22 December 2019
ICT Minister Witnesses Signing MoU between MCIT, ATDO

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat witnessed, today, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Japan’s Assistive Technology Development Organization (ATDO).

The aim is to enhance cooperation in the digital inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and develop a comprehensive society through establishing a joint center for excellence in universal design and Assistive Technology (AT) at the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID).

This is in addition to collaborating to set and implement universal design and AT standards, especially those supporting Arabic, thus facilitating access to animated images and inclusion of persons with intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial disabilities.

Talaat underlined that this partnership comes within the framework of empowering and integrating PwDs to be active members in the society, adding that he looks forward to a fruitful cooperation between NAID and ATDO in carrying out worthwhile value-added projects to develop PwDs capacities.

For his part, ATDO Vice President Hiroshi Kawamura stated that the MoU will help promote cooperation between Egypt and Japan in AT and PwDs digital inclusion through establishing the aforementioned center.

The MoU was signed by the ICT Minister’s Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services and NAID Executive Director Abeer Shakweer, and Kawamura, in the presence of a number of officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Egypt office.

The MoU provides for cooperation in setting and implementing high accessibility training standards and Research and Development (R&D) in Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies to serve Japanese and Arabic speaking PwDs.

This is in addition to using AI to develop screen reader (converting text to speech) for Japanese and Arabic speaking PwDs, as well as supporting and facilitating communication and collaboration between Egyptian and Japanese researchers, innovators, startups, companies and entities specializing in universal design and AT areas.

Moreover, the MoU provides for cooperation in localizing advanced AT in Japanese, promoting capacity building and transferring knowledge in ICT access, comprehensive design and AT. This is in addition to carrying out training, capacity building and skills development programs and projects between Japanese ICT institutes, training centers and universities, and NAID.

The MoU comes out of MCIT keenness to establish partnerships with international entities to achieve its strategy for empowering PwDs. It also comes in light of the distinct ties with Japan, and ATDO exceptional expertise.

ATDO was founded in 2006. It has international contributions in accessible ICT R&D, meeting PwDs and seniors’ needs and achieving social integration. ATDO also focuses on developing universal design and international standards.

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