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India: Disability Conference Discusses Accessibility as a Human Right Must for Persons with Disabilities

March 19, 2018

MANGALURU: Promoting accessibility along with the development of skill sets holds key to empowering people with disabilities, a United Nations (UN) official said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi.

“We need to realise that we cannot have meaningful employment unless we have education and skill sets which will not happen unless there is accessibility which is the driver of empowerment,” said Dorodi Sharma, UN disability specialist (India) while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on Empowering persons with disabilities through accessible and assistive technology. Citing government data, Sharma informed that 73.8 per cent of people with disabilities in India in the employable age of 15-59 years do not have employment while only 56 per cent of people with disabilities are literate. “Unless we have accessibility as a human right, persons with disabilities will not be able to acquire education and will not be able to have employment,” she added

Inclusion must become part of the value system like the way gender became part of the value system to push the agenda. “On the lines of gender inclusion we also need to look at whether all our processes are inclusive of people with disabilities,” she said.

The UN official further said that private sector employers need must go through the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 to be able to effectively play their part in the implementation of this law. In India we still somehow are intuitively not looking at disability as part of human diversity, said, adding, “When we look at disabled people we need to understand that it is a whole spectrum, we need to understand the diversity within the disability community as well.”

Source: The Times of India