G3ict’s Smart Cities for All Country Advisory Network continues to expand its footprint with two new advisors from Saudi Arabia and Russia, bringing the global network to twenty.

ATLANTA (April 27, 2020) – Today the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict), through its Smart Cities for All global initiative, appointed two new Country Advisors, Aya Abdullah Jibreal from Saudi Arabia and Anatoliy Popko from Russia.

G3ict and Smart Cities for All benefit from a global network of expert country advisors who collaborate with local and national governments, civil society, and private sector stakeholders to make societies and communities more inclusive in the context of the UN SDGs (#11), the UN Habitat III New Urban Agenda, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Country Advisors also bring to their countries the global work of G3ict and Smart Cities for All and a broad understanding of accessibility and universal design for technology, transportation, and built environments.

"Strong local leadership and deep local expertise are critical to driving improvements in the digital inclusion and human rights of persons with disabilities," said James Thurston, Vice President of G3ict and Managing Director of Smart Cities for All. “We are thrilled to be welcoming Aya and Anatoliy into our Country Advisory Network.”

"It is my honor to represent Saudi Arabia in G3ict and Smart Cities for All global network. This is a great opportunity to share know-how, best practices, and great efforts taking place at Saudi entities and their commitment to becoming more inclusive and enabling for both employees and customers with disabilities,” said Aya Abdullah Jibreal, Senior Inclusive Design and Accessibility Consultant. “Being part of the G3ict global network as the Saudi Arabia advisor allows me to gain more experience in managing local and international accessibility initiatives on both strategic and practical levels which will ensure initiatives' effectiveness and overall success.”

Aya Abdullah Jibreal obtained her first certification as a disability case manager in 2016. In 2019, she became an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). Along with her professional activities, she sits on the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) internal committee for Strategic Leader in Accessibility (SLiA) initiative. Currently, she is also working towards a Masters in Inclusive Design from OCAD University in Toronto, Canada.

“Ensuring that the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) are implemented in an actionable manner will take time. I firmly believe that accessible ICT is one of the most effective and valuable instruments for creating equal opportunities,” said Anatoliy Popko, Accessibility Consultant and Lead, “Dialogue in the Dark” in Moscow. “My collaboration with G3ict as Country Advisor will contribute to the understanding of disabilities from a person-centric realm, and thereby advocate for greater accessibility and inclusion in Russia.”

Anatoliy Popko consults to the Bank of Russia and other prominent financial, cultural, and government institutions in Russia. He is a co-author of the Russian national standard on digital accessibility that is based on WCAG 2.1. With accessible ICT and effective communication as his two passions, he advocates for persons with visual impairment in diverse forms.

In 2019, Global Alliance for Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES) redeployed its activities under G3ict and its Smart Cities for All global initiative. G3ict launched Smart Cities for All in 2016 in partnership with leading organizations from civil society and industry.


About G3ict

G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict promotes good practices in digital accessibility policies and programs and provides tools for advocates around the world, including its Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation Index (DARE Index) designed to benchmark countries' progress. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development resources and certification to more than 2,000 members in 46 countries. Since 2011, G3ict has organized the M-Enabling Summit in cooperation with E.J. Krause and Associates which promotes innovation in accessible technologies and environments. For more information, please visit the G3ict website.


About Smart Cities for All

In 2016, G3ict partnered with leading civil society and industry organizations to launch the Smart Cities for All global initiative. Since then, Smart Cities for All has defined the state of ICT accessibility in cities worldwide and created tools and a path forward to improve the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. Our goal is to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities around the world. We are partnering with leading organizations and companies to create and deploy the tools and strategies needed to build more inclusive Smart Cities.




Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict, udita.singh@g3ict.org


Promoting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Digital Age


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