15 SEPTEMBER 2010
REACHING THE MOST SOCIALLY
EXCLUDED PEOPLE IN SOCIETY
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to start in a few moments and waiting on one panelist to arrive. I'll start with myself. I'm Andrea Saks. I'm the JCA, the Joint Coordinator on Accessibility and human factors, the convener for ITU.
Welcome to 114, the Digital Inclusion: Reaching the Most Socially Excluded People in Society. We would like you to speak and talk and to give your ideas on who you think is excluded and why.
So with that, I decided that what we'll do is that each person and I am stepping in in the breach, someone was not able to do this particular workshop. I'm going to ask our different panelists to identify yourself and I would ask all of you to identify yourself.
If you'll notice, we have captioning, it is extremely important for people with hearing loss for not only people with hearing loss, but for people with English as a second language.
Eventually the captioner is very clever she or he will be able to recognize your voice when you speak. Don't take that for granted, please identify who you are. I would like to start with the first person on my right. Which, if I mess up the name, I'm sure also, just for the first time, if your name is unusual or particularly foreign, our captioners are American, please spell your last name.
I would like to introduce Marc Berejka, please proceed down the line, speak for a few minutes about yourself and who you are I would be grateful.
>> MARC BEREJKA: My name is Marc Berejka, a Lithuanian name. In the United States I have a hard time getting people to pronounce it easily. Here I haven't had any problem.
I've been doing telecommunications and international policy over 20 years. My career is a telecom lawyer in Washington, D.C. and went to work in Microsoft's Government Affairs Office in the late 1990s and spent years in Washington, D.C. and Redmond, Washington working inside Microsoft's growing Government Affairs Operations.
Two summers ago I joined the Obama Administration as senior advisor on technology policy for Gary Locke at the Commerce Department.
My portfolio includes intellectual property, standards, telecommunication and Internet issues and the like.
>> ANDREA SAKS: I would like to introduce Axel Leblois with G3ict.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: I'm Axel Leblois. I was president and CEO in the United States for about 23 years. And about four years ago I started a nonprofit organisation with the Secretariat from the Convention of Disability in UN to actually promote the digital accessibility dispositions of the convention for persons with disability which are quite extensive and that's why we are at the IGF this week.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Axel. Esther is sitting in for the moment for the Honorable James Rege, the Chairman of the Parliamentarian Committee. Esther, is there something you would like to say?
>> ESTHER WANJAU: Good morning, I'm Esther Wanjau. I'm the Minister of Communications in Kenya. I'm standing in for Honorable James Rege, he's MP in Kenya, the Chairman of Parliamentary of Chairman of Communications and come and talk about how we included the people, everybody, in the digital technology world. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: I would like on my far left to introduce Mr. Lambert, I'm going to do a terrible job, Lambert Nistelrooij, who is a member of the European Parliament.
>> LAMBERT VAN NISTELROOIJ: I'm Lambert Van Nistelrooij, I'm in telecom for energy and these kind of questions today I would especially target the group of older people and their services and participation, et cetera, in the programmes that we do in Europe, that might be my contribution.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Before I start doing questions, I want to point out there are several kinds of groups that have difficulty, as our honorable MM sorry, he has arrived. Oh, thank you, sir. Just one moment.
We're going to stop the proceedings for the Honorable James Rege to take the floor. I hope you'll forgive us for starting without you. I would like you to take an opportunity to introduce yourself and would you say your name for the captioners so they will write and capture you properly and give us a little bit of who you are?
>> JAMES REGE: First, I apologize for coming in late. My name is James Rege, I'm a member of Parliament, an engineer professor, Chairman and Energy and Communications in Kenya. My past is worked for Interfast in Washington, D.C. for years in communications. I'm managing director for Vodafone. I worked in communications and now doing politics. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you very much, Mr. Rege.
To define that session, we are going to feed into the main session on Access and Diversity. Therefore, it is important that we come up at the end with a couple of main messages that we can take that I'm going to have to present for you.
So this is a democracy, in my opinion, so we'll come to a conclusion at the end. I want to just point out, I was just about to say, before I'm going to mess up your name again, Mr. Nistelrooij, has declared himself a representative for older people and we have a person a representative for older people, we also need to look at women and children and young adults. We have some young adults in the audience who promise to speak.
And also the fact that will are women, especially in developing countries who have not the access and there are different divides. We have a digital divide. So all these areas, and if I've left out something, it's your opportunity. If would you like me to ask each one of the panel to speak about what who they feel is the most deprived person or the person that they represent for five minutes and open the floor? I think that might not be a bad idea.
I started with right. Explain thank you. I did forget indigenous people. I'll ask you next time to go to the microphone, Yvonne Harmon.
Started with that end and I'll go to the other end and so would you like to speak a little bit about older people, Mr. Van Nistelrooij? Excuse me.
>> LAMBERT VAN NISTELROOIJ: Yes. I'm willing to take on this group. Why? Because in Europe we have a shift coming in the population. And as the figures show now, in general we have 75% of the younger group, 15 to 24 years that use Internet regularly, and figure is about 20% if you look to the older group, what's older, 55 to 70, and even less if you go with the really older people. About 70. So there is something in the figures, and we have to work on it. This is the first thing.
The second thing is that, in fact, looking to the way we communicate and the way we give services and the way we talk to people and representatives of these groups, they are they're asking for more quality, for quality of life and to stay in their own homes and not be treated as someone who needs to go to hospital or stay in care homes.
There's a wish to stay longer as independent as possible and to use Internet and to use the telephone services to be organized in their environment, in their house and their village like that. This is the other way. In the 13 years that in fact, we the cost of care, the cost of this older generation that will grow so quickly is enormous. And we are looking for European environment, we are looking at possibilities to put this challenge to a possibility of participation, but also possibility for economic and social investment because in this way, we can have other way of organizing our health care, organizing services, et cetera.
This is silver economy, not only gray hair, but maybe in this sense, we can do a lot.
What do we do? Not talk too long. What do we do? We have one programme which in the union, 16 countries and European Union are now in this years investing some 1 billion euros in ambient assisted living. Those that want to know much more about this programme is to have experience, complete experience with Internet services with communication, with security and et cetera in the different countries. Ambient assisted living is this programme.
And, in fact, what the big thing is that we are just beginning with these experiences and we have in our union 27 different countries with total different financing systems and the point is that when we talk with industry, et cetera, there is a lot of things that we might already use or make more functioning, but every country has its own way of financing.
There is too less scale in growing out. They always say look at United States, there you can have a much bigger market, much more in Europe and Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands and financing and way of producing these kind of things. We should scale out and have bigger and mask those activities and talking to groups here, it's we should make it much more easier to use these kind of services.
