New Delhi To Host 'Inclusive - India: Digital First' Summit

Organised by Newz Hook in collaboration with BarrierBreak, the event will be hosted on 14 December 2023 at Hotel Eros


The capital city is gearing up to host the 'Inclusive - India: Digital First' conference on 14 December 2023 at Hotel Eros. The summit, organised by Newz Hook in collaboration with BarrierBreak, aims to tackle the gap in digital accessibility for people with disabilities.

As the country boasts thousands of government and public websites and a large number of mobile applications, the reality is that less than 1 per cent comply with the essential Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.2 - Level AA standards. This conference is an initiative towards addressing this gap, intending to make India's digital space inclusive for the estimated 100 million individuals with disabilities.

Shilpi Kapoor, CEO of BarrierBreak, brings attention to the core objective of the summit, saying, "With 'Inclusive - India: Digital First', we are looking to foster a dialogue that translates into definitive action, ensuring that websites, mobile apps and digital content are accessible to everyone. People with disabilities also want to access banking services, shop, study, and use intra-city travel apps like everyone else."

Arman Ali, Executive Director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) states, “Being the most populous country in the world, India also has the largest population of people with disabilities. According to a UN & ILO report, Persons with disabilities have almost twice the spending power of teens and more than 17 times the spending power of tweens, the two most sought-after demographics by businesses. Businesses in India are losing on great market share by not making products and services accessible. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 mandates all services to be made accessible keeping in consideration, the disabled people. Hence, this summit is a step in a direction to foster the idea of respect & support the rights of persons with disabilities and benefit from the inclusion.”

The event is set to be a confluence of thought leaders and experts who will discuss the breadth of issues pertaining to digital accessibility. Topics on the agenda include a review of disability laws, workplace accessibility trends, and the role of assistive technology and AI in enhancing the digital experience for disabled people.

The conference will also provide an analysis of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and explore the intersection of AI with disability to foster greater independence.

Christopher M. Lee, PhD, VP & Managing Director, G3ict/IAAP said, “Inclusive India: Digital First conference is taking a holistic approach to addressing the needs of over a billion people with disabilities through covering several engaging tracks from workplace inclusion to AI in accessibility. The International Association of Accessibility Professionals looks forward to joining the conversation to promote inclusion in India. Inclusive India event will bring together an array of global subject matter experts to address the needs of people with disabilities through the importance of ramping up the dialog around skill development and accessibility professional certification, thus triggering the conversation towards digital inclusion and disability empowerment”.

Kapoor further states, "By discussing topics such as reasonable accommodations and user testing with people with disabilities, we aim to shift the mindset towards inclusion and accessibility in a digital-first world."

The summit is expected to draw a varied audience that includes policymakers, HR & DEI specialists, accessibility champions, and web developers and designers.

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