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APEC: ICT Applications Bridge Digital Divide for Special Needs Individuals

10 September 2012 - Making ICT more accessible to the elderly and enabling special needs individuals to participate in the digital economy will be the subject of an APEC workshop to be held from 13-14 September 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan, 10 September 2012 | For Immediate Release

Making ICT more accessible to the elderly and enabling special needs individuals to participate in the digital economy will be the subject of an APEC workshop to be held from 13-14 September 2012 in Tokyo, Japan.

The workshop, aimed at supporting sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the APEC region, will focus on how APEC economies can enable innovation in service sectors, such as health and nursing care, education, transportation and urban development for special needs people, and create a highly relevant platform for the exchange of knowledge and sharing of best practices on the latest innovative technology for assistive ICT and applications to meet the needs of the disabled and a rapidly ageing population.

Bringing together researchers, policy specialists and representatives from NGOs, and private and public sector organisations, the event will provide opportunities for collaboration and tackle issues such as human resource development capacities, which include evaluation of experiences in implementation, and manpower training in ICT for people with special needs in participating economies, employment creation, skills upgrading of seniors and social inclusion of people with special needs by leveraging on ICT.

According to Professor Toshio Obi, Director of the APEC e-Government Research Institute, the conference is designed for policy-makers, professionals, experts and scholars to share, discuss, and debate their ideas on the issue of ageing and how ICT applications can be made to enhance and benefit the lives of special need individuals.

“The conference will be a good opportunity to meet internationally recognized innovators, intellectuals, academics, business leaders, policymakers and officials from APEC and OECD countries and beyond, in one place,” said Obi. “New ideas and the issues of digital inclusion, the Japanese model on super-aged society, future work on ICT use for aging people and APEC information and experience sharing will be analyzed in the presentations of the workshop.”

Mr James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive, Government Chief Information Office, IDA Singapore, said, “As the world becomes highly connected and increasingly sophisticated in the use of infocomm technology, governments and communities should encourage and provide accessible platforms for senior citizens and people with special needs to be actively engaged in the digital age.  In Singapore, IDA collaborates with stakeholders to bridge the digital divide through initiatives such as the “Silver Infocomm Initiatives” and the “Infocomm Accessibility Centre” to encourage senior citizens and people with disabilities to enrich their lives through infocomm.”

Best practices and policy conclusions will be drawn at the conclusion of the workshop to serve as the reference for governments and research institutes.

This inaugural workshop is organized by Waseda University and the IDA.


About Waseda University

Waseda University is one of the biggest and most comprehensive universities in Japan with 13 Undergraduate Schools, 23 Graduate Schools, and other Research and Affiliated Institutes. The flexible and innovative mindset in the pedagogy and spirit of Waseda University has ensured that Waseda stands firm at the forefront in the information society. Furthermore, the APEC e-Government Research Center led by Professor Toshio Obi at Waseda University annually organizes the well-known global e-Government ranking survey which provides useful information for the government to referee and design the ICT strategy. For more information about Waseda University and APEC e-Government Research Center, please visit: and

About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Waseda University
Nguyen Manh Hien (Mr)
Conference secretariat
Waseda University
Tel: +81 3 5286 8032

Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Malini Nathan (Ms)
Corporate & Marketing Communication
Tel: +65 6211 0660