Saturday, October 23, 2010

BPN 1447 Postings from Brazil (3)

It is Saturday, but not a free day. There will be a wrap-up session to produce conclusions about the last two days. Dr Linamara, state secretary for persons with disabilities, and Cid Torquato were chairing the session. In the room there were many experts with diverse expertises. So there were not really competitive, unusable remarks, but very constructive and systematic observations.

The area for disabled people has to be placed in a large perspective. Legally the charity bit should be thrown out and people with a disability should come up for the right to be part of the inclusive (information) society. Disabled people should neither be looked at as medical problems. But in practice disabled people conquer their basic right. Besides they need to be helped by a feeding line which starts with research on one side and from the bottom up on the other. In between there are many stages and needed institutions. So it is a good idea to set up a centre of excellence for technology and innovation for disabled persons (CETID), which should be the choreographer of the feeding line. People working in this institution should have an overview of the feeding line, the institutes and services. But they also should regularly do a gap analysis in order to know the holes and black areas in the feeding line. Also more attention should be paid to the technology transfer, the knowledge transfer and especially the marketing transfer for newly developed products and services.

It was also suggested to hand out an award for best ideas, proposals and projects in the area on a regular basis. Of course at the World Summit Award we know all about this, the rules the guideline and the objective. CETID aims at having such an award in place next year with money awards in six categories.

Brazil will be the hotspot of the World Championship Soccer in 2012 and the Olympic Games in 2014. The disabled should make hay of these events and participate. I felt a sense of urgency in the room and it reminded me when I was in Cghina before the Olympic Games. There was this same urgency, although it ewas more technical by pleading for example for a very progressive translation system. But the urgency I felt in Brazil was different and more directed towards society.

In the end the people in the audience formed five groups to discuss two items they would put on the agenda and in the white paper Dr Linamara and Cid Toquato would publish by the end of the week.

Dr Linamara closed the session thanking everyone for their input. She had been impressed with the group of experts and their expertises. It was a unique group, who enthusiasm could help the CEDIT to make a lasting impression in Sao Paolo, but could also replicate its experience in South America and the rest of the world.

It was remarkable to see the group of experts CID Torquato had been able to gather around him. He knew them all and linked them all up to each other. It was a very successful meeting for an initiative that will last.

BPN 1447

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