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IGF 2018 - Day 3 - Salle VI - DC on Accessibility and Disability

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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    >> GERRY ELLIS: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.  How's the microphone working?  Is it okay?  Do I need a mic?  I am Irish.  I don't need a microphone. 

    Welcome to the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability face-to-face meeting for IGF 2018.  We are a small crowd, but we are a very important crowd.  So welcome for everyone. 

    I know Gunela is online.  We've had difficulties with the online system, so she can hear us, but we can't hear her.  So I am going to ask Gunela to send us a text. 

    We haven't really got a big agenda here today.  We have two items on the agenda.  One is a proposal from Shadi Abou-Zahra, and the other is basically to look at how is the accessibility for this meeting, and then we are going to open it up to anyone who wants to say anything about anything, whether it be Christmas presents or turkeys or DCAD or accessibility or disability.  Totally open to anything you want to say on any subject.  Okay? 

    So have we got Shadi on the line?  Shadi is not on yet.  Shabbir.  Can we here Shabbir?  Okay.  We have Shabbir, and we have Gunela, but we can't hear them. 

    First thing I want to do is maybe go around the room, see who is present if that's possible.  Can we do that?  Do we have a microphone?  Hello, Luis.  Do we have a microphone? 

    (Audio interference)

    >> I come from Myanmar, Burma.  We are supporting to 150 community centers in our country, and actually, there are libraries as well, so I just want to come here to learn how we can help to the disabilities in our community as well.  That's my reason for joining. 

    (Overlapping audio.)

    (Laughter)

    >> Hi.  My name is (?).  I am an academic, teach English literature at a university in Germany.  I am at the IGF this year to report on a study on (Inaudible) (static) and workshops at the IGF.  I am also representing (?).  Thank you. 

    (Overlapping audio.)

    >> I am (?).  I am autistic, representing (overlapping audio)

    >> My name is (?).  I work -- in charge of the Web accessibility directive, and I am fairly new in that unit, so I am here to learn. 

    >> My name is John Dada.  I work for an organization in Nigeria, and we pride ourselves in being non-discriminatory for any disadvantages or disabilities. 

    >> PETER MAJOR: I am Peter Major, the Vice Chair of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and I think I am an honorary member of the Dynamic Coalition.  I have been working with you for ages.  Thank you. 

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: I am Derrick Cogburn, the founding executive director of the American University Institute on Disability and Public Policy.  We are about to celebrate our tenth year next year, so we are getting ready for our tenth year anniversary.  Just to let you know, for most of our first ten years, we focused on Southeast Asia, and so we have partners in Myanmar that we can put you in contact with that focus on disability and independent living in Myanmar. 

    I am also a professor in the School of International Service in the International Communication and International Development Program.  I am also a professor in the Cogot School of Business in the Department of Information Technology and Analytics and Co-Director of our Internet Governance Lab. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Welcome, one and all.  Welcome to Shabbir and to Gunela, who are on the Web connection.  Unfortunately, we can't hear them, but I think they can hear us.  So welcome to everybody. 

    We really have two things on the agenda today.  We are trying to find how we, as a group of people, of individuals, people who are interested in disabilities, and people who are interested in DCAD, can connect better with other Dynamic Coalitions within IGF.  I think we have heard criticism during IGF here that we come together, we meet, we have a great time, we all agree with each other, then we come here and talk about other things.  So Shadi Abou-Zahra had a request that we find a way of interacting within the year with other Dynamic Coalitions.  Unfortunately, Shadi isn't on the line, so I am going to try to present it today. 

    So how can we do that?  We have contacts through the Secretariat for IGF, but who is going to put their name forward to say if you find a different Dynamic Coalition, we will contact them, we will talk to them, we say every second month between now and Berlin for the next IGF.  Who here is prepared to put up their hand and say I'll do that. 

    You'll do it. 

