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Sarthak Education Trust hosts ‘Breaking Barriers- Ensuring Accessibility for all’ on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Delhi, India: Sarthak Education Trust celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day by organising a seminar on “Breaking Barriers- Ensuring Accessibility for all” on 18th May 2023. The theme threw spotlight on the importance of accessibility across all aspects of life of persons with Disabilities, including physical, digital, and social environment. It further emphasized the need to break down barriers and ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to education, employment, and social participation.
The virtual seminar was attended by digital accessibility experts including Prof Gaurav Raheja from IIT Roorkee, Ms. Akila Surendran, Consultant-Assertive Technology and Mr. Hunny Bhagchandani, Founder Torchit and the seminar was moderated by Siddhartha Rastogi, Advisory Board Member, Sarthak.
During the seminar the discussions revolved around the need for assistive technology which can help businesses scale up and PwD’s can benefit from it. Ms. Akila Surendran Consultant – Assertive technology spoke about looking at diverse talent pool and not just focus on one singular area. Technology should be within the grasp of the PwD’s be it financially or easy access to it. The technology can become more accessible if the surrounding environment is also accessible including ramps, lifts, etc will ensure more PwD’s venturing for getting educated, employed and will support them in all daily needs. The need of the hour that employers and building owners should rethink the accessibility features available in their workplaces. A planned financial model is needed like easy-to-pay EMI options along with the means to generate the EMI amount for incorporating accessibility options. Another key point raised was to reduce the dependency on CSR funds and these funds shouldn’t be taken for granted for procuring any assistive device.
Dr. Jitender Aggrawal Founder Sarthak Education Trust shared, “Hosting the seminar on this very important Global Accessibility Awareness Day is our way to spread awareness on the problems faced by PwD’s when it comes to access of workplace, public areas, etc. Promoting affordable assistive technology will open many doors to PwD’s which will enable them to move out into the world and to create a change and scale up their life. Indian companies working with assistive technology are thinking out of the box to ensure inclusive environment for PwD’s. Unity in diversity – bridging the gap to include everyone is the key to a better tomorrow.”
Prof. Gaurav Raheja, from IIT Roorkee shared an interesting observation that businesses can scale upwards with the concept of Inclusion rather than one single person. There is a lot of effort required at the design and innovation stage which is where upcoming young entrepreneurs are looking at for support to help with the scaling up of the business.
Dr. Jitender Aggrawal further added, “It is heartening to see the younger generation coming for and starting business and innovating which will benefit the PwDs. Make in India is happening in our institutions and to help them the government should provide blanket support with policies, tax exemption, etc.
Mr. Hunny Bhagchandani, Founder Torchit shared his views on his product range which is helping PwD’s and creating entrepreneurs across the country. With their mass produce, low cost and high quality products, Torchit is entering international markets. The company has created an entire range of over 190 assistive devices in the last 3-4 months out of which 150 products are for the visually impaired like games, talking products, educational products, etc.

 

 

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