UN meeting calls for new technology policies for disabled in Asia-Pacific

15 October 2009

A United Nations-backed gathering in the Republic of Korea wrapped up today calling for improved access to Internet and mobile phone technologies, among others, for some 400 million persons with disabilities living in the Asia-Pacific region.

The three-day workshop, jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), recommended new guidelines to improve access to information and communication technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities in the region.

“ICTs, when used effectively, have the potential to empower people with disabilities to lead active, independent and productive lives,” said Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director of the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (APCICT).

Bringing together policy-makers from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, the workshop provided training in enhancing ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities.

It underscored the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which stipulates the right of persons with disabilities to access ICT, and examined issues connected to education, employment, procurement, increasing affordability and availability of ICT products and services, and awareness-raising and advocacy.

Government representatives were joined at the “Second Regional Workshop on the Enhancement of ICT Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities” in the port city of Incheon by experts from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Australia, European Union (EU), Italy, the Republic of Korea, United Kingdom and United States.


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