Access for people with disabilities

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that 15 per cent of world population are with disabilities. However, information and communication technologies (ICT) have the potential for making significant improvements in the lives of these persons, allowing them to enhance their social and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them.

UNESCO is one of the UN agencies that promotes and supports the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted in 2006. UNESCO’s vision is to create knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all its citizens.

To achieve this vision, UNESCO has undertaken an action plan centred around thematic priorities:

  • Research and evidence-based data collection
  • Development of policies and strategies on inclusion of persons with disabilities
  • Building an enabling environment and raising awareness
  • Development of appropriate tools for inclusion
  • Capacity building
UNESCO has undertaken an action plan centred around thematic priorities: 
- Research and evidence-based data collection
- Development of policies and strategies on inclusion of persons with disabilities
- Building an enabling environment and raising awareness
- Development of appropriate tools for inclusion
- Capacity building

Call for nominations for the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

The call for nominations for the 2016/2017 edition of the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities is now open. The aim of the Prize is to reward the outstanding contributions of individuals and organizations that promote inclusion and the enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities in society through the effective, innovative and inclusive application of digital solutions.

UNESCO-UNDESA Side Event: Universal Access to Information using ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Digital Empowerment for Inclusive Development

15 June 2016 - 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Room 12 United Nations Headquarters, New York, USA

The side event, organized jointly by UNESCO and UNDESA, will cover a wide range of issues around digital empowerment of persons with disabilities. Digital empowerment refers to an individual’s capacity to participate in society in the most meaningful and effective manner by exploiting the full advantages and benefits provided by digital solutions and resources. Speakers will share concrete examples on how digital empowerment as a result of successful measures taken at national, regional and international level improved the quality of life of persons with disabilities, provided access to information and knowledge, facilitated learning and employment, as well as built an enabling environment and opportunities for self-realization.

Publication - "Digital Empowerment – Access to Information and Knowledge Using ICTs for Persons with Disabilities"

The publication “Digital Empowerment – Access to Information and Knowledge using ICTs for Persons with Disabilities” highlights the thematic priorities UNESCO has chosen to promote a better understanding of benefits of digital technology to access information and knowledge by persons with disabilities. The publication also provides short case studies from different regions to illustrate work already undertaken by UNESCO in each of the following thematic priorities: research and evidence-based data collection; development of inclusive legislation, policies and strategies; building an enabling environment and cooperation; awareness raising; development of appropriate tools and capacity building. These thematic priorities form a self-reinforcing cycle that can digitally empower persons with disabilities to have access to information and knowledge.

Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities

3 December 2015 - 10:00 - 17:30
UNESCO Headquarters, Room I, Paris, France

In line with the Organization’s strategic objective to build inclusive knowledge societies, UNESCO looks to promote International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) celebrates the extraordinary potential of persons with disabilities. The celebration programme under the theme “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities” will include keynote speeches, a high-level discussion panel, film screenings and cultural events.

High Level Dialogue - Making Empowerment a Reality – Accessibility for All

Plenary session from 9.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.
27 May 2015

UNESCO, as facilitator of the WSIS Action Line C3 – Access, will bring together high level panelists who are actively engaged in the international cooperation, policy making, civil society and human rights activities, and industrial development in order to share their experiences in the area of digital inclusion and contribute to shaping the Action Line’s future.

Role of ICT's for Persons with Disabilities International Conference

Documents: 

  • Final Agenda (DOC - PDF)
  • Conference Proceedings (DOC - PDF)
  • New Delhi Declaration on Inclusive ICTs for Persons with Disabilities: Making Empowerment a Reality (DOC - PDF)

Publication - "Model Policy for Inclusive ICTs in Education of Persons with Disabilities"

This model policy is part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) joint efforts to facilitate the implementation of the UNCRPD. The main objective was to develop a model policy document to be used as a template to assist UNESCO Member States in promoting the effective use of inclusive ICTs in education for learners with disabilities, although it must be emphasised that the policy objectives and actions outlined in this document are equally applicable to any learners who are vulnerable to exclusion from any sector of education.

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