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Techshare 2012 aims to make a difference for people with disabilities
Techshare is one of the biggest technology events for people with disabilities. The event is..

“THERE ARE over 80 million people with some kind of disability in India,” Ms. Shilpi Kapoor, Founder BarrierBreak technologies and the Chief organizer of Techshare 2012 told Techshare is considered to be one of the biggest events to promote technology for people who have some kind of disability or the other. Techshare was held for the first time in 2008. The 2012 event is scheduled to take place at the Indian Habitat Centre on 6th and 7th February. Kapoor said, “In India less than 1% of persons with disability have access to any kind of assistive technology. An event like Techshare brings this problem to light and showcases newer technology that can enrich the lives of these people”.

When the event was held in 2008, it focussed on accessibility guidelines and the World Wide Web consortium was invited to speak. It helped in providing inputs to the Government of India guidelines on the accessibility of websites. In the year 2009, the focus was on talking ATMs, which would help the disabled. It had an instant impact, as the RBI passed a law, which stated that 33% of the ATMs should be made accessible for the disabled. Though, one is not exactly sure about its implementation, as one does generally come across such ATMs in the NCR region or indeed in other areas.

In 2012 Techshare's objective is games and entertainment, which can be made accessible to the differently abled. The event will witness around 25 IT stalls, showcasing their different software and hardware products, which can benefit people with disabilities.

When it comes to technology facilities in India, Kapoor said, “Technology is a tool to enrich lives, and there are various products available to the differently abled. The simplest example would be guide books such as Visualize Windows 7 & Microsoft Office 2010 that uses tactile diagrams to teach basic concepts to visually impaired and deaf-blind users”.  There are other facilities available such as Adaptive Keyboard, Braille Translator, Desktop Magnifier, and Screen Reader, etc.

There are people who are disabled and still are able to work for the community in a constructive way. Kapoor considers Javed Abidi, Director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), “to be a great example of how a person with disability can champion the cause of other people with disabilities in a dignified and forceful manner”. One Javed Abidi is not enough; they need more such kind of people. The other person who needs a mention here is National Association for the blind Director, K Ramakrishnan, who is visually impaired and has done a lot for the community.

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