Digital Technologies for Disability Inclusion: All Learners on Equal Terms – Webinar by UNESCO IITE & UNESCO IICBA

About the event

On December 4, 2023, UNESCO IITE, in cooperation with the International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), hosted a webinar ‘Digital Technologies for Disability Inclusion: All Learners on Equal Terms’ on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December).

Purpose of the webinar

The webinar provided a platform for concerned stakeholders: professional individuals and expert organizations, to highlight and discuss disability-inclusive and accessibility-driven technological improvements in education.

During the online session the participants

  • introduced innovative and discuss existing (working) means to enhance and support inclusion through viable and sustainable use of digital technologies and pedagogical practices in education;
  • identified the urgent needs and both existing and untapped opportunities, and present well-informed, high-impact proposals related to the use of disability-sensitive technological solutions across diverse educational settings;
  • shared organizational best practices and personal professional contributions towards boosting inclusivity and quality of regional/national/local education through the meaningful use of available digital technology and application of innovative teaching practices;
  • discussed the benefits and pitfalls of rapid technology integration in the education and socialization of persons with disabilities and special learning needs across various contexts.

Concept Note and Agenda

Speakers on Different Aspects of the Disability Inclusion

Mr Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, introduced by Program Specialist Ms Elena Varkvasova, inaugurated the event with opening remarks.

Distinguished key note speakers of the webinar talked about different aspects of this important topic:

Mr Quentin Wodon, Director, International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (UNESCO IICBA)
Inclusive education in Uganda: Investment Case

Ms Natalia Mochu, Regional Director, Regional Office for CIS, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) – Digital Technologies in Support of Inclusive Education

Ms Rachel Cooper, Education Specialist, Skills and Digital Learning, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)  – Inclusive Digital Learning

Mr Lorenzo Desideri, Expert Consultant for the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE)
Fostering Inclusion and Equity in Education – Role of Resource Centers

Panel Discussion

After the speeches, the participants proceeded with the panel discussion, moderated by Ms Natalia Amelina, Senior National Project Officer for Education, UNESCO IITE.

During the discussion, experts touched upon such topics as way to avoid digital divide for learners with disabilities, experience of resource centers and their best practices and success stories in application of ICT in inclusive education, ways to support and involve teachers more into using digital technologies for students with special needs, as well as how to attract financial resources and investment for digital inclusion.

Panel Discussion Speakers included representatives from resource centers:

Dr Mohamed Koutheair Khribi, Head of Training Section, MADA – Qatar Assistive Technology Center,

Mr Chun Man Victor Wong, Founder and CEO, BridgeAI, Hong Kong,

Mr Vashkar Bhattacharjee, Inclusion Advisor, Program Manager & Head, ICT & Resource Center on Disabilities, Young Power in Social Action,

Mr Roberto Vitali, Online and Live Event Executive, Anastasis Soc. Coop.,

This event is part of the UNESCO IITE flagship webinar series “Harnessing Technology to Transform Education”.