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Hyderabad meet looks at ways to use tech to enable disabled people at the workplace

People with disabilities continue to face limited opportunities in India when it comes to learning, skilling and employment. Accessibility and lack of support at the workplace are common barriers they come up against.

To help overcome these barriers, the Department for International Development (DFID)-UK government, the Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPwD) and experts from National Star College in the UK held a session on Assistive Technologies for Persons with Disabilities in Hyderabad this week.

Part of the session involved the first pilot top-up Training of Trainers (ToTs) programme done in partnership with National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (NIEPID). At the end of the four-day training, 23 trainers received certificates.

Technology has enabled many disabled people to be equal contributing members in the workplace. Present at the session was Andrew Fleming from the British Deputy High Commission, who gave a special address.

We believe there is a need for more such collaborative sensitisation sessions in the future as assistive technology can go a long way in mitigating challenges faced by people with disabilities. - Andrew Fleming, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission

David Finch, Director, National Star College offered insights on the assistive technologies that are changing lives in significant ways in the UK. He demonstrated hardware and software tools that could be used by disabled people, practitioners as well as caregivers.

Some of the topics covered at the session were principles of assistive technology, assessment, solutions, like software/apps, hardware and in-built tools, and various UK knowledge resources.

Over 150 participants, including employers of people with disabilities, training providers, NGOs and people with disabilities were present. DFID plans to test such pilots in India and scale up successful pilots under the Skills for Jobs programme in 2019.

Up next is a programme for Intellectual Disability trainers in Delhi in December.

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