As cities work to add technologies to improve residents’ lives and mobility, many are putting a renewed focus on inclusivity and equitable innovation distribution. Yet despite this inclusivity push, experts say people with disabilities remain an overlooked group, especially during city planning processes.
“Very few [cities] are thinking about all of their citizens, including specifically, citizens with disabilities,” said James Thurston, vice president for global strategy and development at G3ict. “Cities are transforming the way they do services and businesses but they’re not thinking about the accessibility … These enormous investments in technology that cities are making are actually making the digital divide for people with disabilities bigger, not smaller.”
The United Nations launched G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, in 2006 to serve as a digital inclusion and human rights advocacy organization. It partnered with the organization World Enabled, and together they last year released the Smart Cities for All toolkit, which provides guidance for cities wishing to become more inclusive of aging residents and people with disabilities when implementing programs and services.
This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Smart Cities Dive.