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ITU special regional event for Europe: Towards Digitally Accessible Europe, organized by ITU, will take place virtually on 03 December 2020, 10.00-12.10 CET. This forum is 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 event is part of ITU’s joint efforts with several partner organizations to promote digital accessibility in the European region as well as commemorating the beginning of Accessible Europe 2021 events. It is also held in the context of the International Day of Persons with Disability that aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.
In our world today, many people face accessibility barriers due to their health conditions or needs. The current pandemic demonstrates how these people are at higher risk and disproportionately impacted, which underlines the central role of digital solutions in providing inclusive responses to COVID-19.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), therefore, pose a vital role for ALL people’s empowerment and represent an enabler for an inclusive society. For Persons with Disabilities (PwD), ICTs are essential barrier removers which help them live an independent life, participate in cultural events or political processes, benefit from education or entertainment, or obtain a job.
In this context, the event will highlight stakeholders’ strategies and policies in promoting digital accessibility, and provide a platform for European Start-ups and SMEs to highlight the power of digital innovation in the field of accessibility. The outcomes of this forum will further promote the development of accessibility in countries and institutions, through the collective effort and cooperation of stakeholders and through sharing of successful outcomes of projects and initiatives implemented, in order to interchange resources and solutions and make the European region a more inclusive society.