Wednesday, January 12, 2011

IT can enable the disabled

While giving employment to the differently-abled, the society should view it as fulfilling their rights and not as an act of charity.

This was the thrust of a national conference — ‘IT for persons with disabilities’— held by the state department of information technology, biotechnology and science and technology on Monday.

Participating in this first-of-its kind conference, chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said the event was a small step to help the unfortunate. “We need to provide them opportunities for better education and hone their skills so that they are gainfully employed,” he said.

After the government sector, the IT industry has the potential to employ numerous disabled people. While the government sector provides reservation for the disabled, there are no such provisions in the private sector. “As part of the corporate social responsibility, companies should take up the initiative,” he said.

However, Prof MK Sridhar, executive director and member-secretary for Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (Karnataka Knowledge Commission), felt that a rights-based vision should be the approach towards the differently-abled, rather than a charity-based one. “The differently-abled should be employed based on their rights and companies need not have to take up employing them as part of their corporate social responsibility,” he said.

He emphasised on empowering the physically challenged by catering to their specific needs, making use of technology. The information and communications technology, which has the potential to aid the differently-abled, should be used, he said.

Minister of higher education VS Acharya too said technology should be put to use to help the differently-abled. “The central and state governor, in private sector, a lot of options could be explored,” he said. Photo:Pics4news/ Report: DNA)

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