The ITU-EC Forum for Europe on “Accessible Europe: ICT for ALL” is underway in Vienna, Austria, from 12 to 14 December 2018. This regional event for Europe is jointly organized by the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and European Commission (EC), and hosted by United Nations Vienna.
Accessible Europe is held within the framework of the implementation 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 and aiming at bridging the digital divide and equip all groups of society, including persons with disabilities and specific needs, to take advantage of ICT, by enabling capacity building in digital skills.
In the context of the above this Forum will focus on further promoting the development of accessibility in countries and institutions, through the effort and cooperation of stakeholders and sharing successful outcomes of projects and initiatives already implemented, in order to interchange resources and solutions and make Europe region a more inclusive society. Telecommunications and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have vital importance for people’s empowerment and in promoting accessibility policies. The event will highlight the relevance of joining efforts to remove barriers and enable human development and social inclusion of persons with disabilities and special needs and other groups of people with specific needs, either through cooperation, programs and projects development, and generate partnerships, and training.
In line with this, the ITU and EC have joined efforts to encourage Governments, industry, Academia and other stakeholders to promote ICT accessibility in order to create fair and equal opportunities for all people and support a regional development agenda by treating ICT accessibility for people with specific needs and in particular persons with disabilities, as a cross‐cutting development issue.