SC4A pilots Smart City Digital Inclusion Model

Raleigh conducts pilot to ensure its smart city program is accessible to all and reflects commitment to inclusion

The Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool helps support the city's personnel and their efforts for progress, says Thurston.
The Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool helps support the city's personnel and their efforts for progress, says Thurston.

Smart Cities for All (SC4A), a global initiative to promote inclusion in smart cities, has conducted a pilot of its digital inclusion model with the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

The Smart City Digital Inclusion Model, developed by SC4A allows a city to track its progress and measure its commitment to digital inclusion to ensure that no person is excluded from access and utilising smart city systems.

Raleigh is the second city to pilot the model. The City launched its smart city strategy in October last year, and the pilot project is intended to ensure that the city’s commitment to inclusion is reflected in the model.

"The City of Raleigh is excited about its selection by Smart Cities for all as a pilot City", said D. Darnell Smith, Raleigh’s CIO. “We embrace their thought leadership on Digital Inclusion. This effort will help ensure our technology strategies support accessibility for all.”

The Smart City Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool helps cities evaluate the current state of ICT accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in city digital and smart services. Focused on a broad range of functions important to all cities, such as communications, procurement, training, and technology standards, it defines key performance indicators and metrics to support advancing accessibility and digital inclusion in a smart city context.

During the week-long pilot conducted in Raleigh, the expert team convened by G3ict and its partners met 19 city departments to understand how effectively the city coordinates its digital inclusion and smart city efforts to create inclusive experiences for everyone. The result of the pilot will be an assessment of Raleigh’s progress on digital inclusion and a roadmap for making more progress.

James Thurston, G3ict Vice President and Smart Cities for All Managing Director praised Raleigh’s commitment to using technology to benefit all people in the city, including persons with disabilities. “We are thrilled to bring here to Raleigh to work with its leadership our team of experts with decades of experience,” said Thurston. “This week we have begun using our Digital Inclusion Maturity Model tool to support the commitment to progress of executives and staff across all city departments.”

The digital inclusion model was developed by SC4A, a collaboration of G3ict and World Enabled, with support from Microsoft.

Megan Lawrence, Accessibility Evangelist at Microsoft commented: “At Microsoft we are making investments in accessibility across all our business units and believe it’s an imperative for all organizations, including cities, to create cultures of inclusion. We commend Raleigh for prioritizing accessibility and inclusion across their digital environment so that all citizens are empowered to achieve more. The Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Maturity Model is a tool to help achieve that important objective. The Smart Cities for All Digital Inclusion Maturity Model is a tool to help achieve that important objective.”

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