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Tag: Persons with disabilities

Making Mobile Phones and Services Accessible for Persons with Disabilities is a joint report of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and G3ict. Researched and Edited by the Center for Internet & Society, and was released in November 2011.

Mobile communications have become in less than two decades omnipresent in all countries, reaching out to the most isolated and underserved populations in developed and developing countries alike. In 2011more than 5.4 billion mobile phones are in use, almost one per human being on the planet.

In the midst of this telecommunication revolution, however, populations of senior citizens and persons living with disabilities have been left out due to accessibility factors: complex human interfaces difficult to understand and activate for persons with cognitive impairments or learning disabilities, lack of alternative communications for persons living with low vision, blind, hard of hearing or deaf, or, quite often handset ergonomics too difficult for persons with physical disabilities such as dexterity or mobility limitations.

This report contains references to the new legislative and regulatory framework set by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an important resource for policy makers. It also covers practical elements required for a successful implementation of those programs and policies.

Download report.

on 25 November 2011, the ITU Workshop on “Telecommunications Relay Services for Persons with Disabilities” will be organised in Geneva, Switzerland.
One very important mechanism to provide equal access for persons with hearing disabilities are relay services, where an intermediary typically provides a conversion typically between voice and text or sign language. An increasing number of countries are adopting the UNCRPD and will need advice on the provision of relay services. Also, it is expected that more relay services will be deployed in Europe with the passing of new versions of the Telecommunications Framework Directives; similar regulatory activity and increase in relay service offerings are also expected in other parts of the world. In developing countries, where higher percentages of the population face disabilities, the need for relay services is greater. At the same time, it should be noted that, as the Internet infrastructure develops, it may be used to provide high-quality relay services without the need to build services using older technologies. Finally, relay services today entail operation costs higher than those of normal telephone calls; technical and regulatory solutions are needed to reduce those costs towards the equal basis access to telecommunication services prescribed by the UNCRPD. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.
More information.

The European Parliament offers traineeship opportunities for persons with disabilities. The 7th traineeship period will start on 1 March 2010 for 6 months and the application period has just started.

You can find the call for applications (open until 15 October 2009) here.
Seven to nine traineeships will be offered. For further information, contact: traineeship-pilot@europarl.europa.eu.

With inclusion in the information society growing in importance, the Commission has identified the urgent need to clarify ethical issues in order to respect the rights of users and enable thriving markets to develop (June 2007 Commission Communication on Ageing Well in the Information Society and the November 2007 Communication on e-Inclusion). Ethical issues related to inclusion in the information society concern amongst others ICT for healthy and independent living of elderly people, assistive technologies for persons with disabilities, ICT for integration of marginalised young people or migrants. All these themes were discussed in a workshop held in Brussels on 16 March 2009 – the first of a series of three – organised by the eInclusion Unit. Objective of these meetings is to set up criteria for selecting best ethical practices in the field of eInclusion as seen by all stakeholders: industry, research community, civil society, regional authorities, end users. Participation was restricted to speakers and a selected stakeholder and expert panel.

More information here.