Personally and professionally, says CTU Consultant Information and Communication Technologies (ICTS) and their uses must embrace persons living with disabilities so that they will not be left behind in the information age; hence, an all-inclusive approach is necessary, said Trevor Prevatt, consultant with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).
The consultant was at the time speaking at a recent workshop held at the National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre for persons living with disabilities (PWD), namely the hearing and visually impaired, where they were given an opportunity to use information and communication technology gadgets to communicate with others as part of ICT Week – St. Kitts and Nevis.
As part of the workshop, participants were introduced to Windows Uni tablet, a device which allows someone who is hearing impaired to communicate with someone who can hear. The aim is to be able to speak using sign language. They will then show the tablet whats they are trying to communicate, the tablet will then translate their sign language to the language of their choice and then voice It and vice versa. This forms part of CTU’s new initiative called the Caribbean Video Assistance Service (CVAS), a programme aimed at providing video relay service for both the hearing and visually impaired.
Attorney General and Minister of Communications in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Vincent Byron, said the workshop was very exciting, especially for him as minister with responsibility for ICTS. He noted that when the government of St. Kitts and Nevis agreed to co-host ICT Week it was important to have an all-inclusive approach.
He added that just like everyone else, persons with disabilities deserve the right to advance and excel where necessary.
Mr. Prevatt noted that the focus on persons with disabilities developed as a result of the Washington-based mobile enabling summit, organized by the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT (G3ICT) and the International Telecommunication Union, which began in June 2013.
Following this, CTU began holding ICTS for persons with disabilities workshops regionally, beginning with a policy and high-level issues workshop in collaboration with G3ICT in Jamaica in December 2013.
Subsequently, hands-on workshops for both adults and children, who are hearing and visually impaired were held in suriname and St. Kitts and Nevis in 2014; Grenada in 2015; and St. Lucia and Barbados in 2016.