We should have much more talk with representatives here in the audience how to do this. I know I will stop now because I took my indictment I have some good examples I'm the president of the smart homes association in the Netherlands and we also do it in my country and maybe later on we can do it in debate.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you very much. I would like to ask who he feels are not getting access to Internet or ICTs?
>> JAMES REGE: Thank you. I own Parliament for very, very much constituency from South Victoria, I know my people were left out and thought they were left out for good, but with me running the elections, they beginning to feel nice because they beginning to see the light of the day.
Things they thought impossible or were just dreams they realise are not just so big. Everything thought technology was such a big name, but I told them, that technology is just a word. Technology is what provides the tool. ICT, I asked them, I told them what I was comparing, I told you that really nice things, I brought in mobile communications, so everybody bought a handset, and now a huge number of consequence have mobile phone.
I asked them, how many of you have mobile phones, and nearly everybody raise their hands. They're so happy that they can communicate with their loved ones. Now in Kenya we have this thing called purser, you transfer money, almost all of our salaries we share with them. So we send the money using this electronic thing called purser, which is so peculiar in the country.
So even an old woman can access her money using a mobile phone, so I told them, look, this computer. The big thing about the computer in front of you is just that you can this handset you're using for retrieving is actually a computer. So they say, oh, okay, okay. You said they then begin to be very happy, to feel happy. Now, what we do next, we found out that they're so thirsty for development, that's it.
So now they're taking the youth. The youth are good for nothing. They just for nothing, they're just drinking the booze, they don't have they never go to school, so they they get children and the children, they cannot take care of them because they don't have the money. And the number is multiplying day by day.
So the future is bleak for these people. Because what next? They didn't go to school, they have nothing else to do. Well, when I say they didn't go to school, I mean in Kenya, the it's very competitive, if you go to 12 grade, that's it, you have no job. You may go to university, but if you didn't go the academic curriculum, you have nothing.
So, I have teamed up with Cisco and Microsoft. I did that with Oracle, my competition, my opposition. I did it and it's become very, very popular. What we've done is try to get the people, in the evening. Last year cisco satisfied and Microsoft satisfied. What I told them is if you can get a job around the world, so they took it seriously.
So seriously that what I they feel something is amiss. When they see me, they know that I'm bringing them some new stuff about ICT. Since we committed these 200, I see a lot of traffic coming into the constituency to see if we can assist in giving them some job to do to earn a living.
Some of them have come back saying we lacking bandwidth. So bandwidth is the issue, everywhere I go, the issue is bandwidth; now bandwidth is available. It is so expensive. Everybody I go, we chip in, we bring in some money to bring in the bandwidth. So we give them the bandwidth, but the bandwidth because of lack of bandwidth, some go back because they say we cannot sustain this. But some they say we can work with you.
So we are out of money, we are out we are trying to do the little we can in terms of accessibility, the bandwidth infrastructure. We are compete and I want to thank the country of Netherlands, I have friends who deliver computers to my constituency and some are still coming so I can put computers even in schools, send them to schools because this is lack of technology.
If they can learn computers and send them to school, it means these are students in universities and can get some work today, they are so much better learning jobs, which these kids can do. It's not that expensive to earn a living when you can do these things for a mobile learn a mobile let me say five dollars a day, $10 a day. If they can learn this work, they can earn a living.
So we were training them, and it they are coming to my constituency not just my constituency alone, but also into other constituencies. Kenya has young, bright who grasp technology so fast, they have learn from mobile phones. Today Microsoft in Swahili, it's done.
What I'm saying is my people, who are so poor, can now see the light of the day because of advancement in technology. But the question is how do we sustain this? Sustainability is the question.
Among that, I also want to introduce in the country where I come from, we are some 400,000 constituents who care about us, the parameters, that care about these people. The advanced medicine and technology technological advances in medicine.
I find out if I'm allergic to aspirin, if I can't take an aspirin, how can I help these people I have two minutes, but I want to say a little bit more so that we can just get some help in some of these areas of the remote areas of the world. Thank you, Madame Chair.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. I actually think you did a great job of explaining what's going on in Africa, in a country that has been left behind, momentarily, of the great digital divide and the progress you made is really important.
Basically, just to recap, in the Netherlands, they are talking about taking care of getting older people on so they can reduce costs keeping them in their home.
You brought out something very interesting about older people, they did not realise their mobile phone is a computer, they're talking about investment and talking about indigenous people and languages. It's not all of the points, but gives us an idea of what we need to discuss.
I want to briefly introduce the Digital Empowerment Foundation, good morning. Introduce yourself, tell me what you are and your subject. We're going to have to be quick. We want to get the floor to start talking.
So, Marc, would you like to go, please. We're going to do it differently this way.
>> MARC BEREJKA: I have data that's a completely different realm. I hail from the United States Department of Commerce which houses our Census Bureau, and every year the Census Bureau conducts a fairly detailed, very rigorous survey of U.S. consumers. And periodically that survey conducts questions that relate to broadband adoption and availability.
We have just this year began to data about current usage across the United States. In one of the most developed countries, we have rigorous data about broadband and who has access, as well as survey data about why people don't use broadband if it's available.
I'll try to give a high level overview of the data. Some of it is not surprising; some of it does yield a few surprises. In broad strokes in the United States, we've determined that over 95% of households have broadband available to them.
Sometimes you get into a debate of what broadband is. They didn't get into the details, sometimes they asked a user if they knew broadband was available. Most said yes. Then the question becomes yes. If 95% more availability, what's the takeup rate? And the takeup rate varies population by population by population, and in the United States we segment the population in certain ways, and I'll give you a rough overview of how we've done our segmentation.
Basically, the uptake is highest among white Americans and Asian Americans who have substantial income and live in urban areas. Penetration or adoption in that tier is around 85%. From policy perspective, we ask ourselves what is the natural smoothing out range for adoption. Televisions in the United States have 97, 98% adoption in the United States, phones have around the same area, and you wonder is there a natural topping out for broadband.
I'm not saying 85% is it, but in the United States almost everybody in an urban area who wants broadband can get it, and we have 85% in the wealthiest category, which means 10% of people who can opt to not take broadband.
Our other divides in our survey data cut across similar lines. Racial categories, income categories, employed versus unemployed, rural versus urban, and almost in very, very broad strokes, if you really want the data, I encourage you to go to DOC.gov and the census bureau to get the actual data, but if you take a population or attribute, you can step down from 85% penetration by about 10 to 15 percentage points.
So what I mean by that is in urban areas, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, native Americans, those populations of wealth have about 75% takeup. If you go into a rural area that you lose another factor of 10%.
Down populations, the takeup rate is dramatically different. So at the high end we have 85%. At the low end we're down 15, 25% penetration. That tends to be not surprisingly people who live in purely areas, people who are Hispanic or African American and low income.
