India’s Top 5 accessibility initiatives of 2018
There was plenty to celebrate in terms of path-breaking accessibility initiatives in 2018.
Top of the list is the Accessible Elections campaign by the Election Commission of India (ECI). From voter identity cards in Braille called Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) to accessible photo voter slips to appointing Disability Coordinates at the Assembly constituency, the ECI went all out to make voting an inclusive affair.
PVR goes inclusive
Who doesn’t love the movies? In a welcome step, PVR Cinemas announced its Accessible Cinema program on the occasion of International Day of Disabled Persons. The aim being to promote a culture of inclusive entertainment for all. The program in its first phase will pan out to 30 cities with 50 theaters equipped with assistive equipment and technology.
As Dipendra Minocha, Former Trustee, Saksham put it, “Any mainstream efforts to access is a big step”. Saksham has been spearheading efforts to make movies accessible for blind and low vision audiences”.
Prateek Khandelwal, the Bengaluru-based entrepreneur was a happy man this year with 16 restaurants in the city committing under his campaign, #RampMyCity to making their premises accessible. Pretty incredible given that this happened in just 10 months.
As one restaurant manager pointed out, this had brought them even more fans. “After we installed wheelchair ramps, we had a lady customer on a wheelchair. She was extremely happy to see the features that we introduced”, said Brijesh K Chandran of Kaze.
This initiative won the hearts of many readers. Lucknow Zoo has shown the way by becoming accessible for blind and low vision visitors. This was spearheaded by the NGO Meet Welfare Foundation, which has been working to empower people with visual impairments for about 15 years.
Savlon in Braille
And finally leading company ITC launched popular hygiene brand Savlon in Braille packaging, making it the talk of social media and winning praise from the blind community.
Many of us do not realize the everyday struggles of the visually impaired especially when everything around is designed for people with vision. A braille pack is not only enabling but also makes it easily accessible for all. Definitely, an inclusive beginning! – Pallavi Kadam, Executive Director, National Association for the Blind (NAB)