The role of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and the design of innovative digital solutions to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities, were among the top takeaways from two major ITU events, which championed ICT (Information Communication Technologies) accessibility in the Americas and Europe regions.
Through the Digital Inclusion Programme, ITU supports its members in their efforts to empower all people – regardless of gender, age, ability, or location – by promoting ICT accessibility to create a more equitable and inclusive digital society. ITU develops resources and strengthens the capacity of members to implement ICT accessibility for digital inclusion policies and strategies, which ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age.
“Delivering on the promise of the digital economy means to leave no one behind," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “We at ITU believe that the principles of universal design, equal opportunities to accessible ICTs and assistive technologies are key to building inclusive societies."
“Promoting digital accessibility is part of our commitment to leaving no one behind," says Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. “With the world becoming ever more digital, accessibility to ICTs must be one of our most urgent priorities. These collaborative regional platforms bring together a broad community of expert stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society, and are an effective way of accelerating progress towards building a more inclusive information society."
Key topics discussed during the two events included: the role of artificial intelligence; accessibility in education; the development of digital skills for work; ICT accessibility as a business opportunity; procurement and standards; digital innovation ecosystem for assistive technologies; web accessibility; women in ICT; and the future of accessible audio-visual media services.