Microsoft India today hosted its first-ever Accessibility Summit in the country to enhance technology access for people with disabilities. The summit aimed at demonstrating the business value of accessible technology for organizations, the need for a collaborative effort as well as assessing policy’s role in creating an accessible India.
Through a series of constructive sessions, the conference focused on the role of technology in creating accessible businesses, scalable and sustainable models for skilling youth with disability. It also examined how assistive technologies can help in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders and Special Learning Disabilities (SLD).
There was a special focus on the need for regulatory policies for innovation on accessible technologies and inclusive hiring practices. These interactions also provided insights into regulations, specifications and standards in terms of accessibility along with an understanding of optimization of existing hardware and software configuration to drive accessibility.
The summit featured unique technology-based projects that empower people with disabilities. These included innovations from non-profit organizations, assistive technologies developed by Microsoft partners as well as Microsoft solutions. A young team of three students from IIT Kharagpur showcased White Cane, a personal assistant device for the visually impaired, which they have developed as part of Microsoft Imagine Cup.
The summit brought together leaders from the government, non-profit organizations, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and budding technologists to present their views and best practices around accessibility and technology’s potential in aiding inclusion.