Friday, 16 June 2017

Assistive Technology - Critical Need of the Hour

According to the “World report on disability-2011” by the World Bank and the World Health Organisation, there are 1 billion persons with disabilities worldwide, who constitutes 15% of the total global population. Of them, 80% live in developing countries and almost the same percentage live in extreme poverty conditions. Persons with disability (PWDs) exhibit the lowest health, education and economic outcomes. Our own home India isn't far behind  with over 60 million persons with disability(according to MindTree Foundation). With poor implementation of Government policy and little access to affordable assistive technology solutions, disability has grown to be a largely unaddressed social challenge.  

One of the main facets of an inclusive society is equality of opportunity for all citizens – access to the same public resources and similar facilities. However, in the case of persons with disabilities, achieving this equality is a road paved with challenges. Accessibility in general refers to the ability of people with disabilities (PWD) to access products, services, environments etc. in their day to day life.With the global shift to “digital”, this accessibility gap has further widened. Technology can be a powerful enabler for them to overcome their physical limitations. Over the last few years, technology solutions like screen reading software, wheelchairs, walking aids etc. have helped assist PWDs in leading an independent life and aided their livelihood opportunities. While technology advancements continue to be beneficial most such innovations originate in the western world and have not developed with affordability as a critical factor. 

In recent years there has been a lot of momentum in this sector with organizations working towards both technological solutions and grass-root implementation. It is heartening to see them bring such energy and passion instead of the neglect it has faced for decades. In India too there is growing awareness towards the rights of persons with disability. Recognizing the fact that inclusion of persons with disability would be the cornerstone of a truly inclusive India, the government recently launched the Accessible India Campaign or the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan. Under the aegis of this campaign, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment aims to achieve accessibility of transport systems and information and communication ecosystem accessibility .

Innovision is proud to be a part of this chapter of empowerment as a company working towards empowerment of the community. The desire to build assistive technology solutions with a specific focus on affordability for countries like India where users are living in low income settings is at the core of founding Innovision. The founders, Shyam Shah and Surabhi Srivastava, both IIT Bombay alumni wanted to leverage their technological and analytical backgrounds to develop solutions to the critical challenges faced by the persons with disability. Thus Innovision was born.

Stay tuned to read more about the company's journey so far and our work in the assistive technology space with our new blog. 

Also, check out our website for further updates.