We have recently participated in the Busan World Disability Conference in South-Korea.
On the first day of the conference, Access Israel C.E.O, Michal Rimon, gave a keynote on the purple vest mission and the importance of emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. Many of the ideas that form the basis of the purple vest mission were fascinating and innovative for the listeners, and the keynote was received with great interest and many responses.
After the speech, Michal participated in the panel - "Emergency Assessments and Digital Accessibility" - a panel that had participants from various South-Korean companies, the local public sector, and local organizations. Michal, who was the only Israeli representative, presented the importance of information accessibility and ICT, with an emphasis on looking ahead and also learning from other experiences, policies, legislation, and procedures, with a forward-looking view of an ever-changing market in the digital age.
Michal presented the Israeli state of legislation, and the functions and unique perspective of Access Israel on the importance of 'Intuitive Accessibility', and the importance of moving from standards-based legislation to legislation outlining framework requirements, from the fundamental understanding that the digital world is dynamic and constantly changing - what is true today will already be obsolete in six months, if not less. When in contrast, legislative changes are a cumbersome procedure that takes a long time.
On the third day of the conference, Michal attended the panel "The Current State of Disaster Safety Management" (Which was reorganized virtually in 'Zoom' due to severe weather conditions). In the panel, Michal presented the uniqueness of the accessibility legislation in Israel, the legislation and actions that are taken on accessibility during emergencies and in disaster situations and the meaning of being prepared for it. The panel presented important perspectives for the international dialogue around ensuring #inclusion and #safety for all.
Additionally. During the visit, in collaboration and assistance from the Israeli Embassy
in South-Korea and Ambassador, Akiva Tor, we met with the local MP Kim Yi-Ji,
a visually-impaired person, and the only MP in South-Korea who is a person with a disability.
At the meeting, Michal and the other participants discussed insights, technologies, and many parallel points regarding various issues in the field of accessibility in South-Korea and Israel. During the discussion, we were surprised to learn the unique local definition of disabilities, and as a result the statistical anomaly regarding the percentage of people with disabilities in the population, due to the reluctance of the country's residents to report their condition.
During the visit, Michal also met with local officials from South-Korea's Foundation for People with Disabilities an umbrella organization that combines and creates cooperation between various relevant organizations in South-Korea. Various enterprises and activities of Access Israel and of the foundation were presented at the meeting, we discovered many points of common interest between the two organizations and significant foundations were established for future cooperation, including the planning of the possibility to implement 'The Purple Vest Mission' in South-Korea and other surrounding countries.
At the end of the meeting, Access Israel gave the C.E.O of the foundation an official invitation to Access Israel's International Conference that will take place in April 2024.
In the picture, from right to left - Michal Rimon, CEO of Access Israel, Lee Sonjiu, board member of the Korean Foundation for People with Disabilities and Akiva Tor, Ambassador of Israel to Korea