Accessible Europe 2021: Making ICTs accessible to all

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the European Commission convened Accessible Europe 2021 on 23-25 March 2021. The event, which was hosted virtually by the Government of Portugal, was attended by 240 participants from over 40 countries. During the event, experts outlined priority actions to advance accessibility for persons with disabilities across Europe which include international cooperation, regulation, standardization, and inclusive education, particularly in response to COVID-19. Smart cities and the best practices seen across Europe to ensure accessibility were also discoursed. ‘The COVID pandemic has had exacerbated impact on persons with disabilities in terms of access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities. Accessibility of ICTs has become more relevant and more necessary than ever, said ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Doreen Bogdan-Martin.