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Increasing community access with emphasis on the marginalized and disabled
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Empowerment through community access has proven to be an effective mechanism for supporting economic development and reducing the digital divide. This programme will act as the vehicle for launching a number of services based on formal and informal ICT-based training, and will expand to offer a number of thematic applications in the areas of e-health, e-commerce, e-government and e-learning. Marginalized communities could be served well by ICT. With proper adaptations, ICT could become an equalizer of abilities and assist the integration or reintegration of the disabled in mainstream life and their active participation in building the information society. The quality of life of the disabled could be considerably enhanced by ICT: persons with visual disabilities could be compensated with screen readers that redirect content to speech or Braille output; persons with hearing disabilities could request subtitle for audio content or benefit from sign language on web sites; persons with cognitive or neurological disabilities could access web sites with reliable navigation and no distracting objects and persons with physical disabilities could obtain special support for keyboard and mouse use. Programme 10 will identify, adapt and implement ICT-based applications to empower the disabled and serve marginalized communities by acting as central point for personal and entrepreneurial skill development, employment creation, lifelong learning and community development. Different access models will be adopted to meet the needs of local communities, such as ICT community centres and Internet kiosks.