Disability and Digital Self-Determination: What’s the Missing Link? At APrIGF

Disability and Digital Self-Determination: What’s the Missing Link? At APrIGF

The Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) hosted an online session on August 30, 2023  facilitated by Debarati Das from Point of View, focusing on the autonomy, agency, and self-determination of persons with disabilities in digital environments. The session, titled “Disability and Digital Self-Determination: What’s the Missing Link?” featured a panel discussion format with onsite facilitation to integrate audience interactions. Key speakers included Srinidhi Raghavan, Co-lead of Programmes at Rising Flame, Dr. Nirmita Narasimhan, Programme Director at Saksham, Abia Akram, CEO of the National Forum of Women with Disabilities in Pakistan, Vashkar Bhattacharjee, Program Manager at Young Power in Social Action, and Gunela Astbrink, Director at ISOC Australia.

The session delved into the concept of digital self-determination (DSD), which was informed by the experiences of persons with disabilities across South Asia. It included valuable perspectives from a series of DSD studios conducted by Point of View. It explored how digital technologies can enhance the independence of persons with disabilities, highlighted the necessity of involving them in technological development, and discussed collaborative opportunities to advance accessibility and inclusion.

This event highlighted the critical need for active participation and creative strategies to ensure that digital spaces are inclusive and empowering for all, especially those with disabilities.

“When we think about autonomy, choice and agency; they’re all integral parts of disability rights and justice, and these ideas largely remain the same when we consider digital spaces.” ~ Srinidhi Raghavan

Watch the full video here.