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: This is Derrick.  So one of the things that we've done for a number of what we call transnational advocacy networks in, and DCAD is one of those, is we have provided infrastructure support to those networks to be able to work together over distance to develop detailed policy formulation, to work together, to get to know each other better, and to prepare for international meetings.  So we would actually be happy to support the DCAD.   Do you pronounce it DIE-CAD OR DE-CAD ? My team has been debating that. 

    So we would be happy to work with Kaoru and our colleagues at the ITU.  We have Zoom accounts.  We have other Web conferencing tools.  We have a variety of content management systems, and so forth.  We would be happy to support a monthly meeting, if you wanted, where we could reach out to different Dynamic Coalitions, and we could look at the document that we prepared.  We prepared a short document for IGF 2018 to look at the other Dynamic Coalitions to look at where their overlap might be with the interest of the DCAD. 

    >> (Off microphone). 

    >> Since it's my first meeting, I want to know we are looking at all the other coalitions to see how we can make connections?  So has someone taken on the sort of work with DC -- I would be very happy to have that kind of conversation. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS:  Would you make sure we have your contact details before we leave today, please? 

    >> Absolutely. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Very good.  Very good.  Anyone else who would want to put their name forward?  We don't know which DCs yet, but we'll find some. 

    Okay.  That's good. 

    >> JUDY OKITE: I can help with that. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Judy is it?  Okay.  Thank you. 

    >> I would like to pitch in too.  Balip here. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  So we have three names.  I will bully a couple more people between now and next year. 

    How are we doing with DCAD? 

    We think the remote participation should be working now.  Judy and Shabbir, can you hear us?  Sorry, Gunela and Shabbir, can you hear us?  We can't hear you, so I don't know if you can hear us. 

    Any remote participants speaking?  Sorry, everyone in the room, but we are trying to give everyone the opportunity to be here. 

    So while our tech engineers are trying to sort out our remote participation, we want to try and get an idea how has access been achieved through 2018?  We know that Chengetai has been (audio overlapping.)

    Let's start at the beginning.  Let's start with registration. 

    >> VIRGINIA PAQUE: I will start.  As a matter of fact, I was successful --

    >> GERRY ELLIS: It's Virginia; is it? 

    >> VIRGINIA PAQUE: I am sorry, Ginger or Virginia.  Sorry for not identifying myself.  That's an important thing. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: It is. 

    >> VIRGINIA PAQUE: As you know, I am an advocate of online participation and remote participation, which is supported brilliantly by the DCAD.  I did not have a particular disability problem accessing as a user with advantages.  I still had serious problems connecting with my account, but I did find that the support team was willing and did rapidly -- it took a long time, but they were constantly responding to me, and they did respond to the difficulties I was having.  So that's one positive point, the online support for me was very good. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  Anyone else? 

    >> PETER MAJOR: It's Peter here, speaking from an autistic point of view.  Something I wanted to say for the past three days is the IGF website, in terms of access, certainly from my point of view in terms of cognitive access, it's -- what's the word I can use?  I would say it's an absolute disgrace. 

    (Dog barking)

    >> GERRY ELLIS: The dog agrees with you. 

    >> PETER MAJOR: I don't think people really have any idea what accessibility means in terms of the Internet.  Just for fun, I ran just an online accessibility audit application on the site, just a one-page.  It threw up 300 issues or possible issues.  I just cannot believe that that site is online. 

    (Dog barking)

    From the very beginning, on the very first page, the use of text in an image box, it's like rule number one not to do. 

    From an autistic point of view, the lack of coherence, of structure, of consistency, of predictability is just something really to be seen to believe.  The use of rollovers that make no sense, the use of colors that make no sense.  To cut a long story short, I was not able to register.  I had to get somebody to help me who has done it before.  I could not find my way through it.  But I just can't believe that I am the only one who has difficulty with this site and the fact that it seems no one has actually said anything seems to bring home to me just how low down the list of priorities accessibility and accessible websites actually are. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Thank you.  Thank you for that.  We will feed that back. 

