Study initiated to facilitate Persons with Disability by INIT
THE INTER Islamic Network of Information Technology (INIT) is going to develop a study in Pakistan, Malaysia, Qatar, Tunisia, and Jordan to investigate and classify policy initiatives across Organization of Islamic Counties (OIC) that facilitate access and inclusion of person with disability, with a cross ponding review implementation and practice.
With the advent of information and communication technologies (ICTs), new hopes are emerging for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). In spite of the huge challenges, sincere efforts are being undertaken to involve ICTs to counter issues around disability.
According to the spoke person of INIT, Dr. Akbar Gardezi, “this study is established upon the commitments which is glorify in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability (UNCRPD) that provide a framework detailed analysis of role of ICT’s”.
It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, he further added.
This study will explain the elements of a convenience infrastructure and review the availability of such elements with OIC member states. It will also identify that which states are taking concrete steps to deliver elements of the infrastructure, and how that experience could support emerging services and products in other states.
This study is also going to create a gap analysis of current state policy across pilot member states to awaken the sharing of outcomes to accelerate progress towards ICT networks.
Professor Tim Unwin, UNESCO Chair ICT4D while conducting the workshop on “ICTs for Development: Mainstreaming the Marginalized”, organized by INIT as preliminary workshop for this study; said that person with disabilities are often seen as a drain on government resources through the welfare budget; using ICTs can help people with disabilities contribute to the productive economy, and thus the tax budget.”
INIT have engaged with international experts with experience within OIC members states to deliver the discovery workshops within five pilot states. The diversity of states selected offers a broad spread of both experience and needs representative of the wider OIC membership.
In this study, the policy, resources and initiatives that support the use of ICT by people with disability will be reviewed by several areas including public policy, awareness and communication, advice and assessment, training and professional development, provision of Assistive Technologies, technical support availability eAcecessibility and access to digital content, research and development and innovation.
This will contain options for involving in the use of open source technologies, seeking to reduce costs and maximize impact, both the localization of proven open source solutions to support regional languages and the development of innovative open solutions from within the network. Opportunities to develop products and services that could reach markets beyond the network, will be considered including any contribution to meeting the needs of refugees within the Middle East.
The outcomes of this study will provide the foundations of a strategy for access and inclusion of people with a disability through technology across OIC members. This would provide a basis for collaboration with other international initiatives to benefit citizens of OIC member states with a disability globally.