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Global Consultation Report on ICTs and Disability Launched at the UN High Level Meeting on Disability and Development

Logo of the HLMDD 2013

New action-oriented report from Broadband Commission for Digital Development, G3ICT, IDA, ITU, Microsoft, the Foundation and UNESCO
“The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework”
A new report released on Monday, 23 September 2013 demonstrates how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have become a positive force of transformation and a crucial element of any personal development, empowerment and institutional framework for inclusive development. “The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework” contributes to a better understanding of the extent to which ICTs can enable and accelerate the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. It lists challenges that are still to be addressed while outlining concrete actions to be undertaken by each group of stakeholders and a set of indicators to help measuring progress towards the achievement of a disability-inclusive development agenda.
This report is the result of collaborative input from the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT), the International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Microsoft, the Foundation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The content is based on the information gathered during a global consultation on ICT, Disability and Development, carried out from 20 May to 17 June 2013 in support of the preparatory process of the HLMDD. The consultation gathered over 150 expert inputs from relevant organizations and key individuals stemming from over 55 countries and representing multiple categories of stakeholders, including governments, academic institutions, organizations of persons with disabilities, civil society organizations, the private sector and regional and international organizations.
Use the links below to download a copy of the final report, including the Accessible MS Word version.
Executive Summary:
Full Report:


Image of a woman in a wheel chair in a working environment
Disability is a global issue. According to WHO and the World Bank, 1.1 Billion people live with some kind of disability. When adding family and friends who provide them with daily support, disability directly affects 1.9 Billion people. It is impossible to exclude such a significant proportion of the world population from development efforts. 

Social inclusion is not an option. Societies cannot strive if they don’t develop in a cohesive manner and if part of their members keep being ignored and discriminated against because of their disabilities.

The cost of excluding PwDs is very high. Companies and governments seeking to maximize their stakeholders value have to consider that the PwD market represent over $9 trillion in annual disposable income globally.


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Achieving the social inclusion of persons with disabilities should not be an act of charity. It is a human rights issue, as persons with disabilities have the same rights as any other persons. 
The UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted on 13 December 2006, reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The CRPD takes to a new height the movement from viewing persons with disabilities as "subjects" with rights, who are capable of making decisions for their lives based on their free and informed consent as well as being active members of society.


Image of a computer keyboard with a green key highlighted with the word "Access"

Information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as mobile phones, radio, TV or the Internet, play a key role to enable the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Through the world hundres of millions of persons with disabilities are already using ICT-enabled solutions to access information, be integrated into the job market  and enjoy better access to basic public services, such as health, education or governmental services.

Looking to the future, the goal of the global community should be to expand these benefits to all persons with disabilities.


Looking to the future, the goal of the global community should be to expand the benefits of ICTs to all persons with disabilities. Why aren´t best practices available to all? What challenges are limiting the uptake of ICT solutions to enable an inclusive society for all? What recommendations should be brought to the consideration of the 2013 High Level Meeting on Disabilities and Development?

The goal of this consultation is to gather the views of the ICT sector and produce a series of recommendations for consideration at the HLMDD 2013. Be part of it!
​Speak up, let us know your views by answering  our questionnaire and take part inf the ICT sector consultation for the HLMDD 2013





Is your government, company, organization, association or community leading in the use of ICTs to promote the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities in areas such as access to health, education or integration into the labor market? Would you like to share with us your experiences, lessons learned and recommendations?

Contact us at to find out how you can organize a on-site consultation to share your views with us.


​​While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent a concerted effort to address global poverty, there is a striking gap in the current MDGs and their inclusion of persons with disabilities. The estimated 1 billion people worldwide who live with disabilities are still excluded from equitable access to resources such as education, employment, healthcare and social and legal support systems. As a result persons with disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of poverty.

Click here to find out more about the 2013 High Level Meeting on Disabilities and Development