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Breaking through the walls of an inaccessible internet

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) kicks off on Monday, 12 November 2018, in Paris, France. On the evening of Sunday, 11 November, from 19:30 to 22:00, APC and Hivos/Digital Defenders Partnership will host the event Disco-tech Paris, under the theme, “Breaking through the walls of an inaccessible internet”.

What will we do?

177 countries have ratified the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which makes it obligatory for states to "promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet." Yet more than 12 years since this convention came into being, web accessibility remains a distant reality for people with disabilities.

In light of this, Disco-tech 2018 will focus on disability and internet accessibility. The event will provide different opportunities to foreground the experiences, realities, needs and concerns of internet users with disabilities. It will begin with an informal evening event on 11 November, prior to the first day of the IGF, and end with a workshop addressing the issues in a more formal setting through IGF workshop 216, “I Can’t Use This App: Closing the Web Accessibility Gap”.

Disco-tech is a learning exchange. It will increase responsiveness to and awareness of disability and internet accessibility, as well as provide concrete examples of ways in which civil society can support actions to reduce barriers to accessibility at different levels. Disco-tech also provides a safe space for sharing stories and experiences in personal and powerful ways, facilitates cross-regional collaboration, and seeks to connect with key actors who can link local struggles and global action. Participants will share advocacy strategies, tools, policies and best practices.

For those who have joined this event in the past, this is APC’s sixth Disco-tech at the IGF. For newcomers, we call it a “Disco-tech” because the format of the event is very unique. We are connecting policy to tech in a social atmosphere.

  • Anna Karefelt, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sweden)

  • Arun Madhavan Pillai, SPACE (India)

  • Bishakha Datta, Point of View (India)

  • Cathleen Berger, Mozilla (Germany)

  • Derrick L. Cogburn, School of International Service and Kogod School of Business at American University, AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy, Internet Governance Lab (United States)

  • Fernando Botelho, F123 Consulting (Brazil)

  • Gerry Ellis, Feel The BenefIT (Ireland)

  • Judy Okite, Association for Accessibility and Equality (Kenya)

  • Julián Casasbuenas, Colnodo (Colombia)

  • Nidhi Goyal, Point of View (India)

RSVP to or here.
Event details

Date/time: Sunday, 11 November 2018 - 19:30 – 22:00

Venue: Les Grands Voisins

Attendance: Approx. 150-200 people

Food: Light meal (veg options), cash bar

About Disco-tech

“Disco-techs” are informal evening events that are designed as learning exchanges, to bridge the gaps between technical and political solutions to attacks on internet rights and freedoms. To ensure meaningful exchanges between techies, activists and policy advocates, informal discussions in a comfortable setting are sparked by stimulating short presentations during an evening event the day before the IGF starts.

Disco-techs have been held at the IGF since 2013, focusing on counter-surveillance and cybersecurity (2013), the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls campaign (2013), internet censorship, blocking and filtering (2014), privacy and anonymity as fundamental rights (2015), community networks (2016) and criminalisation of tech expertise (2017).

About APC and Hivos/DDP

APC is an international network and non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that wants everyone to have access to a free and open internet to improve lives and create a more just world.

Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) takes a rights-based approach, focusing on the core values of transparency, human rights, inclusivity and diversity, confidentiality and freedom. DDP coordinates emergency support for journalists, human rights defenders, civil society organisations, bloggers and cyber activists through short- and long-term grants, direct or brokered emergency support and the Rapid Responders Network – a global team of digital security experts.