The need for accessible technology to ensure people of all abilities to have access to a digital life is paramount. The possibilities of innovative inclusion technologies, above all, are a chance for society. This was the key theme of the first annual M-Enabling Forum Europe, held September 27, 2018 in the Congress Center of Messe Düsseldorf.
The conference and showcase was organized by, global exhibition management company E.J. Krause & Associates and The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technology (G3ict), an advocacy initiative launched under the auspices of the United Nations to promote digital accessibility
More than 150 conference guests and over 20 sponsors and exhibitors participated in the M-Enabling Forum. Participants and attendees came from 14 countries including: Austria, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.
Representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities, technology companies, regulatory bodies and institutions gathered for a day of thought-provoking panel discussions, innovative exhibition displays in the foyer showcase and intensive networking.
Inmaculada Placencia Porrero from the European Commission served as the opening keynote speaker. In her remarks, Ms Placencia Porrero pointed out that there is progress in the converging European ecosystem, she highlighted how accessibility needs to become mainstream and a major goal in closing the gap between persons with disabilities and the rest of the population when it comes to employment.
During the following panels, accessibility experts addressed how technology can improve independent living, the future of mobile accessibility and how common standards make it possible to cross borders and access technology in the same way at the same time.
The closing panel of the day discussed how smart technology is an engine of prosperity for all society. The key take-away message was that inclusion does not only benefit persons with disabilities, but also represents a chance for the whole society.
“Digital accessibilty should play a key role in tech innovation. The issues discussed at the M-Enabling Forum Europe were both important and impactful. We saw a very successful launch with the first edition. The overwhelming positive feedback from our participants is encouraging us for the 2019 edition“ stated Kara Krause, Vice President, Marketing & Communications of E.J. Krause & Associates, Inc.
“Positive energy and passion encompassed the room. It was great to hear about the significant advances of the European Accessibility Act and the many opportunities it will create for persons with disabilities and accessibility professionals. A perfect timing for this first M-Enabling Forum Europe. It was clear from the reaction of all participants that they were happy to know we will be back in 2019“, added Axel Leblois, President of G3ict.
The first M-Enabling Forum Europe ran parallel to REHACARE. REHACARE, organized by Messe Düsseldorf, is the largest trade show for innovations focusing on rehabilitation, care and independant living with a visitor record of more than 50.000 this year.