    I hear noise from the speakers.  Have we got our online participants? 

    >> Briefly to add to what Peter said. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Sorry.  Who is this?  Who is speaking?  Baldi.  Okay, Baldi, yeah. 

    >> I just wanted to add to what Peter said.  I am autistic too, and I had a similar issue.  Let's start with the fonts on the website.  It took me hours to just get my registration done because either the fonts would keep changing from one page to the next or the sizes would keep changing or the colors would keep changing, and I mean, how hard is it to, like, maintain like a sustained format across pages and just be Times New Roman 12 or just have a standard thing that we can follow.  It's not helping anyone if I can't make sense of what's online. 

    And then like with the schedule, because I had to, like, plan the three days that I am here, especially since I am also assisting my colleague, I can't work with the online schedule because it makes me anxious enough to know that I am responsible for somebody else's schedule too, but then when I can't work with the online schedule, and on the first day in the morning, they didn't have printed-out schedules on the other hand here at the IGF, so basically I spent half the first day a ball of anxiety not able to figure out where to go, what to do, until I was able to finally pick up printed copies of the schedule, and then make some sense of what's happening in terms of the event layouts.  It's just a lot of time and effort wasted, which could be avoided with simple formating techniques. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: There were three versions of the online schedule.  There was a PDF, which was absolutely dreadful.  There was an online --

    >> Interactive schedule, that's the one I was talking about.  It was a nightmare. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: -- which I found better but not very good.  And there was a spreadsheet.  Did you see the spreadsheet? 

    >> I did not see.  That's what I am talking about.  I did not see the spreadsheet.  I saw the PDF.  I saw the interactive version.  And it's also exhausting.  You know?  At some point I give up.  At some point, okay, I don't know what to do with this, and I can't take this further.  And I am saying being autistic and having to navigate these things has a lot to do with stamina.  After a point, my brain will not function.  So if we can come up with some kind of support for that. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  That's excellent because the fact that they had done some work on the spreadsheet, which I think is quite accessible, but didn't tell people about it in itself is an issue.  The fact that people can't register means that they can't attend.  So I think that's a very good point.  Derrick? 

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: Thank you.  This is Derrick, and so I just want to echo the last two points.  What I would say is the IGF is hosted by the United Nations.  We know the United Nations has the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and should be an exemplar of the rights that are identified in the CRPD, including the right to accessibility and access to information.  And so it really is a shame that a UN-hosted organization can't follow its own -- you know, the Convention that's under the auspices of the UN. 

    And I think we should, in the notes, in what we send forward, should highlight that there are international standards that they should adhere to.  You know, WCAG 2.0.  They should not have a website that does not meet WCAG 2.0 standards.  Full stop.  And to be an Internet Governance Forum, you might think that the Water Conference might be a little bit farther behind, but the Internet Governance Forum should be at the forefront of electronic and digital access, and I think it's a shame. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: I agree with you.  We will be making that point. 

    So okay.  Who else? 

    >> Can I speak?  Niti here.  I actually wanted to just add to some of the things, so when you mentioned, Gerry, there were multiple formats, I came across only two and they didn't work great for me.  The PDF version, which was really not okay, and the other one.  So that's where Baldi and I both struggled with the agenda and the slot timing, et cetera. 

    The other thing is when you direct -- thank you for mentioning the UNCRPD because I was on the Plenary last evening, and the Plenary stages did not have any access for someone on a wheelchair.  And that was amazing because that -- so A, there was no one on a wheelchair.  That doesn't mean that the space need not be accessible.  Because that gives out a statement that if you are not -- if you are in a position that you are on a wheelchair, you will -- this space will not be for you.  So it's also sort of the larger comment that it makes.  So I was really surprised, and it's not just that because then we also are heaving out people who have arthritis and other issues that may not be able to take stairs.  So we are just keeping some of that in mind in the physical space as well around accessibility. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: When you tried to register on-site here, you had problems?  Do you want to mention something there? 

