The World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) 2018 took place in Geneva on 18–23 March 2018. The WSIS Forum is the biggest annual meeting of the ‘ICT for development’ community, attended by almost 2,000 participants. It is a worldwide multi-stakeholder platform that aims to implement the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development.
The WSIS Forum allows stakeholders to exchange information, create knowledge and share best practices. It also provides an opportunity to identify emerging trends and forge partnerships, in light of the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.
The Agency was invited to present at the session ‘Inclusive Information Accessibility Service Environment Enables the Fruits of Technology Development Shared by All’, moderated by the Internet Society of China.
The Agency presentation, ‘Fostering accessible information provision for policy-makers and practitioners’, focused on introducing the Agency and its links to accessibility. It built on previous Agency projects, such as:
- ICT for Information Accessibility in Learning (ICT4IAL)
- Information and Communication Technology for Inclusion (ICT4I)
- Accessible Information Provision for Lifelong Learning (i-access).
The Agency representative described why accessibility is relevant for the organisation and in the context of inclusive education, and how the Agency supports policy-makers and practitioners in providing accessible information. Some of the key Agency messages shared were:
- Access to ICT and information is a human right (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
- Providing access to ICT and information to people with disabilities and/or special needs often benefits a larger group in society – this is known as the ‘synergy principle’.
- Organisations have an obligation to provide accessible information and the Agency aims to lead by example.