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Pacific Connect – ‘Technology Enabling Inclusiveness’ Dialogue

A blog report by Elvin Prasad

ICT Literacy Programme held 29-30 July, Suva, Fiji

Participants at ‘Technology Enabling Inclusiveness’ Dialogue

The ‘Technology Enabling Inclusiveness’ Dialogue brought together twenty-two Australian and Fijian emerging leaders to explore how assistive technology and improved digital connectivity can contribute to social inclusion in the Pacific.

This event was organized by HFC Bank Fiji and the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships (ICDP) with the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

A number of key project areas were proposed for consideration by the Dialogue participants who would be working on the implementation action for the next phase as outlined below:  

  • Establishing a supply chain for assistive technology
  • Providing better access to banking services for people with disabilities
  • Creating digital marketplaces
  • Accessibility mapping
  • Reducing inequalities in the Pacific region – ICT literacy programme
  • Jobs generation
  • Emergency response and aged care support

Developing ideas for creating social inclusiveness through the use of digital technologies will play a vital role in promoting universal, social and economic inclusion as it is a key target of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).    

The ‘ICT Literacy Programme’ is purposed to create an all-inclusive ICT literacy to bridge the digital accessibility gap, promoting universality and reducing inequalities in the Pacific region, whilst working on the following focus areas and engagement activities:

  • Awareness and Campaigns – focusing on creating social awareness and hosting international celebrations eg. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), World Autism Awareness Day, etc
  • ICT Literacy Training – developing training materials and education on assistive ICT tools
  • Digital Abuse – creating Internet safety awareness, empowering online safety for people with disabilities and developing a protective network offering support and advice to prevent and tackle Cyberbullying against people with disabilities
  • e-Accessibility – digital service accessibility for people with disabilities and establishing global industry standards on ICT accessibility

Pacific member countries will have to establish closer ties and long-term relationships with regional and global disability alliances such as the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) to effectively address ICT accessibility issues, ensuring global inclusive goals are reached.

Elvin Prasad is the Regional ICT Coordinator at the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) ICT.

(The views expressed by the author of this blog are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of PICISOC)

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