June 8, 2022
New WHO report on assistive technology for disabled provides a roadmap for India
Rajib Dasgupta, Shweta Sharma, Balram Bhargava /
The Indian Express
A blind woman using computer with screen readers with assistive technology software program for people with vision disabilities, working and discus with senior colleague women in workplace. Dreamstime
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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities came into force in May 2008 to bring to centrestage disability as an intersection of health, human rights and development priority. Subsequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank jointly produced the World Report on Disability in 2011 to provide evidence for innovative policies and programmes.
In his foreword to this report, Stephen Hawking — who had motor neurone disease — noted that while persons with disabilities face attitudinal, physical and financial barriers, he had been fortunate in having the aid of computer experts who supported him with an assisted communication system and a speech synthesiser which enabled him to compose lectures and papers. The aids Hawking referred to are examples of highly sophisticated assistive technology [...]