And so we have this tiering across the U.S. population along these different attributes and those are the policy concerns for us because, you know, we understand that many of those attributes are unavoidable and so there seems to be a fairness that needs to be addressed.
We can save that question, I think for later. The other thing I'll point out about the data is we did ask people who have access to broadband why they weren't subscribing and we asked them are you intimidated by technology? Is it too costly? Are you worried about privacy and security? Do you just not care?
Here, some of the surprising things were by and large people did not say privacy and security was a concern. For many, many years in the United States people have been arguing we need to work harder on our privacy laws and cyber security systems because people were afraid they would lose their privacy or be insecure on line.
Statistically insignificant percentage of respondents said that was a reason they were not on line. The number was so low the people at the bureau said we not ask that question again. It was like 2% which was in the statistics realm a rounding error. That was a surprise.
Another surprise why people do not subscribe to broadband is for many people, cost is a concern but not an overriding concern. Many people who do not subscribe say broadband is not relevant to them.
So relevance, if you're elderly, relevance if you're in a lower income population seems to be a big con restaurant, and this was very, very surprising. That raises another interesting policy question, how do you make broadband administer relevant to people? What should the government do if individuals find broadband is not relevant to their lifestyle?
I think we'll begin to develop some answers to that question in the United States over the next several years. Under a law that we're implementing now, the Recovery Act, an 800 million dollar programme to offset some of the economic losses incurred during the recession, part of that is part of that 800 million is a small amount of money for broadband adoption programmes. Several hundred million dollars are being parceled out by an agency at the Commerce Department to local broadband adoption programmes. These funds are just being awarded now and over the next several years, we'll be able to study those difference programmes and see which ones are the most are you able to make broadband relevant to people.
I love the example from Mr. Rege how people are able to use their cell phone to move money around and don't realise they're using a computer. For some of the most vulnerable populations, we just have to find the magic that makes the computer sort of disappear into the background and have the broadband experience be just natural.
So in any event, that's a quick overview of what we found at the Commerce Department through our Census Bureau analysis, as well as quick description of what we're doing over the next couple of years to find out what are the impediments to broadband adoption in the United States.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Marc, appreciate you explaining your survey. I now would like to move to Axel Leblois, he has a survey as well and has been studying how the UN Convention has been implemented in 45 countries, so I'm going to turn this over and he will explain his interest in accessibility.
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: Thank you, very much. This is a question of persons living the disability and statistics. Quite a few years ago there was a group of statisticians from different countries that got together to count for persons in national census, so we have quite a few countries that have methodologies such as South Africa, Brazil or the United States, and that shows that the population of persons living with disabilities is far greater than most people believed it to be.
So, for example, in South Africa, persons with disabilities for the total population is no the range of 19 to 20%, in Brazil between 14 and 15%, and in the United States it's 17%, meaning you have 54.4 million persons in the United States as notified by the U.S. Census as living with disabilities.
That means a proven difficulty in function every day with barriers due to physical impairment, censor or cognitive issues. The issue there is that in most cases in the past, statistics were not relevant because people were asked are you living with disability, and many people don't feel they are, although they are living with a disability.
So as of now you can count about 12% of the world population living with a severe disability and 6% temporary or minor disability. Why is it important to us here? You can imagine the difficulties of living with technology if you have a disability.
If you have low vision or blind, it's hard to interface with digital interfaces. Although there are a lot of new technologies to make it happen, quite often they start off required to let a blind person, for example, interface with a web site and therefore the information or the interaction with the web site is not visible for a person with no vision.
Another example is automatic teller machine, ATM for banks which may be located too high for somebody in a wheelchair. Or, perhaps, doesn't have a jack for somebody that needs ear phones so persons can operate an ATM or television not being captions. More than half the countries don't have captions for persons with disabilities, although it's a convention. So these persons in the world are clearly affected by the issue of interfacing with technology.
Let me give you a very interesting example, which I think we'll followup quite nicely with what Marc Berejka Marc was telling us. In the United States the FCC conducted a survey last February, the results were furnished to analyze the segment of doctors, that's the same population you were referring to. While the astounding number that came out of it from our perspective, 39%, three nine, 39% of the doctors with broadband of the United States are persons with disability, has a visible factor of a situation where lots of people without technology because they can't, they just can't.
We have been working with industry, with companies such of IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, and even working with companies with technology, it's very hard to have an easy to use universal way to get persons with disabilities to work with technology. It's a challenge.
By the same token, I should say technology brings unbelievable benefits to persons with disabilities. For example, you know, digital books and the way we use, you know, text to speech functionalities with computers and cell phones allow persons who have difficulties to read bring blind, low vision, dyslexic or other form of disability, suddenly you have millions of person who can read and access information which they never could before, unless they learn Braille which in most cases was when they were very young. If you acquire blindness in your lifetime, it's kind of difficult to already get used to Braille unless you were doing it when you were a child.
Technology brings extraordinary cell phones, geo positioning to see where you were and where are the services for you or access services that are specifically designed for you such as understanding as a visible person where you can get some basic services.
So those are the issues that face disabled persons. The convention of persons with disability has notified accessibility information convention technologies as further more of rights and it defines accessibility as accessibility to the physical environment, to transportation, and to information with technologies, which means any time the services have to be accessible, anything that's electronic it supplies anything electronic.
So it has profound implications so starting with eGovernment web sites which for the most part in the world are accessibility today. So they use your taxpayer money to further discriminate against the population which is, in fact, for anyone who thinks about it very clearly.
Now we have social services, more and more it was aided by a number of we have a population in the U.S. over 65 years of age, 52% of the persons over 65 years of age live with disability. So it means the very population is at risk you asked me if this population was at risk and excluded, so, yes, it was much excluded. However, there are potential with technology and ask me to be to go beyond it.
It is an example of what governments can do to actually enhance the capability of R&D in technologies. So it's a very promising field and challenging at the same time.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Axel. I'm going to move on to Osama Manzar. Is that correct? Am I pronouncing your name right? I would like you to do what the others did in the beginning. Introduce yourself and tell me where you're from and tell us your expertise and what you would like to talk about. Thank you very much.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: We're going to go to the floor. These are fabulous experts who will start a challenge to come up with good questions. Carry on.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Are you listening to us or somebody else?
>> ANDREA SAKS: We have captions for all of us temporarily disabled.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: My name is Osama Manzar, I come from an organisation called Digital Empowerment Foundation, we are based in India. We also have many parts of Southeast Asia and India. We are organisation that organizes in the region and apart from that, we have a lot of footprints on the ground and centres for socially included and people living in the remote areas including tribal areas.
Before I talk further here, this organisation is about 7, 8 years old and 40 people plus. We are a network of more than at least 2,000 different kind of organisation across the country and region.
The reason why we have a huge network is because the work that we do. We get very emotionally and very, very strongly attached to most of the nominees and bodies that come on our board.
