UNESCO publishes report on ICT for persons with disabilities
The report, summarizing the recommendations of a group of experts on how UNESCO could assist its Member States in facilitating social inclusion of persons with disabilities through information and communication technologies (ICT), is now available in English both in printed and online versions.
This document provides an overview of the background and rationale for the expert meeting, organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) on 22 and 23 February 2010 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The meeting was attended by representatives of the disabled community, IT&T industry, research and educational institutions, non-governmental organizations working in the subject area, and United Nations family organizations.
The experts presented the following recommendations to UNESCO for consideration:
- Making UNESCO ICT-accessible
The group of experts recommended that UNESCO should ensure overall accessibility of persons with disabilities. To achieve this goal the Organization should improve its online presence and the accessibility of its website. It should also create accessible physical environment, develop appropriate procurement and recruitment policies, and ensure training and retaining of the employees.
- Mainstreaming ICT in inclusive education
UNESCO is encouraged to foster effective use of ICT that are accessible, adaptive and affordable for person with disabilities. Specific guidelines and tools are needed to teach persons with disabilities and to ensure that corresponding ICT competencies are embedded in initial teacher training.
- Mobilizing resources and international cooperation
The experts stressed the importance of identifying arguments for shifts in policy practices and determining funding opportunities where UNESCO could get involved. It is important to cooperate with organizations of persons with disabilities in order to get the best possible input and to have credible action lines and projects for funding.
- Creating an information and knowledge access ecosystem
This recommendation focuses on “touch points”, such as WorldWide Web, broadcasting, publishing, languages, etc., in the system in which people and humans interact with information and services. It also includes e-governance, which could be used to promote e-voting and e-democracy initiatives for citizen participation in an accessible way, as well increase participation in cultural activities.
The electronic version of the report is available here.
UNESCO promotes a concept of inclusive, equitable, open and participatory knowledge societies. The Organization will continue to assist its Member States in their efforts to empower their citizens, including persons with disabilities and marginalised groups, to access information and knowledge through the increasing use of ICT.