Roberto Torena Cristobal

Roberto Torena Cristobal

Roberto Torena holds the position of Manager of the Accessible Technologies and Innovation Business Unit of Ilunion Consulting, which is the technology and consultancy company belonging to the business corporation of ONCE Foundation. The ONCE Foundation was created by the ONCE (the Spanish Blind People Organization) as an instrument for the Spanish blind to show their cooperation and solidarity with other groups of persons with disabilities. Its main purpose is to develop, either directly or jointly, social integration and welfare programmes for people with any kind of disability, focusing primarily on training and employment, as well as on accessibility and the removal of barriers of all types. During the 2013 financial year, the ONCE and its Foundation created 9,214 jobs and on-the-job training opportunities, of which 8,159, or 88.6%, have gone to disabled persons. Roberto is responsible for representing Ilunion Consulting and ONCE Foundation at international events, participating in presentations, networks and workshops for experts, and carrying out “scientific lobbying” activities. He is also responsible of identifying business opportunities, building consortium and creating proposals and negotiating awarded tenders and projects with the clients.

Abstract

Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRDP) states that: “To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility” Until now, little attention has been paid in Smart City initiatives regarding the provision of accessibility and personalization as smart dimensions of a Smart City. One of the great challenges faced by cities is the need to be designed to fit all citizens and tourists, taking into account the diversity of individuals and the broad range of abilities when interacting with the environment. Elderly, disabled people and tourists that do not understand the native language may face barriers to access public services. Smart Human Cities is a concept coined by the ONCE Foundation to address the way a city leverages accessibility to the built environment (urban, buildings and transport) and ICT equipment and services in order to make its infrastructures and public services usable by all, as well as providing more efficient and interactive services based on the concept of universal accessibility.