    >> Okay.  I didn't have much of a challenge because when I came -- well, online I could easily register.  Physically, they had a lift because at the entrance there were steps, but there was a lift on the side that they allowed me to use to get to the registration, so I didn't take, like, more than five minutes.  So it was okay.  Yeah.  Thank you. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  I am spending a lot of time on registration because if you can't register for a conference, you can't attend.  And nothing that you do at the conference is registered.  Derrick is doing a lot of data mining, but if you can't even get in the door, your voice can't be heard.  That's why I am spending such a long time and why I am trying to gather these stories together.  It is such a crucial issue. 

    >> A point of order, if I may interrupt.  Because I am new and I do not understand all the complexities and nuances, I realize I am nodding at you, and it's not appropriate feedback. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: It's okay. 

    >> No, but what is -- what is the feedback to give (distorted audio)

    But you and other colleagues cannot see me nodding or showing my agreement.  How do we do that in a meeting like this or in any meeting? 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Come and have a coffee afterwards.

    (Laughter)

    >> JUDY OKITE: Judy here.  I had a question for transportation from the airport.  (?) transport in Paris is accessible, which it's not.  We tried.  We got out of the airport.  We got a taxi into the Metro.  From the Metro, from where you stand to get on the Metro is too big, so we had to come back and use the taxi. 

    From my hotel, it's impractical to walk 300 meters to get to the Metro.  I am walking 300 meters to the Metro. 

    On Monday, there was an issue because I had to use the exit because that's more accessible. 

    Later on it was explained that probably because the President was coming in, so security was a bit edgy.  But the last couple days it's been okay.  I have used that exit. 

    Coming into the building, I am surprised that they have clear windows on the -- I don't know whether they are supposed to be walls or doors.  And actually, it's not even persons with disability who hit themselves on those windows.  They are persons, they are normal persons.  I mean, I have been there and people have hit themselves because they are not sure whether there's a window, whether -- is it a window or a door, whether it's open or whether it's closed.  I am so surprised that that could happen at the UN, at the UNESCO. 

    Coming into the building, my issue is that there is a sign at the washroom that it is an accessible washroom, but when you go inside, that's not what's happening.  It's not an accessible washroom.  And so I mean, being at the 15th IGF and I have to go into the bathroom and somebody has to help me in there, that is too low.  That is as low as we could have gotten. 

    I remember in 2014, our report DCAD 2014, we had made a suggestion that somebody with an accessibility knowledge would be part of the Secretariat, that when they choose the venue, the person has to audit and make sure that when we are talking about accessibility then, that is fact toward in.  And so now here at the IGF Paris, I have to spend as little time here because I can't use the washroom. 

    Thank you. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  Thank you, Judy.  That's comprehensive.  I have taken a lot of notes which we will pass on. 

    Anyone else want to comment about -- Judy moved on as well to the accessibility of the venue here, so does anyone want to talk about physically getting to the venue or the accessibility of the venue itself? 

    >> I wanted to actually just add in between the only registration and the venue accessibility, one thing I wanted to add was collection of passes and people really struggled, and there were obviously very long queues, et cetera.  There are also people who need assistance who cannot stand for so long with disabilities.  So I don't know if that's -- in many conferences there is sort of a separate queue or separate provision for people with disabilities, if something like that can be instituted, if that's a possibility at all.  Because many, many people, particularly the day before IGF began, spent like two hours then still returned without a pass. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  That's fine.  Any other -- just while you have the mic, is there anything you would like to comment on about the accessibility of the venue or the conference itself? 

    >> I am just thinking, Gerry, like as a blind person or person with visual impairment, anyway, the space is too large for me to navigate without assistance.  So have there been conversations around participations or registrations of assistance or provisions of voluntary support?  This time my organization could somehow bring in someone because someone could come in and assist me, but how's the participation for someone like me next year, or how have you or others with blindness been participating where assistance is required, and then that becomes a challenge?  So that's something I am leaving open. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay, Niti, can I challenge you with a question? 

