HCM City aims to build barrier-free smart city for people with disabilities

A seminar was held in Ho Chi Minh City on March 29, discussing how to build a barrier-free smart city for people with disabilities (PWDs), towards a future in which no one is left behind.

The event is an activity of the Vietnam Social and Innovation Challenge Village within the framework of the National Innovative Entrepreneurship Day (Techfest Vietnam 2022).

It offered a chance for experts, researchers and related agencies to discuss future orientations to create an environment friendly to the disabled in the city.

Nguyen Phuong Linh, Director of the Management Sustainable Development Institute (MSD), quoted statistics that show Vietnam currently has more than 6.2 million PWDs, accounting for 7% of the population. However, they are rarely seen walking around, shopping in supermarkets, going to theaters or entertainment areas.

Therefore, building a smart city on the basis of innovation is not only about technology and intelligence, but requires a right attitude and commitment to ensuring equality with no barriers for everyone, including PWDs, she noted.

With many years of experience in working with and supporting PWDs, Nguyen Van Cu, Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Research and Capacity Development (DRD), said that thanks to digital transformation, the disabled have seen a reduction in barriers in learning and knowledge improvement.

In order not to be left behind, in addition to assistance from the Government and domestic and foreign social organisations, PWDs must also improve their own knowledge to keep up with the development of technology and participate more in social development to contribute to local economic growth.

Ho Chi Minh City is carrying out a plan to turn it into a smart city by 2025.

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