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Less Than 1% of India's Disabled Have Access to Assistive Technologies
Techshare 2012 aims to change that. Techshare India will be held in New Delhi on 6th and 7th February, 2012 at the India Habitat Centre.
To change these abysmal statistics and spread awareness about betterment of lifestyles for the differently abled, BarrierBreak Technologies, in association with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), Royal National Institute of Blind People (UK) organises Techshare India, the country's only Pan-Disability Conference and Exhibition.
This year, Techshare India will be held in New Delhi on 6th and 7th February, 2012 at the India Habitat Centre. Techshare is Europe's biggest technology event to promote assistive technology for people with disabilities. Microsoft is the main sponsor for the event.
Says Javed Abidi of NCPEDP, "the concept of disability goods is still alien to India. Whereas in developed countries, practically each city would have outlets where people with disabilities can go and check out the options and customize them for their own needs."
Even in other developing countries, roughly 5-15% of people who require assistive devices and technologies have access to them. Production is low and often of limited quality. There is a scarcity of personnel trained to manage the provision of such devices and technologies, especially at provincial and district levels. In many settings where access might be possible, costs are prohibitive.
This needs to change. Techshare is an initiative to do just that; showcase problems of a sector hitherto ignored. Infact, BarrierBreak is sponsoring over 100 disabled students free of charge to attend Techshare 2012.
Says Shilpi Kapoor "The Knowledge Commission website clearly states that India is planning to set up 54000 libraries over the next two years. Products such as the Dolphin Supernova access suite that has been developed for all visually impaired users, from low vision to blind; with a full screen reader offering magnification, speech and Braille support, giving people with visual impairment the freedom to access Windows in the way that suits them best; should be considered priorities while setting up these libraries."
To be a truly egalitarian society, even websites need to be disabled-friendly. BarrierBreak Technologies has been a pioneer in this space; having designed websites for the 'National Portal of India' india.gov.in , Ministry of Social Justice, Aliyavar Jung Institute and National Institute of Persons with Multiple Disabilities, thereby proving that the differently abled can have access to knowledge and information where they want to; when they want to.
Adds Javed, "even the website of Prime Ministers Office is not accessible friendly."