Over the next decades, cities will shape virtually every aspect of global development, including the manner in which fundamental human rights are won. As of today, persons with disabilities (PwDs) represent 15% of the world’s population, and yet 80% of them live in poverty and continue facing considerable barriers to participate in society; barriers which are exacerbated because of inaccessible physical, digital and social environments. One way to address the rapid transformation of urbanization and to ensure that we leave no one behind, local governments must prioritize inclusive policies, budgets and tools that will empower their constituents to collaboratively shape the development of their communities.
Technology can help to empower and enable PwDs and their communities to actively shape urban development policies. The utilization of assistive technology can help persons with disabilities in articulating their citizenship, mobilizing their skills, and actively participating in the inclusive urban policy making process . However, today, only 5-15% (approximately 1 in 10 persons) of the populations in need globally have access to assistive technology (AT) and the problem is more acute in low- and middle- income countries. Moreover, in a study conducted by World Enabled on the 1200 active digital development projects around the world, only 4% of them make mention to persons with disabilities as beneficiaries. The two findings show that agenda and commitment for disability inclusion in urban development are a work-in-progress in a lot of cities in the Asia-Pacific.
The session, co-organized by Kota Kita and World Enabled, will introduce the goals and structure of the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities to support the need of the principles to realize cities for all. The session will then build on the experiences from Kota Kita and City Government Banjarmasin that have been working on a collaborative model for a more inclusive urban development and policy making, including a participatory research about the needs, supply, and demand for assistive technology in informal settlements. Ultimately, the session aims to showcase the interlinkages between the work on disability inclusion and the opportunities of using data and promoting innovative technologies to realize ‘fully’ inclusive, resilient, and smart cities and society.
Indonesia and USA