Access and Inclusion: A Survey of Innovation through Global Solution Networks
Diversity is not a binary state – “abled” versus “disabled.” Disability is a form of human diversity that presents society with a variety of both challenges and opportunities.
“Diversity yields superior outcomes, differences can be leveraged for the benefit of all, and collective wisdom exceed the sum of its parts”, Scott Page, author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies.
There are many different kinds of barriers to full participation in daily life:
- Attitudinal. (Attitudes are the real disability.)
Case Study: Rick Hansen Foundation
Actively removing barriers and improving the lives of people with disabilities.
RHF helps remove barriers by:
- Increasing awareness and changing attitudes about the potential of people with disabilities, becoming a catalyst for removal of barriers to accessibility.
- Developing programs and partnerships aimed at connecting current disability communities to maximize impact.
- Leveraging technology to create an online global community dedicated to driving change.
- Engaging, aligning and empowering people to make a difference.
Case Study: Raising the Floor
Mission – Raising the Floor seeks to ensure:
- that there is a solution for anyone facing barriers to accessing digital technologies due to disability, literacy level, or effects of aging.
- that these solutions are effective enough to provide access to the ever evolving digital technologies that are entering every aspect of modern life so that these technologies lead to inclusion rather than exclusion.
- that these solutions are simple enough to understand, setup, and use that everyone can use them.
- that these access technologies are affordable for those of all socio-economic levels and all communities.
Case Study: Disabled People’s International
Global network of national disability organizations, operating across 150 countries.
More than half of the Member National Assemblies are from the developing world where 800 million of the world’s one billion people with disabilities live.
Goals of DPI:
- To promote human rights of people with disabilities.
- To promote economic and social integration of people with disabilities.
- To develop and support organizations of people with disabilities.
Access and Inclusion GSNs by Network Type
Knowledge Networks develop new thinking, ideas and research. Example: The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments.
Operational and Delivery Networks deliver the change they seek. Example: Achilles International.
Policy Networks create government policy. Example: Center for Policy Studies, Zero Project.
Advocacy Networks seek to change the agenda. Example: TASH, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, International Disability Alliance, Rehabilitation International, American Association of People with Disabilities.
Watchdog Networks scrutinize institutions. Example: Disability Rights International.
Platforms create the opportunity for others to organize. Example: AccessTO, Access Now, Job Accommodation Network, AXS Map, Wheelmap, Sozialhelden (Social Heroes).
Global Standards Networks are non-state based organizations that develop technical specifications and standards for virtually anything, including standards for the Internet itself. Examples: World Standards Cooperation, International Organization for Standardization.
Governance Networks have achieved or been granted the right and responsibility of non-institutional global governance. Example: change.org, International Initiative for Disability Leeadership.
Implications for Network Leaders
Key Lessons from case:
- Leverage diversity.
- Develop and apply standards.
- Access and inclusion are economic issues as well as social issues.
- Exploit the power of technology.
- Engage the private sector.
- Give the individual a voice.
- Financial stability comes from strong partnerships.
- Self-directed solutions engage everyone.
- It takes all types.
Presented by Global Solution Networks.
Vector images: freepik.com/free-vector, flaticon.com/free-icon
Photos: Rick Hansen Foundation