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.
It is against this background and to mark the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities held under the theme of “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world” that this event finds context. The event 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 event will also highlight select 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.
This event is also held as part of the WSIS TalkX series and is closely linked to the WSIS Action Lines – where accessibility is a cross-cutting topic – and the Sustainable Development Goals.