We recognize people that do great work using technology in the area as development of governments, reaching out to people. Could be in any areas of health, business, culture, tradition and governments and so on and so forth. We have a booth outside and you can pick up copies if you want.
Just to come on how to have Digital Inclusion for Socially Excluded People, I would like to share some perspective that India has, all the way from far away India looks that they're doing great work and ITD, but everything is geometric population of excluded people as well.
If you have a population too, here only IT world and things like that, we have 70% and more living in remote areas and not really very well connected. When I talk about connected, they don't even have dial up in areas.
Just to give you perspective, we are a country of more than 650 million mobile penetration. We have more than 130 million TV penetration. We have 140 million radio penetration, and we have more than 50 to 60 million Internet penetration. Our Internet penetration is less than the moment, but do you remember the number of broadband? 9 million is broadband penetration in our country.
And now the government has given the go ahead for 3G connection, there is a possibility that in the next couple of years, because of 3G coming into the mobile, it can make a lot of, you know, accessibility, a lot of possibility in remote areas.
But our country is multilingualism. We have people living in remote areas. We have 100 million tribal population. You will not find a single area in those parts of those areas. We have right to information act in our country. That means anybody and everybody can ask the government and anybody a question and you have to reply. Which means it requires accessibility, it requires access. If you don't have access, even if you ask question, you're trying to reach the person whom you're asking. So that is very, very important.
We have a programme called National Rule Guarantee Act, which enables each and every human in India to claim hundred days of job and the government has to provide. Incidentally, most of these jobs are labour jobs, you know, hand jobs and it's never worked. And when you talk about that, 70% of the population is dedicated to these kind of skills.
And therefore, connectivity, inclusion, and reach and access are extremely important in these kind of programmes, coming to excluded many of the communities are, the most eldest of the people in our country, politicians, not a similar one of them in our country has a web site, let me tell you. There are 540 plus, but not a single Parliamentary web site in our country.
And I believe on this, we have that kind of connectivity provided by the people sitting in Parliament is important how would they know what their constituents are doing? If you have a Parliament medium and you're not putting information there, it is extremely important that you have it and become a part of the medium?
Since we are a federal system, we have a state level, chief minister is what you call them, and them they have assembly constituency, there are across 35 states, not a single official web site of them all. Again, that is a huge gap.
There is another level of governance in our country and they are called self punch, you know, they have the village level counselors, elected members, and the number of them are 2.5 to 100,000. The villages, quarter of a million. Quarter of a million guys part of the government have no web site and no linkage to being accountable.
So, these are huge numbers which somehow and those guys are responsible to be driving the policies. These are responsible to say what they are somebody to say from about their constituency.
And this top level is properly unless this top level is properly connected, I would say these are the people who are excluded. Unless they are connected properly, they cannot be connected to the rest of the population. If I am a person whom I who I am vote him to go to Parliament, he doesn't even know what I want and I don't even know what question he's asking. Is he sending oil to Parliament or something else? I have no idea. All of us should be on line.
This socially exclusion is a perspective. I would have a person representing tribal areas should have a proper accountability, using information technology tools. That's very, very important.
So these are some of the perspectives that are there and the reason I ask that is our Digital Empowerment Foundation is working with counselors and we're giving them data card connectivity with laptop and making their web sites and showing to the rest of the hundreds of thousand and see how difference this is making.
We're also we have also put up a paper into the ministry of each and every Parliamentary should have an IT and we should they would listen. They haven't they have been for the last one and a half years not have accessibility, so we'll see what happens.
We are trying to convince some of the forward looking Parliamentarians can we have your official web site and have an example so rest of the people can follow rather than fighting at the policy level.
We have done that at legislation level and got a couple of them online, so, you know, when she gives us time and you ask a question, you can see some of the local language, representatives web site that we have created with their consent and it's really, really doing quite well.
So these are some of the parts I have given you a perspective. You can imagine the massiveness of the accolades that India get but the challenge that is we get. We have a long way to go, but including that 70% population is concerned. For numbers we have very, very high number. 5% of our English speaking people are louder than many larger than many populations.
We have the largest English speaking country. That doesn't mean we all speak English. Only 5% of India speak English. It looks like you meet them and you converse with them. But the rest of the country you don't.
So it's very, very important that, you know, the numbers I look at in perspective and talk about it with perspective. Thank you very much.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Osama. That's something I didn't know. I find this panel is so diverse from one here we have government not being connected to the other end of having older people and people not developing world and disabled world and another representative of government who is connected but finding out that our people aren't connecting. So it's quite interesting.
What I would like to do now is, as I say, our mission is to come up with a couple of sentences or points to put in the May session.
However, this is an opportunity to ask questions, give comments. I am now going to open the floor. I would like you to go to a mic that are standing. Say who you are, who you represent for the captioners and the floor is open.
>> ANDREW MILLER: My name is Andrew Miller, I'm a member of Parliament, and I would like to comment on the comment you made about how the panelist tie together. This came up in a workshop I shared in the UK last year in July of this year that you, Madame Chairman, contributed to. I'll quote your words back at you in a moment, because I have them here.
But it was interesting that different players in the UK observed the same points that were raised here this morning.
For example, the starting with the older group and flinched when she described us as over 55. The challenge is there how to get the older 55s through the door into a training session. It's a really difficult issue.
And, Marc, you actually I'll come back to Marc's observations Marc actually explained that in his use of the world relevance, that is a key issue.
Similarly, some of the young people contributing to our session said you can't simply assume that, just as James said, everyone understands how computers work. You've got to start off being prepared to show how a mouse works and do things at the very basic level when you're dealing with people who had not dealt with that relevance issue before.
The point you made, Madame chair, and this is pointing the finger at again, Marc, through his company and other technology providers, that interoperability, devices and systems, is absolutely critical to this. So these aren't just social problems, these are problems that the technologists need to engage with.
And, of course, Microsoft at the national level and global level are working on an interoperability process, which is hugely important.
In the UK Parliament we tried to push forward accessibility and Alan Michaels we run a competition among schools reported here in previous IGFs in the best practice awards, but prior to all that, not just helping to engage with members of Parliaments dealing with the point made by the final speakers, many MPs don't fully understand the power of the technologies and the relevance of them, but also the way we develop the rules of the competition, they were designed to reach into schools in disadvantaged areas.
so it wasn't the prizes weren't awarded for the technically competent programmes. The judges were add things to added value of primary schools that were engaged. So all of these tie Marc's words together. If you replace relevance with need, you see, for example, the young person who needs or fills their needs to socialize using the technologies and exploiting things like Facebook and so on. We see the older person switch on their engagement, it might be banking, as James said, or shopping or something like that. But these are these do tie together.