    >> Yes, sure. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: If somebody asked you at registration do you need support, would you find that insulting, or would you find oh, they are asking me because they want to help?  Which would you find?  Which would you think? 

    >> At the registration? 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: During the registration process. 

    >> If somebody said do you need support, it's a simple question, so I would give a simple response.  I would give a simple response.  If I needed help at that time, I would say yes, it would be great if you could support me.  If I didn't, I would say no, I am okay, thanks. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Good, because I would be the same.  I would rather be asked and get the support than not be asked and not get the support, but some people would find that demeaning. 

    >> I think that's what we always say, that it's best to ask if someone needs support and how would they need support rather than forcing them or denying.  I think that's very simple. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  Derrick. 

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: Thank you.  This is Derrick.  Just to follow on Niti's comment, I think one of the places where that would be really well done is on the registration form to say what kind of assistance or accommodations do you need or do you want?  And that's now done months in advance.  You know?  So they can get ready.  If they need to secure volunteers, if they need to train volunteers, they can do that in advance so they are ready for you to come.  They can communicate with persons that have indicated they need accommodations to say come to the front, you know, we'll make sure that you come in, we'll have your volunteer waiting for you.  That wouldn't be too hard to do.  Other conferences, you know, do those kinds of things. 

    Gerry, I will just -- since I have the floor just one second, we have a report --

    >> (Off microphone). 

    (Laughter)

    >> We have a report that will come out on the third of December for the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on accessible global governance, where we have both done interviews and surveys of people with disabilities participating in UN conferences around the world in different types of domains from disaster risk reduction to, you know, economic development and so forth.  And we are highlighting all of these problems along the lines, Gerry, that you are pointing to, from the registration to the transportation to the hotels, you know, right through to the physical features of the rooms.  And I'll make sure that everybody gets a copy of that.  But --

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Can I challenge you the way that I challenge Niti as well?  What have you done to make sure that that's in accessible format? 

    >> The document? 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Yeah. 

    >> Oh, of course, everything that we try to do is in accessible format.  So the document, the PDF and the website are accessible for screen readers.  We try to -- now, frankly, this is one of the areas that we could work on more is to also make sure that it's accessible for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities, so we don't produce the document in an alternative format, and that's something that we should do as well. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Yeah, thank you, because we often find that organizations who are promoting accessibility are often not accessible themselves.  I think of website checkers which themselves are not accessible.  So pardon me for challenging you, but I think it is important that we do challenge in a nice way. 

    >> No, you are 100% right. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: In an Irish way, but we do challenge. 

    >> You are 100% right, but to continue the challenge, I think the point is between now and next year in Berlin, I think it is, we should start pushing right now to make sure that IGF 2019 is as accessible as possible from start to finish, from registration to speaking, you know, on the floor. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Absolutely 100%. 

    Judy. 

    >> JUDY OKITE: Thank you, Gerry.  Just to mention that yes, on the registration form, there is the support where you are supposed to indicate whether you have a disability.  What we need to find out is what they do with that information because still when you come it's like a new information to them. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: (Off microphone). 

    >> Just a quick two finger if I may, Gerry.  So we should look at what that question is.  It shouldn't say do you have a disability.  I don't know what it says, but I would like to follow up with what it says.  There are certain best practices in what you should ask.  I think it should be more so what kind of accommodations do you want or do you foresee needing any accommodations when you are here to make sure there's something to be done with it.  Not just asking a question are you a person with a disability.  It should say what accommodations do you need, so then Gerry, what's done with it should be how are you addressing those accommodations for that person, and there should be somebody at the Secretariat that's following up on everybody that has responded that way and is treating that person as a guest that's coming to the conference. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: What we are doing at the meeting, Derrick, is seeing have they done that? 

