REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI) - Exhibition on Assistive Technology in Accelerating Learning and Participation of Children with Disabilities – Geneva, 7-8 March 2019
UNICEF in partnership with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations Office in Geneva would like to invite interested firms to submit applications to participate in the exhibition on Assistive Technology in Accelerating Learning and Participation of Children with Disabilities taking place in Geneva on the 7th and 8th of March 2019. The focus is on technology products and solutions to be used by children with disabilities.
There are estimated 93 million children aged 14 or younger that live with a disability. Children with disabilities face challenges to enjoyment of their rights and are subject to discrimination and social exclusion based on their impairments. A study that analyzed data from 15 countries found that almost 50% of children with disabilities are out of school, 85% have never received any education, and children with disabilities face the same barriers in participating in education regardless of socio-economic groups and different individual characteristics.
The use of assistive technology has a significant role in making changes and modifications that help children with disabilities overcome barriers in learning and participation. For many children, assistive technology represents the difference between enjoying their rights or being deprived of them. However, in many low-income countries only 5–15 percent of those who need assistive technology have access to it. There is an urgent need to address this situation.
In view of the increased attention to the issue of social exclusion of children with disabilities among State Parties to the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and as a contribution to the agenda of empowerment of children with disabilities through quality and inclusive education, the UNICEF Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations Office in Geneva are partnering to organize an exhibition of assistive technologies which will aim to demonstrate the potential of assistive technology in accelerating and facilitating learning and inclusion in education.
The exhibition is organized around the Human Rights Council (HRC) Session in March 2019 when the 2019 annual resolution on the topic of “Empowering children with disabilities for the enjoyment of their human rights, including through inclusive education” and will be tabled jointly by the European Union and Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC). The event will also coincide with the presentation of the report by the UN High Commissioner for human rights and the annual day of discussion, in the framework of the HRC Session.
As such the exhibition will attract representatives from more than 150 permanent missions to United Nations in Geneva, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, academic and research communities, disability persons’ organizations as well as industry partners and innovators from numerous countries.
The objective of the exhibition for assistive technology are twofold:
1. To demonstrate the potential of assistive technology in empowerment of children with disabilities, especially for learning and participation in education, by:
- Showcasing good practices of use of assistive technology for children with disabilities to access and participate in learning in the context of regular education (classrooms and schools);
- Demonstrating the advantages of assistive technology and presenting the necessary conditions and requirements for production, maintenance and distribution;
- Showcasing good practices of partnerships for inclusion of children with disabilities between education stakeholders, disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), civil society and private sector at different levels (Ministries of education, regional education authorities, schools and teachers);
2. To promote and build new and innovative partnerships between member states, UN agencies, civil society (including DPOs), vendors, and private business for promoting, piloting and building systems for use of assistive technologies in support to inclusion of children with disabilities, especially for inclusive education.
The event will start on 7 March and continue to 8 March
(during the Human Rights Council, Spring 2019 Session in Geneva)
The venue of the exhibition is Building E, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland. It is the main hallway leading to the high-level segment of main conference room where the human rights council session will take place.
SUBMISSION OF EXPRESSION OF INTEREST (EOI)
(Please fill-in ANNEX A attached and return as per instructions)
The theme of the exhibition is “The Role of Assistive Technology in Accelerating Learning and Participation of Children with Disabilities" which is a side event to the High-Level Segment of the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council.
The exhibition is co-hosted by UNICEF, who is an active global player in inclusive education and disability issues. UNICEF is a founding member of ATscale, a global partnership who aims to reach 500 million people by 2030 with the life-changing assistive technology that they need.
In Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF is supporting education ministries in inclusive education reforms by revising curricula, upgrading teachers’ education and adaptations to enable learners with disabilities to effectively participate in learning. UNICEF is increasingly supporting use of assistive technology as means to accelerate and scale-up inclusion of learners with disabilities in mainstream schools. Although, in few countries, UNICEF has introduced use of innovations and technology for inclusion, there is still a need to support use at larger scale and at the same time develop enabling policies and legislation, increase national capacity for innovation and production of assistive technologies and create linkages with service provision. The event is an opportunity to increase awareness and demonstrate the potential of assistive technology in accelerating learning and inclusive education, and the same time explore interest of different vendors and service providers for partnerships.
Considering the high level of this event as well as its importance for attraction of innovative solutions for children with disabilities, UNICEF would like to invite interested firms to submit applications to participate in the exhibition. The focus is on technology products and solutions to be used by children with disabilities.
Practical info for the participants
UNICEF in partnership with Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations Office in Geneva will provide:
- Booth space at the show 10X10 fit
- One LCD screen to display/present innovative solutions, products, applications or any other digital material
- Ground pass to access the venue
- Administrative support to apply for visa
- Electricity connections for the laptops, LCD, etc.
Participants are responsible for their transportation, accommodations, meals, ground transport and any other associated expenses.
Open source or low cost assistive technology that contributes to the learning solutions for children with disabilities. 2/3 minutes video for each solution to demonstrate how the technology helps children with disabilities to participate in learning, and social activities.
Interested suppliers/service providers are encouraged to complete ANNEX A attached and submit form as per instructions.
EOIs should be sent to Mr. Dan Ilie, firstname.lastname@example.org and Ms. Nora Shabani, email@example.com not later than 4th January 2019. Please quote “EOI Exhibition on Assistive Technology in Accelerating Learning and Participation of Children with Disabilities” as subject in your correspondence.
This EOI does not constitute a solicitation. We do not require bids or proposals at this stage; we merely seek your expression of interest in participating in the exhibition to present your innovative solutions.
A response to this Request for Expression of Interest does not automatically ensure that you will be selected to participate in the exhibition or any other future tender.
UNICEF reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the EOI and/or solicitation process. UNICEF also reserves the right to require compliance with additional conditions as and when issuing the final invitation letter to participate in the exhibition.
To provide potential participants with clarifications and an opportunity to ask questions, UNICEF may arrange a webinar that would be announced following the response deadline of this EOI.
If you have any additional question about this EOI, please contact Mr. Dan Ilie, firstname.lastname@example.org and Ms. Nora Shabani, email@example.com