office for Europe
Session I: Towards a harmonized approach of ICT/digital accessibility: From international framework to implementation of an inclusive environment in Europe
This interactive session will focus on providing an overview of the international and regional approaches toward digital accessibility implementation in the Europe Region from the perspective of different stakeholders and experts. It will highlight the importance of building inclusive digital communities, cities, and societies in the Europe region.
Session II: Standardization of digital tools and services
In this session, the panellists will share their insights on the importance of regulation and standardization in facilitating access to digital tools and services by persons with disabilities. The panellists will also draw on their experience to discuss the challenges that must be overcome so that digital accessibility can be achieved in Europe and beyond.
Session III: The future of ICT and digital accessibility: What does youth aspire?
This interactive session will capture the aspiration of the Youth with Disabilities for a more Accessible Europe. It will provide a platform to put forward their needs and voice their vision of an inclusive digital world and ICT-enabled society.
UN Celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (2022)
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For this event, real-time captioning and international sign-language (ISL) interpretation will be provided. Participants requiring other types of accessibility accommodations are kindly requested to contact the ITU Office for Europe at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 20, 2022. Please note that provision of any additional accommodations is subject to availability of resources and funding.
Previous Accessible Europe Events:
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Regional Initiative on ICT Accessibility:
ITU Initiative on Accessibility:
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