One billion persons with some form of disability can benefit from assistive technologies that can facilitate their social, economic and political engagement, including their participation in decision-making processes that affect their lives and ambitions for sustainable development. Persons with physical, sensory, cognitive/learning or invisible disabilities represent nearly 15% of the world population with a higher prevalence in developing countries. The number of persons with a disability is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050.
The issue of accessible technologies for persons with disabilities and specific needs is also highlighted in the annual World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum. It is crucial that information and communication technologies (ICTs), including assistive technologies, are available, accessible, and affordable for all. WSIS and its stakeholders initiated a special track on ICTs and Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and Specific Needs that provides space for discussions and constructive dialogues to mainstream accessibility in all the technologies. This special track covers a range of topics on innovative technologies for persons with disabilities to ensure inclusiveness and equality.
The podcast aims at increasing awareness of the importance of supporting innovation ecosystems to spur the development of new and improved assistive technologies; promote understanding of the workings of the assistive technologies industry; and share insights on the landscape and global trends in this cluster of technologies as a complement to universal design. The podcast also highlights selected initiatives by members of the UN family to support informed discussions relating to the realization of the objectives of the CRPD and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.