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Disability-Friendly Environments in the Age of 5G, Softwarization is Coming!

Standardization between advancing accessibility, 5G technologies and Softwarization will remove all barriers for persons with disabilities.
Are we ready to remove all the barriers for persons with disabilities?

In the near future, robots, smart things, Internet of Things (IoT) and machines will become the new “tools” directly controlled through the 5G and Softwarization for helping persons with disabilities in daily lives, in their education, transport and emergency services and employment, in the smart cities and at home, in social protection, participation equality and external action. Persons with disabilities will be in an inclusive environment with suitable, accessible and quality services. This environment promises to deliver critically important applications and services to benefit humanity.
The smart environment connected to the digitized individual and promises to deliver critically important applications and services to benefit humanity. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) should offer more agile networks that can deliver everything from telemedicine to television, mobile banking to educational services in new and compelling ways across the globe.
The advent of 5G technologies and ICT networks signify the coming next wave of a globally connected digital society and create a friendly and inclusive environment that empowers persons with disabilities to meet their needs as well as their access to public

“Softwarization” is a global systemic trend, appearing under the form of several technologies and models, such as Cloud Computing, Edge-Fog Computing, (SDN) and (NFV), which are sharing the same common denominator: “any transactions, functions and services can be seen as applications executed on (virtual/logical resources hosted in) low cost distributed hardware”. So, “Softwarization” is paving the way towards the 5G.

This wave of innovation will draw a new future for persons with disabilities, increasing their impacts and overcome the various environmental, social, and system barriers to seize opportunities and achieve their aspirations. New technologies involve providing a smarter, more inclusive environment , persons with disabilities will be able to participate and become more involved, rather than being left out.
Cloud and Fog Computing, (SDN) and (NFV) are just different facets of this same evolutionary trend which is called Softwarisation of infrastructures. No way to look at them separately. And this trend will change dramatically the nature of telecommunications infrastructures by automating operations processes by increasing flexibility and programmability, which is reflected directly on the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.
 For example, mobile access to the internet, cloud-based services and big data analytics is allowing persons with disabilities in anywhere to leverage, new kind of globally connected and shared knowledge base.

5G controlled robots is another excellent example of potential future ecosystem also it will allow the development and provision of cognition services for Persons with disabilities.
Smart cities bring together mix traffic of machines and humans generated by various city wide infrastructures, smart cities will becoming an inclusive, “Disability-Friendly Environments” in the near future.
5G technologies and Softwarization will make a massive difference to billion persons with disabilities in the world's. The global race is on to develop 5G, the fifth generation of mobile network. While 5G will follow in the footsteps of 4G and 3G, this time scientists are more excited. They say 5G will be different - very different.
How emerging 5G technologies will interact in future networks to benefit of persons with disabilities?
How advancing accessibility and ICT accessibility experts plan for this new generation?
The new trend cannot be achieved unless an all-inclusive and accessible environment is created based on globally approved standards, and improvements of infrastructure, systems and technologies, to achieve the initiative’s vision "disability friendly".

Author: Nabil Eid
Tlecentre Foundation
ICT Accessibility consultant in the Arab Region
Middle East Specialist at Telecentre Foundation
Twitter: @nabileid1 

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