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Tag: accessibility

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IPDP) 2012, what are your plans?

I wish, I should have seen the United Nations Page on International Day of Persons with disabilities 2012 a bit earlier… Theme for this year is something very close to my heart. The theme of IPDP 2012 is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”. This is something truly meaningful and an urgent need. So what are your plans? Shall we all pledge to create an inclusive and accessible society for all? Great, at least, let’s have that dream and start working to that direction. I know, it will not happen over night, but if we…

So much is done and more would come in the era of mobile accessibility

I still remember Nokia 6600 (hmm. Nokia forgot this phone, can’t find on their site except the developer specs and found the info on Wikipedia!) that first ever mobile phone where user could install a screen reader either Talks from Nuance or Mobile Speak from Code Factory. Although the phone Nokia 6600 is big in size but was only the phone that users who are blind or partially sighted can use independently and it was in use for a long time indeed. Today, I see there are a lot of mobile devices running on different platforms and all of them…

Appeal to my twitter followers – Support NVDA

As on time of this posting, I have 639 friends following me on Twitter and thank you all for being friends. I have an appeal to all of you. NVDA is a free and open source screen reader that offers access to computers to visually impaired at no additional cost. Thanks to all the individuals and companies who have been supporting the project. To sustain the project and most importantly for this screen reader to continue to be available for free, it’s essential that NV Access gets more funding. Here is an open letter I have received in one of…

Review of the Website of Income Tax Department, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India

I have noticed that Income Tax India‘s Website underwent a re-design and decided to check if the website has met with Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) requirements. Unfortunately, it has not meet several check points of the compliance matrix of GIGW. since every citizen including those with disabilities and tax payers uses this website and Income Tax Department is one such department that generates revenue through citizens, it must be accessible to all users. Below are findings from my review. Page titles are not descriptive; All pages displays same title as “National Website of the Income Tax Department of…

Three years at Yahoo!

My journey at Yahoo! came to an end last week as part of layoffs. So I thought, let me pen few of memories for three years. Honestly, it was an amazing, fun filled and encouraging experience for me. Thanks to Sandeep Datar, who found me on LinkedIn and offered me a challenging assignment to build Yahoo!’s second Accessibility lab in their Bangalore office. It took about three months for me get the lab ready to be inaugurated and I have used that chance to not just coordinate to bring up the accessibility lab, but to educate several personnel about what…

How the visually impaired can use a computer?

Thanks to NASSCOM Foundation for publishing my below article. Most often, people have a question – can a blind person use a computer? If so, do they need a special keyboard or a special computer? Before answering this question, let me take an example of a typist who never looks at the keyboard but can type with speed and accuracy. How is it possible? Practice! Yes, it’s the same in case of people with vision impairment. They just need to be trained. They do not require a special computer – all that they need is assistive technologies. Firstly, let us…

Thousands of Websites; all are citizen centric; but are they accessible to all citizens – a review

Reproduced from CIS Accessibility Blog Thanks CIS for the opportunity. Today, there are about 7800 Central and state government websites hosted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). They are all certainly citizen centric – whether it is the Ministry of Finance, banks, the passport authority, educational board, transport, consumer affairs, or the most important website that generates revenue for the government – the Income Tax Department. However, the question which we need to ask is whether these websites are up-to-date and accessible to everyone? Internet is often more useful to people who are elderly and for people having disabilities. What…

Solutions for people with low vision

Early 2010, I have contributed to Accessibility Knowledge Series by BarrierBreak Technologies and thought, now I should quote that here and add some more tips. Much often, we attend meetings and conferences; Today, mostly every speaker uses Power Point Slides to express what they will have to say. Although they speak most of the time, there would be some important content / pictures that convey information more than the talk. Telescope or hand held magnifiers would be of immense help for people who are partially sighted to get access to these presentations. Telescopes come in variety of ranges such as…

Online Banking Exam and need of a scribe?

Today, I saw a posting on one of the mailing lists in India requesting for a scribe to write an examination for visually impaired. There’s no surprise in it, but what made me to feel surprised is that the candidates has to appear a bank examination conducted online!! If the examination is conducted online, why should there be a need for a scribe? While I have investigated further, I am yet to get complete information but it appears either bank examination centre do not equip with Assistive Technologies or Examination system is not accessible and hence candidate is looking for…

How would I want to see disability organizations in India? – a personal prospective

Disclaimer: Views expressed on this post are of my personal and does not reflect views of my employer and do not intend to hurt anyone. In general, disability organizations play an innovative role in the rehabilitation process of persons with disabilities. Let’s analyze the situations for last two decades. Early 90’s there was almost no awareness towards disability and when someone see a disability, they just show sympathy towards them and go away. Lately, a few organizations started working to rehabilitate people with disabilities by providing self employment activities such as re-caning of the chairs, candle making etc. Late 90’s…