Microsoft sponsors Techshare India 2014- A Disability Conference and Exhibition


BarrierBreak in association with National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), Royal National Institute of Blind People (UK) is organizing the 4th edition of Techshare India 2014 - the country’s only Pan-Disability Conference and Exhibition. Techshare India 2014 will be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 13th and 14th February, 2014. Microsoft is the main sponsor for the event.

In India, 70 million Persons With Disabilities (PWD) are constantly struggling for respectable employment. They are young, and they want to make a living just like anybody else. However, the rest of the world seems to be far more sensitive to the PWD population. A 2012 OECD report put Britain’s spend at 2.4 per cent of national GDP on benefit for PWD, with the US at 1% of GDP and Japan at 0.4% of GDP. Norway and Iceland, both, lead at 2.8 %. Compare this with India, where Union budgets since 2008 show India spends 0.0009% of its GDP on disability. That makes Norway and Iceland spend more than 3000 times that of India, in % of GDP terms.

Hence, the need for platforms that discuss what needs to be done at the Government, social and developmental levels, to take this dialogue ahead, is very important. One such dialogue is Techshare India - an event to promote accessible technology for Persons With Disabilities. The keynote at Techshare 2014 will be delivered by Stefan Sjostrom, Vice President, Public Sector Asia, Microsoft Corporation, where he will stress on how the lives of persons with disabilities can be transformed through the power of technology.

Ashoka Fellow Shilpi Kapoor, organizer Techshare India 2014 said, “In India, accessibility and inclusion of PWD remains a challenge. Bus stands and railway stations are almost impossible to access for the disabled. Not only that, access to technology is difficult for people with disabilities – like ticket kiosks at train stations or television menus for blind people. Visiting retail stores and other public places like markets are still a nightmare for people with disabilities. Even basic amenities like public toilets are unfriendly for these people. And these are young people. 50% of PWDs are below the age of 30, which means a loss of contribution to GDP in real terms.”

Other partners include NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India), Paypal, CBM (an international organization, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world) ADOBE, NASSCOM Foundation, and G3ict.

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