May 6, 2019 - Today, Smart Cities for All, a global initiative of G3ict in partnership with World Enabled, announced the launch of its new Inclusive Innovation Playbook. The tool, developed with the support of AT&T, lays out specific steps that cities and their partners can take to infuse the urban innovation ecosystem with a greater focus on accessibility and a commitment to persons with disabilities.
According to a Smart Cities for All survey, 60% of global experts say Smart Cities are failing persons with disabilities today. Just 18% of experts report that the Smart City initiatives familiar to them use international standards for ICT accessibility. Today’s innovation ecosystems are not well prepared to improve on the existing digital divide for persons with disabilities and are likely making it worse. In developing the new Playbook, Smart Cities for All surveyed more than 175 entrepreneurs in technology incubators worldwide. Less than half, just 43%, of entrepreneurs had a strong understanding of accessibility and inclusion in their own product development and user experience (UX) design processes. Fully a third of the entrepreneurs surveyed worldwide were not sure if persons with disabilities could even use the technology products and solutions they are currently developing.
The Smart Cities for All Inclusive Innovation Playbook lays out five “plays” and related actions that cities can take to infuse incubators, accelerators, and the innovation process with a commitment to inclusion and accessibility. The five urban innovation inclusion plays focus on a city’s people, economic assets, infrastructure, networking, and enabling public policies. The Playbook draws from successful practices and insights from the private sector, government, and civil society. Cities that want to ensure their innovation ecosystem is inclusive and results in products, services, and solutions that are more accessible and work for everyone can draw from among all five of the inclusive innovation “plays.”
On the occasion of the launch of the Inclusive Innovation Playbook, Suzanne Montgomery, Chief Accessibility Officer at AT&T, said “Smart Cities technology can transform urban environments to be a better place for all people to live, work and play. It’s critical that we work in unison to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem that develops technology that’s inclusive and accessible to all. It’s an honor for us at AT&T to offer this resource to cities. We strive to be a catalyst in making inclusive urban environments a reality.”