DAISY Consortium Recognized with World Telecommunication and Information Society Award

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United Nations International Telecommunication Union selects DAISY Consortium for its outstanding contribution toward building an inclusive and more equitable Information Society

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, awarded its World Telecommunications and Information Society Award 2008 to the DAISY Consortium at a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, the site of ITU TELECOM AFRICA. The DAISY Consortium was selected for its ongoing efforts to implement the principles of the World Summit on the Information Society.

In announcing the award, ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré stated "ITU has decided to honor DAISY Consortium with the prestigious World Telecommunication and Information Society Award 2008, in recognition of your work in accessibility issues and your efforts to bridge the digital divide by ensuring access to information for those who have previously had severely limited or no access to information, such as persons with print disabilities, speakers of minority languages, indigenous populations without a written language, and those who are illiterate."

DAISY Consortium President Hiroshi Kawamura accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Kawamura says, "This award reinforces the DAISY Consortium's commitment to improving access to information for everyone, everywhere. We strive for an inclusive society where no-one is excluded from participation due to the format of knowledge base and communications."

About the Award
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day marks the establishment of the International Telecommunication Union on 17 May, 1865. World Day helps raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information communications technologies (ICTs) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. Since the conclusion of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in November 2005, the World Day has been marked by a high-profile ceremony that includes the presentation of the ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award to distinguished laureates for their contribution towards building an inclusive and more equitable Information Society.

This year, the awards focus on eminent personalities for their work in providing ICT opportunities for persons with disabilities, the theme of the celebrations for 2008. Also receiving honors today were Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, Egypt's first Lady, President and Founder of the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement and Andrea Saks, coordinator of the Internet Governance Forum's Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability.

Past laureates have included Mozilla Corporation, First Lady of the Dominican Republic Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, Professor Dr. Mark L. Krivocheev of the Radio Research Institute in Moscow, Professor Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank, and President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.

About the DAISY Consortium
DAISY denotes the Digital Accessible Information SYstem. The DAISY Standard (officially ANSI/NISO z39.86 Specifications for the Digital Talking Book) has revolutionized the reading experience for people unable to read print due to a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability. Formed in 1996 by like-minded organizations and companies around the world, today the DAISY Consortium consists of nearly 70 non-profit organizations representing 35 different countries and more than 20 for-profit companies which provide products and services to meet the needs of the DAISY community. These organizations are working together to develop and promote international standards and technologies which enable equal access to information and knowledge by all people with print disabilities and which also benefit the wider community. More information about the DAISY Consortium and the DAISY Standard is available at http://www.daisy.org/.

About the International Telecommunication Union
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies. As the global focal point for governments and the private sector, ITU's role in helping the world communicate spans three core sectors: radiocommunicatiosn, standardization, and development. ITU also organizes TELECOM events and was the lead organizing agency of the World Summit on the Information Society. ITU is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and its membership includes 191 Members States and more than 700 Sector Members and Associates.
For more information, visit http://www.itu.int.

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George Kerscher, PhD

Hiroshi Kawamura
DAISY Consortium
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