Techshare India 2010 was another unique experience and an excellent platform to network, learn and share!
I have reached Delhi on 14thFebruary, 2010 (hmm. enjoyed business class flight in spite having economy class flight due to overbooking of the flight!) and visited India Habitat Centre in the evening; it was pleasure to meet whole gang of my BarrierBreak friends! Charminar area was full of working going on and getting ready for Techshare India 2010. Again, it was fun to be with Sachin Verma of EmployAbility who was putting Braille labels in the lifts!
15th February, with fellow Yahoos, I have reached venue at 7:30 AM and our event vendor has done a great job and Yahoo! stall was looking so colorful. Thank you guys!! Thanks Shilpi for the great help at the last minute…
Techshare India 2010 started with the Welcome address by Ms. Shilpi Kapoor, Managing Director, BarrierBreak Technologies, she explained her intention behind bringing Techshare to India in 2008 and developments took place during this two years. A few highlights we have seen in India after Techshare India 2008 are India has come up with Guidelines for Indian Government Websites, a few Indian Government Websites have become accessible including National Portal of India (English), National Portal of India (Hindi), RTI Website and recently, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. There’s also an effort in progress to bring National Policy on Electronic Accessibility which would be open for public review soon.
Kevin Cary, Chair, Royal National Institute of the Blind People (RNIB) has mentioned about the RNIB’s prospective behind organizing Techshare and expressed happiness to see their brand conference in India. Also, he expressed that soon Techshare will be organized in other countries like Africa, China etc. He mentioned, India is one of the first countries to ratify the United Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Javed Abidi, Director, NCPEDP shared his view what the accessibility is all about and it’s important. He says there are about 5000+ Indian Government websites that are inaccessible as per the survey they have conducted during 2008 and he hopes to see all of them accessible soon.
Techshare India’s Assistive Technologies Exhibition was inaugurated by Shri. Mukul Wasnik, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India; while addressing, he expressed his happiness to see such a fantastic exhibition and offered his full support both at his level as the Minister of SJ & E and at a personal level.
Further for next two days, there were 3 tracks of presentations focused on the importance of accessibility from business prospective and how it help not only people with disabilities but to everyone. Also, there was a workshop track for the duration of 2 hours each which was a platform to learn a specific technology like DAISY etc. Some of the key speakers include P. Anandan, Managing Director, Microsoft Research Lab India, Swaran Lata, W3C India Office, Steve Benette, Sales Director, Dolphin Computer Access, Anandraj Thangappan, Wipro Limited, Shilpi Kapoor, Managing Director, BarrierBreak Technologies etc.
Subramanyan Murali, Technical Lead, Yahoo! presented a paper on Fixing the Developers Mindset that has received a overwhelming response. I also take this opportunity to congratulate him for winning the Yahoo! Ratna Award, an annual recognition program at Yahoo! in India.
I have presented a per on Need for Web accessibility in Developing Countries – Yahoo! Initiatives. Please view below slide share presentation.
There’s also a great response received for Yahoo!’s booth at Techshare India 2010 Exhibition. We have showcased Yahoo! Home page, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Cricket and Yahoo! Careers. Also, we were happy to use open source screen reader NVDA to demonstrate Yahoo! properties and it’s glad that we have created awareness about this open source project which most of the visitors were not aware.
Another highlight besides the video of Accessibility Lab at Yahoo! stall is we have demonstrated how one can use different automated web accessibility tools to do a preliminary test of their website.
Kudos BarrierBreak for organizing and congrats Yahoo! for receiving good response.