One of the things we need to ensure ourselves is that in reporting this to the main session we don't pigeonhole these groups as separate issues.
They all have separate angles to them, but the important thing is they all tie together. Issues around disability, around cost issues, around technology, around engagement with people, they do all tie together. Nothing that's a point that came out of our workshop in London, but very clear from our speakers today that that is an important medication we need to speed.
>> ANDREA SAKS: If we can't use our mobile video phones in Europe to talk to a deaf person in the United States, where are we? That's proprietary. That's things I like to deal with. That's another problem with preventing people from communicating, so barriers are another factor. Thank you for pointing that out.
I have a young lady in front of me. Would you like to identify yourself please?
>> NICOLENE McLEAN: Sure. I'm Nicolene McLean from South Africa. I'm from ABC with the Sexuality Research on the Internet. I'm here to follow the youth activism themes that occur. Maybe one or two comments from the Kenya MP as is youth from Africa.
Last month I attended the World Youth Congress and worked with two Kenyan youth and they were not good for nothing. I found the events statement to actually make because those young people produced strong proposals and the African delegation was strongest there. We found not perpetuate stereotypes about youth in Africa. That's all I would like to say.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Would you like to respond?
>> JAMES REGE:: If my youth was there for leadership, if I provide leadership by showing them what to do instead of just sitting there, I don't think that that is just I mean, that is I will stop if today I'm very happy because I have given them the technology that is they can now access using that media to see how they can not just entering we have even given them how to show local studios. They're happy. There's nothing wrong with that.
>> ANDREA SAKS: I have a feeling you didn't mean to label every youth in your country that way, so I gave you an opportunity to reply. We have a young lady.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you for calling me young. It's all it's very relative, so connecting to what the earlier speaker said here.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Please don't forget to identify yourself.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. I'm with the Swedish programme of ICT for developing regions. It's a supportive programme. I have one comment and one question. I just wanted to add some I would say, some groups or aspects to the groups of marginalized, and of course it's what the MP was saying the people with lack of resources, financial resources.
And also aspects of sexual orientation and those will be marginalized compared to the centre, a few more areas. I would like to say the young people in the world, I think they're not gaining enough empowerment to participate in all kinds of Democratic areas. So I think even if it is a generalization, I would say the youth in general are marginalized in terms of power.
My question is to Osama. Are you talking about accountability and that politically responsible and the smallest districts or areas that they don't have an Internet web site? I wonder how would you actually reach the most socially marginalized without a web site in those rural areas? I'm not saying Internet is unimportant in those areas, could we use other assets to reach the most socially marginalized in those areas and maybe use Internet as a medium and just marginalize a bit?
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Yeah, that's a question and not an excuse for not using it. These people want the help. They need drinking water and this and that before they need a web site.
I'm saying there is a problem in medium, again, I am stressing. Unless we create information, the decision makers and the centre do not even know what you are not doing there.
So it is less for the people in the remote areas, it's administer about them and about what situation there is, what are the scheme in the area that are working and not working, what are the accountability as a Parliamentarian, how do I disburse money and things like this, all of this is very important. We have a right for information act. Before I ask information, you should publish information. I don't even know to ask you.
Second, it has to be multilingual. If you are doing language one is local and one is English, you easily reach both ways. Second India has telecentres where we're supposed to have 250,000 data centre in the next couple of years. According to government centre, 70,000 have already been done. Those are the centres which becomes 1.3 villages. That means every 3 villages there should be a telecentres connected, which means there is a way for a citizen to go avail citizen services to access information and ask and so on and so forth.
And, fourthly, what you are saying as mobile, mobile makes them even administer powerful because it's oil, they don't more powerful because it's oil, they don't have literate to pass on information. That is why mobile is extremely important. That is where the call centers, you know, things come in picture.
So these are some of the steps gradually that has to come into the picture. Incidentally, it doesn't create the medium unless it is linked to the Web, you know. The bottom line these are stages, you know. We have to start somewhere. Creating information rather than creating barrier is extremely important.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Let me add to that a little bit. Not all countries are the same. In Kenya, my constituency, I don't have to drive five hours to meet with my constituents to meet with them and five hours back for a 30 minute meeting. Today I have video conferencing and it works.
Last November in Washington, D.C. I chaired an eParliament where we were discussing social networking for all Parliamentarians. I think this is the future, this is the way we can communicate with our constituents.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. That was very helpful.
I'm going to alternate. Go ahead.
>> PHILIP OKUNDI: I'm honorable Philip Okundi. I want to add to what honorable James Rege said. Kenya very, very active. There's a lot of sensitivity to what's helping them and making them better places. What the speaker from South Africa said. There's a creation of youth enterprise from my government, which is really trying to find out where the youth are and give them empowerment.
You know, this communication highways, however, what did the MP, member of Parliament said, nowhere else do we have this kind of accessibility in so many areas of the country because we have a lot of rural population in the country.
They have a very, very difficult situation reaching this terminals. And the member of apartment, James, has done quite a bit in this constituency, which is a very rural area, very highly derived, and he has done a lot for youth and try to reach the counterparts and he has done a lot of social progress issues.
It's not right across the board, but I think he was advocating the worst case which happened in this area, and we he doing so well for these people, so really I thank very much and I just want to add to the conversation.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you for your comments. They're well appreciated.
That side, please. Don't forget your name.
>> ROWLAND ESPINOSA: I'm Rowland Espinosa. I'm vice president or Information and Science and Technology in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica 50 years ago we abolish the Army. We have our 120 years old democracy. The basis of inclusion is future democracy. We talking about inclusion where first challenge is rural areas, but I just wanted to share with you that, for example, we found a letter from the minister of Kilter telling us we need a country public policy in terms of Digital Inclusion for artists.
We didn't know that, so they're saying recent research about it and we have a digital divide in terms of age, but in the artist community it is very high digital divide. So take steps to get technologies for information and communication and our tools for development. You said that technology is a word that is very interesting. Actually, technology is the basic tools for human development.
I just want to share our experience, and we are trying a lot. We are a lot of public policies in terms of telecentres and in terms of research and the best practices. In terms of future democracy.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, thank you. What I'm hearing is that we are hearing people talk about telecentres so people can talk to their government. It's extremely important forgetting people on, so that's on the list for sure. Would you like to make a comment?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good morning, I'm from the Brazil office, and I would like the speakers to comment on our one specific point, I think, was a little bit missing here is the importance of governments to take advantage of ICT for education policies to also promote Digital Inclusion.
Sometimes we feel schools are a little bit isolated from the communities. Although they have the computers, and even in some countries one laptop per child programmes like the programme in Uruguay to save all plans, which is promoting inclusion from the communities and the families and not just the students, so I think that we should through the panel also discuss the importance of ICT for education policies, we seem the formal education system as to formal Digital Inclusion and also digital as a technological policy. Thank you very much.