    >> Mr. Gembala is here this morning and hasn't said anything this morning.  Would you like to add to this?  I know your first language is French, so I am wondering are you okay with the speed of the meeting?  (Speaking French)

    >> He is reading the captions. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  Fine.  Okay.  We are fine then. 

    All right. 

    >> Just to respond to what Derrick said, the form does ask what support would you need, but it's not an actionable column.  That's the problem.  And many conferences do ask what support do you need, and that's not an actionable column either.  In fact, so there are two examples from global conferences that I want to bring here because we want to propose this for Berlin IGF, is one that there is a global women's rights forum by this organization called AWID, Association for Women's Rights in Development.  What they do is support your participation financially.  They try and support with an assistant.  So if they say we'll support a person with a disability with a scholarship, that automatically means that they support a person to assist them as well. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Sorry, just before you move on from that one, I missed the name of the organization. 

    >> Association for women's rights in development.  So they have a forum once in three years. 

    The second thing is when we are talking about UN, there is the Conference of the States Parties that happens in New York at the UN, which is on the UNCRPD, and there is no assistance provided even then.  So it's a huge sort of -- it will be a difficult advocacy, but I think we should take it forward.  Because independent participation is something that for many of us is really, really important.  Yeah. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  We've maybe ten minutes or so left, so I wonder, can we hear our remote participants now and get some comments on remote participation? 

    >> (Speaking non-English language)

    (No audio)

    >> -- guidelines that are available online from I believe 2015.  Is that right?  I mean, I went through them.  I also went through your references that you cite there as source material.  There is a total absence in those guidelines anywhere of anything to do with access for -- I mean, I will speak specifically for myself -- for autistic people.  There's absolutely nothing in the guidelines that you refer to, the word "autism" does not even appear.  But then that's perhaps understandable.  Some of them go back over ten years.  I think it's high time --

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Would you help us improve those documents? 

    >> Well, sure.  There are, for example, guidelines online, for example, (?) Autism Society, publish online guides to autism-friendly events.  To be honest, it's not rocket science what we need.  A lot of it is just very simple stuff.  Basically, for us, just so it's clear -- and it's also the website -- the world comes at us very fast.  We take in a lot of information.  What we are constantly seeking to do is just to calm the environment and to reduce this information. 

    So for example, just I will give a tiny personal example.  Before I came here on Monday, I spent almost -- quite a while on Sunday evening going on Google Earth looking at what the front of the building looks like so that when I came here that was not a new piece of information for me.  I knew what it looked like, the entrance.  I went through and found online photographs of all these rooms and information about the rooms so once more that's information I don't have to deal with on the day. 

    So even a simple thing like putting out photographs of the rooms would be a real help for us.  I found the signage here pretty well nonexistent to get here to find this room today.  I had to ask someone to find the rooms.  On the first day, I had to ask people. 

    And just one small thing to give an example of perhaps what the future holds, is that I would like to see that applause is prohibited in these meetings.  It's something that started to happen at autism conferences and conferences where autistic people are, noise is a real problem in one way or another for nearly all of us, and I think it would be not so much a gesture but a recognition that people need to start modifying their behaviors in order that people with disabilities can be included.  And that's where disability comes from.  Disability is created by people's behaviors.  And the idea of having no applause and having -- well, what's usually used is what's called flappers, which is waving your hands in the air.  If we could have that, for example, in room 1, that would send a fantastic message to developers and clients about stopping and thinking about what steps they can take to make their work and what they are doing more inclusive and less exclusive.  Because disability results from exclusion. 

    Sorry. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: If I could stop you there just to let others in because we are running out of time.  But I'd make two points.  About signage, you know, you are absolutely right.  My friend who beside me here, my personal assistant, his only disability is that he is Irish.  Right?  But he had huge difficulties with signage at this meeting, and we still don't know where room 10, 11, and 12 are.  We still haven't found them.  I was trying to go to a meeting in room 10, I couldn't find it.  Still don't know where they are. 

