IGF 2021 – Day 1 – Lightning Talk #10 Accelerating Information Accessibility for the Ageing Population

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



     >> We all live in a digital world.  We all need it to be open and safe.  We all want to trust.

     >> And to be trusted. 

     >> We all despise control.

     >> And desire freedom. 

[Technical side discussions]

     >> RUI ZHONG: Okay.  Shall we begin our meeting? 


This session will be recorded, and maybe somebody in the audience will come later to on‑site or remotely but now, according to the schedule, we'll start our session. 

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good morning, good afternoon, good evening I'm Rui Zhong from Internet Society of China.  I will be the moderator today.  Sorry for not being able to attend on‑site.  On behalf of the two organizers, the Internet Society of China and CICCST/CAST, please allow me to give a welcome to you onsite and online.  The topic is Accelerating Information Accessibility for the Ageing Population. 

As facing the record close of ageing population, we are powering through ICT, and leverage ICT to empower the skill of Internet to enjoy benefits of this digital and smart era.  China has attached importance to narrowing the Digital Divide that all stakeholders work together to include an inclusive digital society.  For the Internet infrastructure, the Chinese operators is building the world's largest 4G network for easy access everywhere.  In terms of policy support, the Governments release a series of industry guidance.  For example, the Ministry of Industry and the information technology has released two documents.  One called guidance on promoting information accessibility, and another named implementation plan to have the elderly solve problem in using smart technology.

      Targeting to eliminate the optical for the groups including the elderly groups by reducing the cost improving device services and to do this, they're building website and apps to support more function to realize information accessibility standards, which set by the industry association or different organizations.

      Today, we're very pleased to have two stakeholder representatives to share their best practice or insights, coming from Internet companies Tencent and the group Xiamen University.  My colleague Ms. Wu Ping will moderate the chat room for online participants.  Anyone that raise your hand or leave message in chat room if you have any question, after the two speakers sharing.

      First of all, I would like to invite Ms. Lu ShiYu from Tencent to speak.  Ms. Lu, it is your floor.  Lu ShiYu, please, you can share your screen.  Thank you. 

     >> LU SHIYU: Okay.  Thank you, Mr. Rui Zhong.  It is my turn, thank you for time. 

Could you see my sharing?  My screen?  Did you see that? 

     >> RUI ZHONG: Currently no.  Maybe Ms. Li, you can close your sharing screen.  Okay. 

Okay, Lu ShiYu, it is okay for your screen. 

     >> LU SHIYU: Thank you, everyone.  It is honor to be here sharing with you.  My name is Lu ShiYu and from Tencent research institute, thank you for the invitation from IGF.  The topic is tech for age.  The analysis of the characteristics of the use of mobile phones by the elderly.  Before I start my sharing today, I would like to share a story with you.  Last year, because of the COVID outbreak, my community was closed 24 hours a day.  All the residents had to stay out of their homes for a month.

      After the closed, we have three ways to get food.  The first is to buy food through the apps, and then the volunteers can get the feedback to our homes.  The second way is to scanning QR codes, the last way is to change our own stock of food and help each other, so we had to reach out to other residents of the community.

      Although you can see there are many ways to get food, any of them rely on the premise that you have a smartphone and you can use it well.

      I researched my community at the time, and in a community of 315 households, there were 131 seniors who did not live with their children.  And they could not use their smartphones on their own.

      When we went to the homes of the elderly, as volunteers, there were more than a dozen households that had been without food for more than three days.  The first thing they said to us was can I borrow your phone.  Old age is a necessary stage of life for everyone and constitutes a visible gap in society.  By the end of 2020, there were more than 2 million elderly people in China.  It is expected that the group will count for one‑third by 2050.  While the demographics of the society are rapidly becoming older, the technology products continue to get newer and newer.  In the past year, the Internet is having economic and social recovery and growth.  Such as teleconference, online learning, contactless delivery, and some others.

      Since 2016, we started to do some research related to technology for the age.  And we invested the needs of the older people when using smartphones. 

      The old people in this picture here do not hold the phone single‑handedly like young people do.  And they also do not flexibly use their thumbs to turn the page, and also rarely do the two‑finger dragging action.  They also press the keys very hard, repeatedly touching and pressing.

      As one is older, one's ability to recognize and search will decrease.  60‑year‑old man has only 30% of the amount of light that can enter his retina as 20‑year‑old young man.  And only about 12% after the age 70. 

