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 Waddell to Speak at United Nations and Houses of Parliament


ICDRI continues to be active on the front lines in disability rights.  In March 2009, Cynthia D. Waddell, ICDRIís Executive Director, spoke in Geneva, Switzerland, at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) before Study Group 2 as an invited expert about the business plan response to the Johannesburg 2008 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) Resolution 70 on Telecommunication/information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility for persons with disabilities.  WTSA-08 Resolution 70 calls for the ITU Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau to address eight specific tasks concerning accessibility.  The business plan, drafted by ITU consultant Cynthia Waddell, is being evaluated for inclusion in the next budget cycle.  ITU is the leading United Nations agency for ICT issues and the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing networks and services.

This month, Cynthia Waddell will be participating as an invited expert on the U.S. Department of State Delegation for the World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) that will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 22- 24 April 2009.  The WTPF is the venue established by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU for discussing strategies and policies of high current policy interest in the changing telecommunication environment.  Cynthia Waddell contributed the language in the Secretary-Generalís draft report on ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities as well as the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Following the WTPF, Cynthia Waddell will be speaking at the Houses of Parliament for a regional seminar on the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Organized by the British Inter-Parliamentary Union, the event aims to inform G20 parliamentarians about this important human rights treaty and to encourage its ratification and implementation.  During the drafting of the treaty, Cynthia Waddell served as an expert on access to the built environment as well as the accessible design of ICT.  ICDRI continues to provide assistance to governments around the world on the obligations of the treaty as well as to businesses and universities impacted by this historic human rights treaty.  Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities opened for signature in March 2007 and entered into force in May 2008.

Cynthia Waddell is also the Co-Editor and Co-Author of the soon to be released e-Accessibility Policy Maker Toolkit, an online toolkit on e-accessibility and service needs for persons with disabilities, a joint ITU-G3ict initiative.  Her contributions include the Country Assessment Policy Development Model and Procurement chapters.  For more about the toolkit, please see http://g3ict.com/resource_center/toolkit.


If you have questions or comments please e-mail them to  icdri@icdri.org

Submitted by Cynthia D. Waddell, Juris Doctor
Executive Director and Law, Policy and Technology Subject Matter Expert
International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet


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