Last year, rural non-profit the Fantsuam Foundation trained almost six hundred locals in computing to improve their livelihoods – but only one was a person with physical disabilities. Now incorporating JAWS – a Job Access With Speech screen reader – Fantsuam will open their basic and advanced computer skills classes to people who can’t see.
Seán Ó Siochrú
2. Emerging issues and trends in pro-poor ICT policy and regulation
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) takes a great pleasure in inviting you to participate in the Access to Knowledge (A2K) workshop which will be on 7 April 2010 at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg.
“Opening up access to knowledge is a demand of global justice; it is both a human rights issue and a crucial factor in spurring economic development and technological innovation,” said Yale Law School Professor Jack Balkin, who together with the APC and other institutions are currently discussing these issues at Yale University over 11 and 12 of February.
The current financial crisis has been branded as that of the banking, insurance and automobile industries. However, other sectors—namely telecommunications—which are seemingly humming along should not be ignored by those interested in maximizing today’s economic lessons. Turning a blind eye toward a profitable industry should no longer be an option. Industry regulators and legislators must be prepared to take proactive action before an industry falters.
Taking inventory is a good starting point. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently issued its 2009 Information Economy Report. The report focuses on the development implications of information and communication technologies (ICTs) worldwide. The position of the US should be ringing some alarms.
2010 promises to be a significant year for the future of the internet with a number of potential changes on the horizon. It could be the last year of existence for the Internet Governance Forum and ICANN is confronting big changes as it moves out from under the control of the US government. In this time of flux, policy windows can open and close quickly. APC is building a worldwide network of civil society policy advocates from different spheres of policy work and with diverse campaigning experiences who all have a vested interest in ensuring that the internet is free and open.
A new report that reveals how vulnerable the internet as we know it is, has just been published by two global civil society organisations. The annual report, called Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch), was released today by APC and Dutch funder Hivos. GISWatch 2009 is entitled “Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy”.