ITU150 in July: Accessibility and Innovation

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Innovating with Lobna: Why should accessible technology matter to us?

It is estimated that 1 billion people live with some kind of disability around the world. ICT accessibility advocate Lobna Smida explains that though there have been transformative innovations in technology for people with disabilities, there is still a long road ahead before we have a truly inclusive information society.

I would classify myself as a regular 20-something: I love my job, I have friends all around the world, and I enjoy travelling. But being a person with a disability, these things do not come easily to me. I was born with severely reduced mobility, only having independent use of my mouth. Growing up, I relied on my parents for everything. I would feel lonely; I would watch my cousins and friends play hopscotch, encouraging them as they leapt across the playground while playing along in my imagination.

For me, a world without accessible technology, is an isolated life. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) give me the opportunity to be like everyone else; like you. But we must ensure that the environment is prepared – that both legislation and technology are in place to facilitate the needs of people with disabilities…

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