Africa, Assistive Technology, ICT, Universal Design, January 2 2020
EGYPT: Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a MoU with Japan’s Assistive Technology Development Organisation (ATDO) to carry out projects to improve the lives of disabled people.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Assistive Technology Development Organisation (ATDO) to work together for the benefit of disabled people.
The aim is to enhance co-operation to achieve the digital inclusion of people with disabilities and develop a comprehensive strategy through the establishment of a joint centre for excellence in universal design and Assistive Technology at the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID).
This is in addition to collaborating in establishing and implementing universal design and Assistive Technology standards, especially those supporting Arabic, thus facilitating access to animated images and inclusion of people with intellectual, cognitive or psychosocial disabilities.
The signing was witnessed by Amr Talaat, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology. He underlined that this partnership comes within the framework of empowering and integrating disabled people to be active members of society, adding that he looks forward to a fruitful co-operation between NAID and ATDO in carrying out value-added projects to improve the lives of disabled people.
Hiroshi Kawamura, ATDO Vice President, stated that the MoU will help promote co-operation between Egypt and Japan in Assistive Technology and disabled people’s digital inclusion through the establishment of the centre.
The MoU was signed by the ICT Minister’s Advisor for Social Responsibility and Services and NAID Executive Director, Abeer Shakweer, and Kawamura, in the presence of a number of officials from the Egypt office of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).
The MoU provides for co-operation in setting and implementing high accessibility training standards and research and development (R&D) in Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies to serve Japanese and Arabic speaking disabled people.
This is in addition to using AI to develop screen reader facilities (converting text to speech) for Japanese and Arabic speaking disabled people, as well as supporting and facilitating communication and collaboration between Egyptian and Japanese researchers, innovators, start-ups, companies and entities specialising in universal design and Assistive Technology areas.
Moreover, the MoU provides for co-operation in localising advanced Assistive Technology in Japanese, promoting capacity building and transferring knowledge in ICT access, comprehensive design and Assistive Technology. This is in addition to carrying out training, capacity building and skills development programmes between Japanese ICT institutes, training centres, universities and NAID.
The MoU comes out of MCIT’s keenness to establish partnerships with international entities to achieve its strategy for empowering disabled people. It also comes in light of the distinct ties with Japan and ATDO’s exceptional expertise.
ATDO was founded in 2006. It has achieved international contributions in accessible ICT R&D, meeting disabled people and seniors’ needs and achieving social integration. ATDO also focuses on developing universal design and international standards.