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FW: [accessbangla] Kofi Annan: Make the Internet available to everyone

From: George Kerscher <kerscher@montana.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2006 08:16:45 -0700
To: "WAI Interest Group \(WAI Interest Group\)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <005501c710a4$bd5ba7d0$0200000a@George>
I thought people on this list would find this of interest.

 

 

UNESCO

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

 

Kofi Annan: Make the Internet available to everyone

 

Access to information technology creates opportunity for all, especially
persons with disabilities, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a message
for

the International Day of Disabled Persons, observed on 3 December under the
theme "E-accessibility".

 

Mr Annan's message reads as follows:

 

The theme of this year's observance of the International Day of Disabled
Persons, "E-accessibility", reminds us of the need to make the Internet
available

to everyone.

 

This is a welcome change. As information and communication technologies
spread across the world, drawing in more and more users every day, most
websites

remained inaccessible to the millions of people who have difficulty
manipulating a mouse, or who are visually impaired and need a "screen
reader" or large

fonts to read the page. Slowly, Governments and the private sector have been
recognizing the economic and social benefits of making websites fully
accessible,

and have been putting in place changes involving software and hardware
alike.

 

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is expected
to be approved by the General Assembly later this month, can give additional

impetus to this trend. States that choose to become party to the Convention
will thereby commit themselves to taking steps to provide "information
intended

for the general public to persons with disabilities in accessible formats
and technologies appropriate to different kinds of disabilities in a timely
manner

and without additional cost". The Convention urges private businesses and
mass media to do the same with their services.

 

On this International Day, let us pledge again to do our utmost to achieve
the vision of an inclusive, people-centred, development-oriented information

society. And let us redouble our efforts to ensure that persons with
disabilities can exercise their human rights and play their full part in the
economic,

social and political lives of their societies.

 

Over 10% of the world's population suffers from a variety of disabilities
and ICTs have great potentials for making significant improvements in the
lives

of these persons as they can compensate for physical or functional
limitations, thus allowing them to enhance their social and economic
integration in

communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them. UNESCO
works with its partners to promote the use of ICT for including people with

disabilities in strategies for information and knowledge access.

 

Recently, UNESCO co-organized with the Society for the Advancement of
Library and Information Science (SALIS) and the Madras School of Social Work
(MSSW)

a Workshop on Information Literacy Competency Development for Library and
Information Science Professionals and Special Educators at MSSW in Chennai,
India

(6-10 November 2006).

 

http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=23451&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTI
ON=201.html

 

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Received on Saturday, 25 November 2006 15:17:09 UTC

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