Promise of technology for inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response
- © CBM/John Javellana
The theme of the 2014 International Day of Persons with Disabilities is ‘Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology’. To ensure full inclusion in emergency response and maximum resilience for all in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), technology must be accessible.
Technology in humanitarian action
The importance of accessibility in technology
- Smartphones and cellular data networks – when accessible, have the potential to greatly increase the dissemination of information
- Internet – when websites are accessible, all users can use the internet
- Built environment – when planning incorporates the Principles of Universal Design, it is more accessible for everyone
- Assistive devices – from wheelchairs to screen readers, the capacity of specific assistive devices is constantly improving over time, allowing people who use them greater independence and access to society
- During emergency situations power and communication signals are often lost, rendering equipment temporarily unusable
- People who are most at risk are often the poorest in their communities, so may have least access to latest devices.