>> ANDREA SAKS: I'm going to not let them respond because I wanted to get everybody's comment. What I'm going to take now is what we need to put into the main session of who is excluded.
And if there's time after all these people have spoken, then Miulu, I will allow them to speak. I know this young lady, this is Claudia Gray from Mexico. Please go ahead, Claudia.
>> CLAUDIA GRAY: I wanted to talk about women. If we're talking about socially excluded, I wanted to talk about women, especially in countries. We're excluded in Internet and everywhere. We they usually lack opportunities for training in computer skills, especially in development countries. This is due to domestic responsibility divide from gender roles, culture, restrictions and mobility.
For example, lesser economic power, and lack of relevance as Mr. Marc said, lack of relevance for women and how to and the reasons why to access Internet.
Accessibility for women is particularly important in terms of empowerment and decision making processes. I'm thinking especially the determination of domestic abusive relationships. As long as women have access to Internet resources, they could think of a different way of leaves in terms of domestic abusive.
For example, disabled people or the elderly people or the low income people, right? So I'm thinking about two challenges in particular. One is the statistics, we do not have statistics as most of the countries about women access to Internet. And the other one is public policy making processes.
Since most of the stakeholders are men as we can see in the panel well, not you, most of the stakeholders are men, they don't usually represent women interests and women need. So they most liable to be underrepresented in the decision making process.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you very much, Claudia. That is very important what you have brought up, especially from what I'm sitting.
Already, are you going to do it together or one at a time. Well, the young lady goes first. We're empowering women now. You go first and say your name. Move down the row, please?
>> REBECCA COLE: I'm Rebecca Cole, 15 years old from England. I'm we took part in a project in London and planning to come here and took part in issues that come up a lot for people on the Internet.
>> DAN: I'm Dan. I'm 14 years old in live in Guernsey, a small group of islands of France part of the UK. Here I've got a sheet with all of our personal beliefs on, so at the end stand at the back, come and find us and we can give you one of these and you can just see what we spoke about and how we feel about different issues I've been raised.
>> ANDREA SAKS: You're not getting away that quick. I want you to tell us just a few of the things. Pick two things, each of you, that are very important to you and I would like you to tell this group. As youth, as Internet users, what is very important to both of you. And I'll start would you like to tell me your name again, young lady.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Rebecca. Pick two things and speak.
>> REBECCA: Privacy is a big thing. Me and all my friends use Facebook a lot and so do many young people, but they don't know how to use the privacy settings, so privacy needs to be made clear for young people as they're not protected online.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you.
>> DAN: Well, me and another boy who was supposed to come with us but had other commitments and couldn't come to Vilnius with us, we live in rural areas, he lives outside Devon, broadband speeds are massive, we have been offered the same amount of broadbands offered in big cities like London and Manchester, 20 megabyte broadband speed and that's what's offered in the area we're in. So the maximum speeds we reach is about two megabytes, so I feel strongly that ISPs should be working harder to supply those speeds that they said they would provide to us.
>> ANDREA SAKS: I've got you. In other words, you can't really use your programmes and your networking and your communication at the rate you need to. In other words, you could go get a cup of tea and come back and it still wouldn't download, I've got it.
Those are just one. Do you have anything else you want to add? It's very important to hear your voice. Go ahead, Rebecca, I saw you open your mouth?
>> REBECCA: Lots of people want to use the Internet, so it should be available in public areas, in libraries through Wi Fi and it should be available in free places so you can use it to do your homework.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. That's very important. Anything else? One more? You guys are special. We need to listen to you, so come on.
>> DAN: Another girl in Vilnius, she's in another conference, she's 18, Alice, the role of bodies are instruments, not only teaching young people about Internet safety and appropriate contact, equipping students about web content in the same way they would examine film or literature and decide whether it is appropriate or not.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Content and learning what's rubbish and what isn't. Thank you. I know the room appreciates that you took the time to come. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Young lady with the lovely curls.
>> SUE BAXTER: Hello, I'm Sue Baxter, I'm with the government of business. I'm not going to tell you my age. I'm wanting to get the remaining country on line by 2012. The contents, the scale of the challenge in the UK is obviously not anything near as enormous as it is in other country.
We have penetration of infrastructure of 90% of the population and among some of the highest broadband users, but nevertheless huge challenges we face, particularly for older disabled people and people of learning curves and unemployed, similar profiled to I'm sure most of the rest of the world. We are keen on the government to make sure the digital divide doesn't get worse in a period of economic stress.
We want to make sure as we come out, we come out in an even way and everybody has the opportunities for education, jobs, earning and access to goods and services, and particularly government services.
So Race Online is a way of popularizing a campaign that has been endorsed and led by government by the prime minister this year and got some high profile endorsement by Google, and big UK retailers and a lot of local municipalities and community groups.
Race Online set out specific recommendations and actions that government industry and third sectors are going to tackle in the next three months to overcome digital exclusion. And Race Online is led by what we call the digital champion, and it is a high profile media personality who is the face of the government's ambition; it is you, like in this area.
And what her role is Martha Lane Fox, what her role is to make sure the ministries involved in digital policy and delivery, take a combined and coordinated approach and local municipalities and provide training and awareness of the relevance of digital economy for every single person and the also most importantly for us in a period of what we called fiscal consolidation that we redesign a lot of government services online so they're better and easier to understand, above all cheaper for the government.
And at the moment we're in the process of developing specific activities in each government department to bring race online quicker to ordinary people and achieve some targets set out in manifesto. Hopefully, next time I come to this session next year, I'll be able to tell you about some successes.
>> ANDREA SAKS: One point is reducing the cost of web sites to governments because that would be an impediment to them to make good accessible web sites. Thank you very much for your comments.
I'm now going over to Jerry Ellis from Ireland. Please, Jerry.
>> GERALD ELLIS: I'm Jerry Ellis from Dublin, Ireland. I'm been a software engineer for 30 years and consultant from accessibility under the name of Feel the Benefit. Being blind myself I'm talking from a disability view, but they're relevant for all the disabilities today.
One of the big ones, every time we try to talk to policymakers is cost of inclusion. How much is it going to cost to include? Well, let's look at is there a cost?
Obviously, the inclusion benefits me because if I'm blind and excluded from employment I don't get a job and I'm poor. It's a huge benefit to society as well if I'm included in education and I have a decent job, I'm not drawing social supports. I'm paying my taxes, excuse me and I'm spending money in the economy, so the economy benefits. Everyone in the economy benefits, not just me.
Another example I might give would be in eGovernment. EGovernments want to use technology because if you exclude a large part of your society, you are to use what you call human intermediaries, people to support those that can't use technology. Whereas, if you divide assistance up front which are accessible and include as many people as possible, you can take the human intermediaries and use them in administer efficient ways, so government benefits. There's loads better examples like that.
