Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities
To mark the 3rd December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Communication and Transport, organized a conference in Sarajevo under the title “Removing Barriers for Generating an Inclusive and Accessible Society for All”, in order to draw attention to possibilities of information and communication technologies (ICT) for persons with disabilities.
The conference was addressed by Mr. Damir Hadzic, BiH Minister of Communications and Transport, Ms. Zahira Virani, UNDP BiH Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Nera Monir Divan, Empowering Marginalized Groups in e-Governance Project Manager and the Head of the Secretariat of the eSEE Initiatives, and Mr. Amir Mujezin, initiator of the first regional portal for the blind and visually impaired persons.
In accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the conference featured web-based solutions and activities that are carried out within the project "Empowerment of Marginalized Groups in e-Governance" and personal digital stories of people with disabilities, as well as an interactive portal for people with disabilities "Više mogućnosti" that will allow to register discrimination, post suggestions and ideas, and allow access to laws and decisions related to the OSI issues in one place. A regional study on the degree of accessibility of electronic public services and web portals was featured as well, along with recommendations by the UN Convention and the EU accession process.
Mr. Amir Mujezin presented "Infoservis365", the first web-news portal for the blind and visually impaired persons, and stressed that one of the goals of the portal is to engage partially sighted and visually impaired persons to write and post their own stories and news on this portal.
Mr. Damir Hadzic said that there is a clear commitment to create opportunities for people with disabilities and assist them to have adequate access to Internet. All of this could be achieved only by joint campaigns and activities.
"It is necessary to follow the strategy adopted in 2009 to equalize opportunities for persons with disabilities, and create a plan of operational activities that will also imply an inclusive process for this social category," added Mr. Hadzic.
Ms. Nera Monir-Divan emphasized that the Convention equates accessibility to technologies to architectural accessibility, and therefore it is of an utmost importance that the government together with international organizations and civil sector takes all the necessary measures to implement the Convention.