15 October 2015
Egypt Showcases PWDs Achievements in ITU Telecom World 2015

Egypt participated in ITU Telecom World 2015, held in Budapest, Hungary on October 12–15 under the title " Accelerating Innovation for Social Good” where the ICT Minister's Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services Abeer Shakweer presented the Egyptian experience in the field of supporting, enabling and integrating persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Shakweer presented achievements of the projects and initiatives realized in the field of developing assistive devices for PWDs that contribute to opening new horizons for them and facilitating their lives in many areas such as education, training and employment and other aspects of life, in light of MCIT strategy to support, enable and integrate PWDs into society.

Moreover, Shakweer pointed out that innovators, entrepreneurs and the world’s largest companies participated in the exhibition held on the conference’s sidelines to offer all that is new in the ICT field, which would contribute to achieving sustainable development. The Egyptian side has showcased the most important outcomes of Tamkeen Competition for PWDs software and mobile phone applications.

The most important software presented include an application on mobile phone that helps the ones with visual disabilities to read books in Arabic with the help of built-in cameras of mobile phones. Another application teaches Arabic and mathematics for pre-primary education for children with hearing difficulties.

This in addition to an integrated program for the treatment of mental disabilities and learning difficulties that treat cognitive deficiencies, from which persons with intellectual disabilities suffer, to help them complete their education. Achievements, also, include a high availability website that helps PWDs to find jobs through matching job seekers with employers, thereby contributing to solving the problem of unemployment for PWDS.

Shakweer added that these software contributed significantly to the developments which have been made in the field of assistive technologies. She said that those assistive technologies which are developed in Arabic to face the problem of the unavailability software for PWDs Arabic speakers can facilitate the life not only for PWDs in Egypt, but for more than 55 million PWDs in the Arab world, placing Egypt on the international map in the field of developing assistive technology, and asserting Egypt’s respect to international conventions and human rights principles.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has made great strides in record time in the field of adapting IT uses to PWDS Arabic speakers, prompting the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to consider the experience of Egypt in this area as a pioneering experiment. ITU was, therefore, keen to invite Egypt—represented by MCIT—to provide and present its successful experience in a number of conferences organized by ITU, placing Egypt in the position of a regional leader in the field of supporting and empowering PWDs through technology.

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