The Role of ICT in Setting Up an Accessible Town: The Case of Disabled Persons

By Philippe Vidal, Mathilde Mus

ICTs are often considered a cure for all social problems. As a way to e services, they could combat rural desertification, reduce atmospheric pollution, limit the spread of epidemics, ease access to administration services and even make up for a medical under equipment. As such they represent a possible solution to allow disabled people to live better in urban environment. ICTs offer two possibilities to improve the everyday life of the disabled. First, they allow access to e-services through the web. Second, the assistive technologies help the disabled to move around the urban jungle. These two methods are in fact complementary but local authorities tend to concentrate their effort on the first e-services. This paper shows that efforts have first focused on substituting e-services to physical movement, and that they are now beginning to pay more attention to personal mobility. The rise of the web2.0 allows disabled people to develop urban services obtaining thus the best opportunities of virtual mobility and physical mobility. Finally, it seems that technologies change basically the manner according which disabled persons live in their city today, even if the impact is unevenly felt.

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