      Older people also gradually lose their sensitivity to the sun and even some past familiar sound, if they are close relatives will begin to be difficult to recognize.  However, more than 30% of the elderly have been asked by their children to give up using smartphones for fear of their parents being cheated. 

      Young people in China are so busy so they do not have enough time to have their parents to resolve their doubts, one by one.  But is it really hard for seniors to learn smartphones?  And do you know how many steps it takes to send a smile in the chat?  It is about eight to nine.  It is a little operation, breakdown.  And we also need to take nine steps to send a smile in WeChat. 

      The person in the left of the picture, she taught more than 90 seniors to use WeChat and create a group for the seniors in which they can say good morning, good afternoon, good evening to each other every day.  With elderly, it is a great comfort and reward to see their smiles are welcomed and responded to. 

      Most people who have seniors to learn to use their smartphones are also older people.  So having seniors to build and demand the social networks is one of the best parts to have them across Digital Divide.  But it is important to be careful to not push the seniors into our best network but integrate into our organizations and get more practice.

      A sense of belonging and self‑confidence.  Our research shows that the Internet access and use great connection between the older people and their close contacts.  Provides community and learning service.  And in fact to increase the interest and confidence of the older people in using.  Which has a positive impact on their mental state.

      Life is full of age, but the progress of the technology does not slow down.  How to understand, respect, and accept old age is a necessary lesson for all the people to learn in their lives.

      We also need more long‑term mechanism to involve the Government, industry, and citizens to create an all‑age friendly digital society.

      This is the end of my speech, thank you very much for being here.  Mr. Rui Zhong.  Thank you.

     >> RUI ZHONG: Okay.  Thank you very much Ms. Lu ShiYu sharing.  And let's invite Ms. Li Duoduo from Xiamen University.  It is your floor Ms. Li Duoduo.  You can share your screen. 

You can open your mic.

     >> LI DUODUO: Hello?  Can you hear me? 

     >> RUI ZHONG: Yes, we can hear you. 

     >> LI DUODUO: Okay.  Good afternoon Mr. Rui Zhong Ms. Lu ShiYu.  Good morning, everybody, Li Duoduo from Xiamen University.  I am happy to do the presentation about the blind road of information, concept, technology, and system of information accessibility.  I have done some research in information accessibility for several years ago, so I want to introduce myself for the people who have visually impaired.  Hi.  I'm Asia girl with short black hair.  And yellow skin and black eyes.  I'm wear a sweater today.  I'm in my dormitory in China.  This PowerPoint is not complicated.  It contain three parts to introduce the frame and history about information accessibility.


The first part is concept.  The concept of barrier‑free or accessibility started from the field of architecture.  For example, passengers in wheelchair and blind rows for the visually impaired. 

Information accessibility is the blind road of the information world that is used by people who have difficulty to access information.  For those who set up the information order, maybe they didn't expect that not everyone can access the information equally. 

      Information accessibility means everyone, whether young, old, disabled or not can obtain and use information equally, conveniently. 

      Fact have proved that technology is the most important fact in the development of information accessibility.  It begins in the U.S. in the 1980s, which enable people with disabilities to equality to use various electric terminal device, including computers to work.

      It is most vital fact is the information accessibility development of technology information and at the same time, industry standards and international standards are important for the development of science and technology. 

      At the 13th United Nations IGF, U.N. Secretary‑General Mr. Guterres called for attention to the contribution and demands of the disabled, the elderly, and other people in the digital economy to ensure the fair distribution of resources to bridge the Digital Divide. 

For those who are engaged in technology sometimes if you want to understand others, you might put on his shoes, wear her high heels, get in a wheelchair for a few kilometers.  When we work online or attend meeting online, don't forget there are still three billion people on the world without access to the Internet.  Most are elderly, disabled and people from back world areas. 

      Information accessibility is the thematic project.  It is not only the barrier‑free living environment, but also the information environment and cultural environment. 

      The information disorder for elderly comes from the visual disorder and hearing disorder.  China has the greatest number of elderly people in the world.  At the end of 2021, the number of elderly people over 60 years old in China reached 216 billion, exceeding the total populations of Japan.  By 2030, the number of elderly people over 60 in China will reach 350 million.  Exceeding the population size of the United States. 

