Americas, News, January 23 2019
With GAATES part of Smart Cities for All, G3ict is poised for greater global outreach and impact
Ottawa and Atlanta, January 23, 2019
GAATES, the Global Alliance for Accessible Technologies and Environments, and G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, today announced that the nonprofit organizations have entered into a definitive agreement under which GAATES will redeploy its activities under the Smart Cities for All global initiative. G3ict launched Smart Cities for All in 2016 in partnership with World Enabled and has led its growth since then.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both organizations, GAATES will donate all its assets to G3ict. Moving GAATES operations under one roof at G3ict creates synergies and economies of scale allowing for greater global outreach and impact. G3ict’s Smart Cities for All program will continue to deploy the extensive GAATES global expert network in support of local governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders working to make global cities more inclusive in the context of the UN SDGs (#11), Habitat III New Urban Agenda, and of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The GAATES Board of Directors will continue as an advisory committee of G3ict, allowing for a seamless transition of all GAATES programs and activities. The GAATES brand will be maintained going forward and Tim Springer, CEO of Level Access and Treasurer of GAATES will be invited as Observer to the Board of Directors of G3ict.
Betty Dion, co-founder and Past President of GAATES said: “Opportunities abound with physical and digital accessibility elements increasingly interrelated: I am very pleased that we will be expanding our scope and outreach and work on a larger scale. This is excellent news for all stakeholders involved.”
“G3ict and Smart Cities for All are committed to building on GAATES’ impressive record of global impact,” said James Thurston, G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development and Managing Director of the Smart Cities for All global initiative. “By aligning the GAATES focus on accessible built environments with our focus on accessible digital environments we can dramatically enhance our ability to provide comprehensive accessibility guidance to cities worldwide and benefit the millions of persons with disabilities living in them.”
GAATES Country Representatives and Experts constitute a unique network and resource. It is expected that significant momentum will arise from this unique combination of know-how and innovative approaches to urban planning and development
All GAATES activities, training, and certification programs, including GAN – Global Accessibility News and publishing activities – will continue and be further promoted with the support of G3ict’s communications and G3ict’s division of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Tracey Shipman, Program Director of GAATES will join IAAP to direct new IAAP programs and help manage the fast growth of its services while overseeing the transition of all GAATES programming to G3ict.
Victor Pineda, President of the Board of GAATES said: “GAATES and G3ict both have a long history of promoting the CRPD successfully. Having GAATES activities transition to G3ict makes great sense and will significantly improve everyone’s ability to affect change towards more inclusive urban environments, both physical and digital.”
In a joint statement, Ambassador Gallegos, Chair of the Board of G3ict and Axel Leblois, its President and Executive Director, welcomed GAATES Directors, Country Representatives, and Members by underlining the shared values, goals, and objectives between GAATES and G3ict. “For more than a decade, we have cooperated with GAATES colleagues to promote the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and now the Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda. It is entirely natural and a real joy and honor to welcome all GAATES colleagues as new members of a single, leading, highly effective and motivated team of advocates and experts in making the world more inclusive for Persons with Disabilities.”
It is anticipated that the transition of all GAATES activities will be completed by March 2019.
For more information, please contact:
Communications Manager, G3ict,