12 July 2020
MCIT Partakes in ‘Social Responsibility, AT for PwDs' Webinar

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) participated in the “Social Responsibility and Assistive Technology (AT) for People with Disabilities (PwDs)” Webinar, organized by the Arab Council for Social Responsibility (ACSR), on July 15, under the auspices of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat.

The webinar threw light on the relation between AT and social responsibility, and the importance of AT to empower and integrate people with different disabilities into the society, to make sure they enjoy a better life and find better jobs. It also discussed how Egypt can become an international hub for AT and for fostering innovators in this field.
During the webinar, MCIT representative underlined that MCIT attaches great importance to PwDs and plays a significant role in this front since the launch of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007 and Egypt’s adoption of it, which represents a shift in the attitude and approach towards PwDs. This is in addition to the establishment of the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons With Disabilities (NAID) in 2018, reflecting the State’s strategy and Egypt’s vision for achieving the digital transformation in integrating and empowering PwDs.
Moreover, the role of AT in improving the lives of and supporting PwDs was presented, as well as how AT helps provide a better life for PwDs, especially as they cope with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). The legislative and executive frameworks serving this issue were also highlighted, in addition to the initiatives implemented using ICT to raise awareness of PwDs’ rights, as an important segment in the society, particularly through the community development projects carried out in remote and underserved areas, and the rehabilitation projects for finding decent job opportunities to this significant segment.
In addition, people with motor and visual disabilities were trained on the competences needed at the labor market, using modern technological solutions, with the training content made accessibly available on educational CDs and online, for people with motor and visual disabilities. This is in addition to organizing workshops to support innovating technological applications for PwDs and help tackle their daily struggles, including the initiative implemented in collaboration with one of the leading organizations in this filed, through which functional therapy episodes in Arabic were produced, helping innovate technological solutions and creating an enabling environment for serving PwDs. This project was nominated for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2018, as one of the best and most innovative digital solutions in Egypt.
Within the framework of synergizing efforts and supporting decision makers in PwDs issues, MCIT invited interested participants of the webinar to contribute to establishing the national electronic network for PwDs services, that the Central Department for Community Development at MCIT is about to create. The network will serve as a one big portal bringing together the relevant initiatives, technological applications, laws and regulations, as well as service providers, business owners and recruitment companies, to support the largest number possible of PwDs on a wide scale, nationwide.
It was also underlined that social inclusion is the base and the legislation for putting into force the laws pertaining to PwDs, through community-based initiatives that integrate all factors, from responsible authorities to service providers and citizens, to help create an enabling environment for changing how the society deals with PwDs, considering this as a duty and a responsibility that everyone have to shoulder, to achieve a concrete social change to reach a strategic vision for expansion and sustainability of the efforts for serving PwDs.
The ACSR is a member of the UN Global Compact and the first council in Egypt that aims to be the platform for community development in the Arab region, for both sharing experiences and helping in the developmental process. It carries out a number of activities including issuing a monthly magazine and providing professional trainings for community capacity building, in addition to the annual award ceremony for the best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice in the region.

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