Varija Life to hold National Ability Summit-India to build disability awareness
Building an inclusive global society is about much more than just jobs. It involves art, fashion, technology, cinema, to name just a. A few. This is what Varija Life, the well-known non profit, is seeking to highlight through a two-day virtual international summit in December. Newz Hook is media parter for the event.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Disability Report says that one billion people, that’s 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability.
While there is no recent disability data available in India for this population of society, the WHO estimates that disability prevalence is higher than 15% in developing countries.
These numbers are likely to rise in the post COVID-19 scenario. Isolation, fear and loss of income is triggering mental health concerns.Physical mobility is restricted due to repeated lockdowns. Therefore digital accessibility and assistive technology has become necessary more than ever before. Defining abilities and re-skilling for employment of persons with disabilities is going to be key not just for inclusion but also economic growth. Sensitisation and awareness through films, media and community support can accelerate the efforts in disability inclusion.
Greater awareness needed post-Covid
Varija Life, under Varija Bajaj, is a not for profit that works ,extensively in the area of disability awareness. Among its key initiatives is extensive research on clothing for persons with disabilities. It also held an initiative called STARABLE to introduce investors to startups by and for people with disabilities. The idea is to encourage a robust ecosystem for persons with needs, including old age disability.
I wish to mobilise the influencers across sectors, policy makers and even people’s perception towards people with special needs. It is not a matter of special privilege but basic human rights and dignity of life –Varija Bajaj, Founder Varija Life
The National Ability Summit, to held on 2 and 3 December to coincide with the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, is a virtual international conference for disability awareness towards stirring up action for an inclusive global society.
Summit brings together world leaders
The main objective of the National Ability Summit is to provide a platform to world leaders from government bodies, educational institutions, health institutions, private and public sectors to share their learnings and collectively draw a 360 degree approach to address physical and mental health for the global community at large.
The speakers at the National Ability Summit, will be from around the world. There will be live panel discussions over two days.The summit will address employment and human resource for people with disabilities, assistive technology, mental health, adaptive clothing, art and films for and by people with disabilities, digital accessibility, infrastructural accessibility and startups focusing on mental and physical needs of the disabled community.
Among the speakers is Rachel Arfa, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago, United States. “I am honoured to be invited to participate in the National Ability Summit and work with global partners on sharing resources and working together to make our world a more accessible one for all people with disabilities.”
Also speaking at the virtual event is James Lebrecht, co-director of the much talked about documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. “I’m looking forward to a new day, where when we see people with disabilities in films, that we’re there not because we are the tragic or inspirational character, but because we are simply a natural part of life and society. That is authentic. This would be an important step towards eliminating the harmful stigma – that unrelenting burden – that we all face in the disabled community.” –
Among the other confirmed speakers are Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility Programme and Disability Inclusion, Google, Shilpi Kapoor, Founder, Barrier Break, 247Accessible Documents and Newz Hook-Disability and Accessibility News, Nikki Hind, Australia’s first blind fashion designer, and Shonali Bose, the director of Margarita with a Straw.
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