Technology Solutions for Persons with Disabilities

National Award Winning & Innovative Web Solutions by Akal Information Systems Limited

Background

The definition of disability as provided by UN convention on rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) states that “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.

As per official estimates, in India, nearly 2.68 Cr persons are ‘disabled’ which is 2.21% of the total population.

Challenges faced by disabled population in India –

The disabled population are one of the most excluded sections of the society and they face a number of problems in their daily life.

  • Inaccessibility
  • Low Representation
  • Barriers to Health Care
  • The Education System is Still not Inclusive
  • Attitudinal Barriers
  • Institutional Barriers
  • Inadequate Data & Statistics
  • Poor Implementation
  • Inaccessible communication systems prevent access to information, knowledge, and opportunities to participate. Lack of services or problems with service delivery also restricts the participation of people with disabilities. There are over 7000 websites in Indian Government webspace representing all tiers of Government. However, only 3.3% of the websites fully comply with the ‘Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW)’ guidelines.

Solution

Internet and Information Technology is changing the lives of the Disabled

The Internet ensures that citizens who seek information and services can do so without having to visit a physical brick-and-mortar government office, and without being constrained by limited office/working hours, by simply visiting the government office’s website from anywhere at any time!

This seemingly simple e-enabling to deliver government’s information and services require significant effort by various stakeholders of the government office’s website so that the citizens’ lives benefit truly through the rendering of information & services in an accurate, efficient, relevant, timely manner. The website stakeholders operating behind the scenes need to bear in mind aspects of the human-computer interface carefully so that all citizens, including those with different abilities, are able to feel facilitated vs hindered.

In keeping with the above philosophy and to set a minimum benchmark for all government websites ‘Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW)’ were formulated by National Informatics Centre (NIC). Akal Infosys provides solutions which are compatible with the ‘Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) and thus creates a viable outreach platform to diverse stakeholders.

Accordingly, Akal Information Systems Limited has developed User-Centric, User-friendly, Universally Accessible, Relevant & easily searchable information, which is Intuitive, has a navigable interface. Akal has designed accessible content despite constraints of different abilities e.g., age-related, visual, devices.

Various Disabled Centric projects executed by Akal

  • Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan) is a nation-wide Campaign launched by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment to provide universal accessibility to persons with disabilities. Under this campaign, the ministry has allotted a project of 194 government websites through ERNET (Education and Research Network) to AKAL Infosys to revamp them and make them GIGW compliant.
  • In addition to the above, GIGW compliance-oriented re-development and redesigning of various government department and ministries like National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELT), Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM), Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), Food Corporation of India (FCI), etc.
  • National Award winning disable friendly website of NHFDC, an autonomous department under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Government of India. The National Handicapped Finance & Development Corporation (NHFDC) website www.nhfdc.nic.in received National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities – 2013 Under Category BEST ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE (PSUs/Local Bodies) from Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 3rd Dec. 2013.
  • Development of Disability Job portal (www.disabilityjobs.gov.in) to provide a single window access to all the information and services needed by disabled persons to find information regarding different types of jobs available for them across different sectors.
  • Loan Portal for The National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation to extend a loan to the persons with disability through the State Channelising Agencies nominated by the respective state governments/U.T.s.
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