IGF 2023 WS #210 Digital Divide and Inclusion: Metaverse for All


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Organizer 1: Orero Pilar, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Speaker 1: Cristina Bueti, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 2: Nevine Tewfik, Government, African Group
Speaker 3: Jane Thomason, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Gabrielle Pantera, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Christina Yan Zhang, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 6: Jee-In Kim, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Jane Thomason, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Online Moderator

Nevine Tewfik, Government, African Group


Orero Pilar, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. How can the metaverse regulate and secure inclusiveness and accessibility?
B. How to raise awareness of a metaverse “born accessible”.
C. How to engage a diverse civil society and industry towards a joint collaboration for a Metaverse for All.

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will learn about existing activities that are being carried out in ITU Focus Group on metaverse in general, and accessibility and digital inclusion in particular. Participants will be engaged in issues related to human rights, people with disabilities, social digital inclusion, gender and diversity. Participants will learn about existing UN mandates underlying the need to create a metaverse for all inhabitants, where basic communication issues are considered in the design phase, looking at Design for All as the inspiring methodology.


This roundtable focuses on a framework for an accessible and inclusive metaverse. The metaverse is created by modelling and simulating a real world; and against the existing barriers for an inclusive real world, we plan to design an inclusive and accessible metaverse for all from the design phase. Recently, metaverse has become one revolutionary area of innovation with great potential to change our economy, our way of living and communicating, and society in general. In this nascent phase of the metaverse, the industry has not converged towards common terms and definitions. Nevertheless, the metaverse concept has attracted considerable public attention. The ITU-T Focus Group on metaverse was established under TSAG on 16 December 2022. The group is analysing the technical requirements of the metaverse in order to identify fundamental enabling technologies in areas ranging from multimedia and network optimization to digital currencies, Internet of Things, digital twins, and environmental sustainability. The workshop will provide information about the collaboration platform, and will welcome participants for dialogue aimed at identifying stakeholders with whom ITU-T could collaborate; it will also seek to enable the inclusion of experts in the area of accessibility and inclusion to contribute to the technical pre-standardization work. The roundtable also aims to identify relevant use cases.

Expected Outcomes

Follow-up event.
Publication of the metaverse accessibility and inclusion framework.
Three contributions for pre-standardisation.
Three use cases.

Hybrid Format: Two moderators have been appointed. One online moderator will take care of remote participation on issues such as connectivity, accessibility and the chat.
The face-to-face moderator will interact to seamlessly allow a free-flow roundtable.
Accessibility issues will be taken into consideration, including subtitles/captions, and audio description of any visual element, from PPT to presenters.
The remote and face-to-face events will be accessible as a showcase of what is expected in the metaverse (topic of the roundtable).