    Can I open the floor again?  Because we are almost out of time.  Just to anyone who makes a general comment about --

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: Just two quick things if I could.  Number one, I would like to ask to make sure everyone here is on the DCAD mailing list.  So if you are not -- you are not?  So Kay rue, can we somehow make sure that we somehow either -- Kaoru, can we somehow make sure we capture them or make sure you are on the DCAD mailing list because what I would like to do, Gerry, is I would like us to be able to meet every month as a DCAD from here on out, so 12 meetings or so, leading up to next year's IGF.  So if we can -- we are happy to host those meetings, but it doesn't matter who is hosting it as long as we try to make it as accessible as possible, but that we can meet on a regular basis and everybody can not just be limited to this time, but we can contribute over the course of time and over distance. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Okay.  I have two things that I want to say before we finish, but we've three minutes left.  Room for one more contribution. 

    >> JOVAN KURBALIJA: Well, thank you.  My name is Jovan --

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Say that slowly, your name. 

    >> JOVAN KURBALIJA:  My name is Jovan Kurbalija.  I am Executive Director of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. 

    The reason why I am -- first I am sorry for coming the last part of the meeting, and I would like to use this opportunity to invite your community to contribute to the deliberation of the high-level panel. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Sorry, panel on? 

    >> JOVAN KURBALIJA: On digital cooperation.  It was established by the UN Secretary General, and it deals with thing like question of inclusion, question of participation.  This is the right moment to have your voice heard by the top authorities at the UN, addressing some of the issues that could be, I guess, solved in simple way, like signage or question of the use of Webex, to the more complex issues of general strengthening of participation of people with disabilities, taking into consideration some core principles of you're community, sharing it with the Internet industry, with the international organization, things that you have been doing.  But this is the occasion when those principles and those inputs could get high visibility and necessary place in discussion in the UN and the private -- discussion with the private sector. 

    I would like to encourage you strongly to make the contribution.  I am available to help in whatever is needed practically.  And that's basically my message.  And thank you for letting me have this short introduction. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Thank you.  We heard about that panel yesterday at the Plenary panel, and I wanted to learn more about it, and I am delighted that you've come.  I really, really welcome you.  Please come up to us after the meeting and give us some more details, contact details or whatever. 

    >> DERRICK COGBURN: The short version, Gerry, is have them implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, full stop.  If they implement the Convention, we would be happy. 

    >> Well, you know, let me just comment on this.  Everything is available.  We know what to do.  You know what to do.  You have been raising your voice.  But we shouldn't waste any opportunity to make these voices louder and to strengthen this question, like implementation of the Convention.  And I know you have been working a lot on these issues. 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: Don't worry.  We are Irish.  We have loud voices.  We will be heard. 

    (Laughter)

    Ladies and gentlemen, it's been great.  One last comment. 

    >> This is Niti here.  I just wanted to ask a question or make a comment.  Do we have data on the disability disaggregation on people with what kinds of disabilities have been participating so we also know what are the access barriers more for -- or make an effort to have intentional inclusion of people across other disabilities?  And the second if there is a thematic analysis of the panels or the interventions that persons with disabilities have been invited or have been able to put together? 

    >> GERRY ELLIS: I can tell you that Derrick has been doing work on that, but I don't think that's a question for this meeting.  With you talk to Derrick after the meeting?  Because that's where you get it.  Derrick does data mining and has been researching. 

    Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to call it at that, and I am going to thank everyone in the room.  I am going to thank everyone who participated remotely, even if we couldn't hear them; they could hear us and could text us.  Thank you to Kaoru, who here on my left has been wonderful for the last month or so leading up to today.  Thanks for all the accessibility services.  Thanks to everyone. 

    Let's keep in touch, and I do intend to follow -- and I was going to say I am going to follow what Derrick was saying -- we are going to try to have meetings well in advance of Berlin so we can discuss these accessibility issues and not just in the last month or so before the meeting. 

    With that, thank you, and enjoy the rest of IGF 2018.  Thanks, and good-bye. 

Contact Information

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