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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2018

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3rd December is observed as International Day of Persons with Disabilities.Theme for this year is Empower people with disabilities and ensuring inclusion & equality.This theme certainly falls in-line with our vision to build an inclusive world. Here are a few ways that one could mark this auspicious day. It’s not necessary that one needs to work in the area of people with disabilities are having prior association to people with disabilities. Anyone could celebrate. It’s all about building awareness. Empowerment happens through raising awareness. 

How you can celebrate:

  1. Bring together a group of people and talk to them how people with disabilities could lead an independent life. 
  2. Ask people to close their eyes and walk around for a few minutes. This will give them an experinece how the world is for people with vision impairment
  3. If you know of a person with disability, invite them and hear their story..
  4. Initiatie a discussion about hiring persons with disabilities and ensuring accessibility as part of business (if not exist already)
  5. Spread the word about inclusion using social media
  6. Visit Big Bazar stores to experience their effort for inclusive shopping
  7. Read about disability and inclusion
  8. Talk to government around you about implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (India)
  9. Create a small video about what disability / inclusion means to you.

These are not only the ways you could celebrate but you can mark the day in any way you want. Let’s together spread the word about disability, inclusion and accessibility. 

If you would like me to be part of your celebration and through your journey of inclusion, drop me an email or comment on this post. Will be happy to help. 

App review: Eye-D – app built for people with vision impairment but helpful to all

Imagine, if you are in a new town and would like to explore places around you. If you are sure what kind of things you would want to explore, you may just ask someone. But what if you are unsure of what you would like to visit or just want to explore things around you. In such a situation, it’s difficult to ask someone. Even if you ask, they may just tell you about a couple of things around but do not really spend time to list out everything that exist.

There comes Eye-D App handy. What’s Eye-D? Eye-D is an app (available both on Android and iOS) that helps people with vision impairment to explore places around them, take pictures using accessible camera, read text on an image etc., This is available as a Free and Pro versions.

Eye-D Free

Eye-D helps visually impaired be location aware, explore and navigate to nearby places of interest, evaluate surroundings with their smartphone camera and read printed text. Eye-D will serve as the true companion for most of your daily assistance needs.

Eye-D Pro

Read Text Offline, Access to exclusive Eye-D Market, Advanced OCR Reading multiple languages, share, save the recognised text and many more, First of its kind “Accessible Camera”, Travel Mode with sticky notification in notification drawer.

A few cool features

Where am I? This feature will let user know their current location and places around them in the tedious of 500 meters. This has solved my life-time problem since we get a lot of new shops around where we live or whenever we visit a new town, it’s easy to know what is around us.

Around me This is again a very useful feature. If we are in a new town and looking for an ATM, Bank, Hospital, Store, religious place, Cinima, food etc., just hit on Around me and select what are you looking for. It will list down places in your chosen category. Interesting thing you can select a redious that you prefer.

Travel Mode This is a great feature. Once Travel mode is activated, app keep announcing what is around as users moves on the road. User can set a frequency of announcement.

Accessible Camera A beautifully designed camera enable users with blindness to take pictures

Read text on object Imagine a user with print disability is alone at home and need to take medicine; app helps user read the medicine label.

Read Text in image This is a handy feature when there is a text embedded on to an image. This is a common in promotional and marketing content.

Below are a few screenshots of Eye-D.

Eye-D Home Screen
Advanced OCR Screen
Where am I screen
Eye-D Free Home Screen
See object in image

Advanced OcR is another interesting feature and works in multiple languages. Watch this video on how to use it.

Fabulous by this energetic team! Try out the app on Android on Play store and iOS on App Store.

Pioneer in disability sector Shri. Javed Abidi has passed away – great loss for entire disability sector

He was such a person who have strength to have a Minister chair an event and point out what he has not done in spite he has power to do so.

He was such a person who chose to work on untouched issues like policy and advocacy instead regular empowerment and welfare activities.

He was a person who promoted the philosophy of “Nothing about us without us”. He was one person who have dedicated life for improvement of lives across disabilities; not just a specific disability.

He was person who have led the movement to have Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 and The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.

He was a person who has continued his hard work even when there was oppose from disability sector itself. He was a person who have been instrumental in sensitizing several corporates towards people with disabilities.

That was Shri. Javed Abidi who has passed away earlier today. This was untimely and shocking demise.

Shri. Javed Abidi (1965-2018)
Shri. Javed Abidi (1965-2018)

I know Shri. Javed Abidi for about 18 years. Have interacted with him through emails during my stint at The National Association for the Blind, Karnataka Branch and then later during my journey of accessibility.

I had a privilege to interact with him directly on multiple occasions on the subject of accessibility. He was such a person who never underestimate anyone and explore source of working together in everyone. I coordinate an informal group called Accessibility Enthusiasts in Bangalore. It was one day he invited us to discuss how we all can work together to spread awareness about accessibility.

In 2010, I have represented Yahoo! India along with Sandeep Datar to receive NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award and in 2013, I was honoured with the same award at my personal capacity. Shri. Javed was instrumental in instituting many awards to recognise those who are doing wonderful work in the disability sector. Helen Keller Award and Universal Design Awards are a few among many other wonderful initiatives.

Srinivasu Chakravarthula receiving NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award in 2013. Shri. Javed Abidi is seen in this picture.
Srinivasu Chakravarthula receiving NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Award in 2013. Shri. Javed Abidi is seen in this picture.

I was honoured when he said in one of our conversations where I wanted to recommend a company as potential accessibility service providers and have asked him what is the process to have them on-board, his response “Your word itself is enough”. That was how he trust people.

Perhaps this was his last interview; Thanks to Radio Udaan for having this done.

Disability sector has lost a true activist and replacement to Shri. Javed is close to impossible. We must continue his vision of “nothing about us without us” and his vision to have Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act gets enforced.

May the departed soul rest in peace. Miss you Shri. Javed.