The basic story is that it costs more to exclude than it does to include. This idea of inclusions be a cost is a myth. One other point I would like to make is that once a policymaker or whoever decides they want to be include, how do they go about it? We need to as a to influence those who are devising standards and policies or whatever, to include inclusion if you like in those policies and standards.
At the bottom of my e mails I have a message that says if you don't know where you're going, how do you know when you get there? We need a message to our government that says there are policies and standards and if you want to get savings we're talking about, you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time there are standards there.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you very much, Jerry. One of the good examples of using human interface are relay services for deaf people.
Because maybe a doctor isn't going to be online and have his computer on at that moment for you to send an IM or not had his mobile phone. We need human interface and that's an important factor. Young lady?
>> RIMA KUPRYTE: Hello. My name is Rima Kupryte, I am Lithuanian by origin. I work for international not for profit organisation called EIFL, we work with libraries in developing and transition countries.
I've been traveling around transition and developing countries for the last 15 years and following development. I wanted to say put back libraries on the agenda. I was glad to hear our young popular people mentioning libraries. They go to libraries, they use them.
Also numerous examples where public libraries have special services to reach out to elderly people to offer them training, how to get comfortable and familiar with technologies, assist them with eGovernment services, with eHealth services, whatever online services are provided by the government there are numerous services that public library offering reaches out with people with disabilities. So there are a number of examples.
But, when I travel around developing countries, what I see that public libraries are under resources, they don't have technologies. And I get sad when I see governments setting up new structures like structures that would that public library could fulfill the role and there's no need to set up a new network of adult continuous professional education if there is already public library in the area.
I would just like the draw attention for the governments, especially in developing countries, that reminding that there is a network of public libraries and they can play a role and they just under resourced and underestimated and under evaluated.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, that point is well noted. Go ahead.
>> ARUN MEHTA: Hello, my name is Arun Mehta. I represent the Nongovernmental Organisation for Children. And the organisation protect children rights, so what was my point about the groups of exclusion, it was children from children homes. And maybe I will add to the colleague from Brazil about talking of ICUs about schools.
Mostly the problem is children from children home after they leaving children home, they are like it's a very niche because after they told group of exclusion, they have very bad qualifications by using ICT in their life because even they don't know about any social networks and so on, but it's mostly probably very related about like professional usage of ICT at schools.
So my question or just idea was just to ask you children homes in your countries and how it's if I can ask
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. We're going to let the panelists speak at the end. You've had two goes and you're going to be short. Give me your name.
>> HELEN BELCASTRO: Helen Belcastro from the Sweden programme for ICT in Developing Regions. We're based in Stockholm, Sweden. Just a comment one of the speakers here, that the question of cost.
I just wanted to emphasize there is a human right for participation for people with disabilities which is more important than the question of cost, but we should never forget the perspective in these areas.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. I've got two people who just snuck up. These two are the very last and I'm going to ask you to hold it to a minute because we need to start working towards a conclusion. That's it.
Okay. You will be one, kid. Okay.
>> IVIT HEITMAN: I'll be very quick. I'm Ivit Heitman, I'm from Brazil. I'm a legal researcher field in the doing inclusion from the perspective of constitutional law for mental rights.
I think the point raised by Osama is very important and it perhaps should be more stressed that in terms of indigenous people from tribal areas, the influence goes beyond access and digital structure. The content is very important and way different than for people with disabilities and even the because indigenous people, and this way I can speak for Brazilians and lot of people where the indigenous population has a different culture.
The indigenal conclusion in this field has to be taken into account and showing not what kind of content our western society can provide them, but letting them what kind of content and use they will make what kind of uses go for them in their community of the Internet.
So this is something that if possible if there's time I would like to hear Osama talk a little more about. Thank you very much.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Okay, Cynthia, Waddell.
>> CYNTHIA WADDELL: I'm the international director for the Resources on the Internet. We are a nongovernmental entity. Part of our mission is removal of barriers of electronic information and technology on equal opportunity for persons with disability.
I'm going to just focus on one issue. We talked about cost an infrastructure. We talked about India and connectivity. The part I want to focus on is if you spend all your money on connectivity and infrastructure and do not incorporate accessible design in that connectivity, the libraries where you put the telecentres that have the technology there, will not be able to be used for persons with disabilities for their assistive technology.
I want to issue a call as we build in developing countries and move forward in developed country that we incorporate accessible design, web consortium and other accessible web design standards that we have in place worldwide.
It's very important. Connectivity is one piece. For people with disabilities we can still be connected and not be able to use it. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you, Cynthia. Well said. Last speaker.
>> MUHAMAD JAMAD: Yeah, thank you very much. I'm Muhamad Jamad (phonetic) from Indonesia, I work with people with disabilities. I think wellness, the international wellness about accessibility of people with disabilities is more important. I think speak about the people with initial convention of the rights of people with disabilities, the Web the accessibility of disability, but the main cycle of the cost of accessibility.
For example, there is a problem I think to have a laptop, but for example if a blind wanted to buy, he has to pay more than 2,000 dollar, so it's a big problem. I think a global effort has to be invested in this.
I think the society and association who give gifts for people with disabilities and I think a global effort has to be deployed on this. Thank you very much.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. I'm going to remind everyone of the time, you've been great. There's been no potty breaks or coffee breaks. You're terrific. We have 15 minutes.
Gentlemen, even though it's male dominated, I'm going to give you two minutes each and I will wave a piece of paper. You did great. Start with you, say your name for the captioner.
>> LAMBERT VAN NISTELROOIJ: The whole distribution is the thinking of cost and about benefits, and I think it should be a message from this meeting that investing in connectivity and the better use for groups is not a question of cost.
Like I said in my introduction, if you look to the population development, in the next 20 years, we think how people can be more independent, how people get more quality in this situation, I talk about more elderly people.
When we talked about Internet, it's much more natural. In thinking about how we create inclusive society, so the cost side would be to reevaluate it. Like I said, one of the last speaker.
The second thing I should like to say is that there is a very, very important role, not for the government but for the business. I think there's really a big power. If you see that Phillip has chosen a connection between health, ICT, we can make big steps to giving a big position to SMEs in the region and companies not only the providers that mentioned here. That's the second thing.
Third thing I think is standardization and to fulfill the conventions. This is really important because so many positions, different geographical areas, things are developed. This exchange of good experience might, let me say, shorten a period between research, test a lot between implementation. There again we need company and competition. My last remark is politics.
Yes, let's exchange our experience. Because European Parliament, there are several representatives here also from UK who do the good examples. I think it's a question of time. Because the voters don't accept it anymore. If you say like from India, if you can't declare in a modern way what you do and where you work at, people don't trust us. This is something that can be involved by critical voters and people in your country. Thank you.