      A magazine reported COVID‑19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of the elderly living in the community.  And the situation of those lonely elderly people is much worse.  Therefore the information accessibility is not only for the prospective of social inclusion, but also infrastructure of China. 

      During the COVID‑19 crisis, the Internet proved to be helpful to organize our lives and endure to the extent we could never see two years ago.  This confirmed how precious and valuable part of our lives is actually.  On the other hand, the opportunity is before I attend the conference, my elders and disabled friends have learned about IGF and Katowice, Poland through accessibility website by IGF and Polish Government.  At the same time, I hope the era of artificial intelligence, science, and technology can make the blind road of information access to the fast‑developing information speed superhighway. 

My presentation is over. 

     >> RUI ZHONG: Okay.  Thank you Ms. Li Duoduo for sharing.  It is very insightful.

      Is there anyone that have a question or would like to interact with our speakers?  You can raise your hand in the chat room.  Both on‑site or online.  Or remote participant.  Do you have any questions?  You can throw your question into the chat room or just raise your hand to let me know.  Thank you. 

      Okay.  I saw the chat room have a question. 

I have a question for Ms. Li Duoduo.  This question is what is the potential use of the information accessibility for other people in society?  Ms. Li could you make a response? 

     >> LI DUODUO: Can you hear me? 


     >> RUI ZHONG: Yes, we can hear you.  You can make a response to the question in the chat room. 

     >> LI DUODUO: Okay. 

     >> RUI ZHONG: He ask what is the potential use of information accessibility for other people in the society? 

     >> LI DUODUO: Um... okay. 

Okay.  Anybody will get older and older.  And will have visually impair or hearing impair.  And in this situation, anybody needs the information accessibility to access the information.  Or maybe you are in the situation you are in a very noisy environment to obtain the information.  And you watch the TV, and you want to hear the ‑‑ to hear the dialogue.  But you cannot hear because in a noisy environment.  And in this time, information accessibility can help you to know what the dialogue is.

      And you know, there's ‑‑ and the information accessibility is for the deaf and the blind people. 

      To obtain the information to let them to have the opportunity to go to the school, get the better life.

      Actually, I'm the CODA.  My parents are deaf.  I'm a CODA.  And my father is good at math.  My mother is good at art.  But in their very young ‑‑ when they are very young, there is no information technology and policy to help them to go to their higher education or college.  So ... that's why I do the information research.  I do the information accessibility research.  I want to help them and my friends to get information, get a better life, get a better opportunity to do, to get the better life. 

Thank you. 

     >> RUI ZHONG: Okay.  Thank you, Ms. Li Duoduo for sharing your story.  Thank you.  I have another question for Tencent for Ms. Lu ShiYu.  What are the Tencent source and practice on ageing appropriate retrofit?  Ms. Lu, could you make a response? 

     >> LU SHIYU: Yes.  Thank you for your question.  Now, we have nine products that have started ageing friendly renovation, like you asked.  Including turning up the font and value.  In addition, we also exploring how to teach the older people to use smartphones.

      For example, Tencent has launched the silver age Academy project.  You can search it on Google or any other program.  Where the older people can learn the concepts through many programs.

      In addition, Tencent is also creating more technology product to serve the older people, such as applying AI projects to have the elderly identify the risk of the falling down in advance.  We will continue our effort to create more benefits with the elderly.  With the technology.  Like the question in the text box said, some technology to have people ‑‑ about other people's health problem.

      That's what is exploring now. 

Thank you. 

     >> RUI ZHONG: Okay.  Thank you very much.  And we also see a question from the chat room, are there any suggestions in aspect of technology we can do in the future of elderlies.  If anyone can make a response or have a suggestion?  From Tencent, with any example? 

From my personal suggestion is to AI technology could help to do some help for the elderly in the future.  For example, the senior people maybe cannot ‑‑ they're maybe not used to see the screen.  They only can use the technology to ‑‑ for example, to use the picture identification technology.  For example, they just move their hand or just to raise voice identification just to read a sentence and smart device can make a response.

      For example, I will say the word for example, open my app, to open my e‑banking or to open my e‑Book.  Now my cell phone will make a response to follow my instruction.

      Maybe that will be helpful for the elderly people. 

      Okay.  The Secretariat just remind our time is over.  It is over for this session.  Just once again, thank you very much for the two speakers from Tencent and Xiamen University.  And also thank you very much for the remote participants who raised questions and interact with us.  Thank you very much.  Bye‑bye.