>> JAMES REGE: Thank you, chair. I would like to comment about asset policy and education. In Kenya we are coming up with asset policy and education. I look at this very, very highly. Especially in developing countries where there's not so much money to spend on education.
Education requires for example, in laboratory, you need lab equipment. If you use ICT technology, you can simulate these things and do them at a much, much cheaper cost.
Give computers away to people who need them so we can have ICT accelerated in developing countries. Another thing I want to comment on is technology for the deaf. We need how can a deaf man or person call a micro processor? We have not given them the right education. I'm trying to give anybody who has ideas to please get in touch with me. If there is one, let me know.
>> ANDREA SAKS: You're sitting next to me. I'm a telecommunication specialist for the deaf. We'll talk.
>> JAMES REGE: Oh, my God. This is on the representation of women, I'm not political position in Kenya, everything is it's done around women and the youth. So when we talk about women, it's not that in all representation we have to have representation of women.
So if anyone feels that women are being excluded in digital, I think they need to think better, read more and find out ways of coming up with the correct policy. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Axel, would you like to go next?
>> AXEL LEBLOIS: We would like to talk about persons with disability and ICT. First, I would like to say at this time we have 148 sign convention of persons with disability, so it means to ICT accessibility and all suspect, including the Web, is not an option for governments anymore.
It has to be accessibility regulation. So we are not talking about maybe or whatever, it is an obligation of all parties to the convention. We want to be very clear with that.
The next question, what are the solutions? They are kind of two major blocks of the convention that needs to be looked at, and they are very good policy guidelines, actually.
The convention is the voice of legal instrument and policy of sorts. The first block is the accessibility of information infrastructure. That means broadcasting, the ability to have accessibility mobile phone services, accessible land line services and to the extent possible, accessible web sites.
In most countries, the telecom regulator is the key actor in that space and the ministry of ICT telecom if there is one as well. So you are a very focused administration in almost every single country with a limited number of players. You don't have any mobile operators or broadcasters in many countries. It's easy to act on those services and technically, you know, feasible today.
I want to put one point in for what we do. We are key policymakers on accessibility that we did jointly with ITU. I want to thank for that, and it's available and working.
So there is captions in many countries, there is actually a lot of accessible technology for mobile phones. There is no reason why they should not be marketed and made available to people with disabilities around the world.
So that's the information infrastructure which also can be active in strong organisations and for those countries with strong organisations. It's possible for governments to define accessibility and start out in their jurisdictions.
What is so important is actually the block of assistive technologies which is available in terms of cost, availability and training and support. And there are in each countries that actually promotes assistive technologies.
One is the national education system. The second one is minister of labour that talks about reasonable accommodation in the workplace. And the third one is the minister of human services that controls service in those countries. Those can make assistive technologies widely available and people time.
I want to mention a lot of technology that are very important. One is open source software for open source technologies which actually is free. They actually very good screen readers today that are very good on the Internet. They're not as good as the commercial software but many people are happy to use it in countries where the commercial software is too expensive.
This is what many countries are looking at, Brazil and India. There are two workshops at IGF on cloud computing. The next vision is if you're putting the information infrastructure cloud computing, cloud based technology, you can personalize connecting the Internet, committee, visual or hearing limitations, this can improve the way people access the Internet and technology in general. Cloud computing can be the next generation of innovation.
Finally, I want to say I agree completely with the statement that Cynthia made, that if you build in infrastructure, build in accessibility in the first place, it doesn't cost many I see someone in the back of the room, the terrific guidelines, web 2.0 is available, just applies and cost you nothing and then you have a web accessible to customers with disabilities. Thank you.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Marc?
>> MARC BEREJKA: I would like to come back to someone of a geekier technical appointment but not on the technology space. My observation from our work at the Census Bureau at the Department of Commerce, there is an extraordinary amount of value in understanding how different populations break out in terms of their takeup of broadband.
Our younger people, like in most countries, our younger people don't take up broadband as quickly as folks in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and our older population doesn't take up broadband. Our Native American population is wildly underserved.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Don't despair.
>> MARC BEREJKA: Group by group by group we have a deeper understanding of the impediments to Brad band take up, I think what is a theme, there are going to be different solutions.
I think what would be helpful going forward would be for instead of sort of painting a broad brush and talking about access, it would be for us collectively to understand the needs of individual populations and the solutions.
So, for example, it was great to hear the UK has race online programme. In the United States the government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to support broadband adoption programmes. Some of the broadband adoption programmes will be focused on the elderly, some will be focused on native Americans and some on people with disabilities.
We the take the learnings in the discrete segments and begin to share the developed world solutions and find the extent to which they might be replicated elsewhere.
>> ANDREA SAKS: Thank you. Osama, you're going to close, so go ahead. I'll say one last thing and you're done.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Not much so say anymore, but just to respond to some of the questions. Also, my recommendation as for the entire discussion would be that exclusion connectivity is not only about bottom up, but top down also. It's very common that the policymakers should be connected, number one, and should create information bottom up.
Basically, about the tribals that I talked about a lot, just to give you good news we're working on tribal areas in India. Anybody who needs example of how you can work in most disconnected area. We're using wireless network technology so you can reach larger areas and reach to them. And in most of the cases, you really don't have to teach them. You have to go learn from them, you know. It's come in digitally.
The whole thing is that mobile should be taken extremely seriously at the policy level, at a bottom creation level and at a service provisioning level. That's next, 10, 15 years probably going to come computing device at the masses because that is in hand. It jumps the literacy badly because that is what we talking about.
When you're rich you talk about illiteracy and all that. When you jump to that medium you don't have to talk to that because that is in your medium. These have some things I would like to talk about, thank you very much.
>> ANDREA SAKS: We are at 11:00 o'clock, so I'm going to close. I have taken extensive notes for the people excluded which is list has variance. It's not just indigenous people, it's tribal, language, not just women, disabled women as well as women in developing countries who don't have access in rural areas.
Rural access, broadband, it's going to take me too long to give you the list. I'm going to have to synthesize this. I hope you'll trust me since we've run out of time. I'll have experts help me read what I've written and see how we do.
Martin, I would like you, and Andrew, who is an important input and anybody else who would like to see what I'll do. I'll be writing over lunch hour. I think we have got, as Osama has said and also Marc, there are different solutions.
I just want to share one thing, in China it comes from the top down, we didn't hear from China today, but China it does. In the rest of the world it works from the bottom up.
There are lessons to learn. I appreciate our wonderful panelists, thank you so much. For the young people that contributed, for every one of you that stood up and spoke. Thank you. We'll put the input in the main session.
I look forward to seeing you there under penalty of death. Thank you. Thank you very much for coming.
Digital inclusion: reaching the most socially excluded people in society
- Parent Category: IGF 2010