And finally a day for Accessibility too!
May 9th 2012 marked the first Global Accessibility Awareness Day and in India, Directorate of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra took the initiative of celebrating the day with the support of Nasscom & Nasscom Foundation, sponsored by Microsoft India and organized by Barrierbreak Technologies. A FREE FOR ALL one-day event was organized on creating awareness about the needs of persons with disabilities, identifying what needs to be done and also highlighting some things that have been done already in the state of Maharashtra. The Government of Maharashtra E-governance Policy is the first state to require all websites to be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level A.
Participants for the event included people from the NGO’s, corporates, Government organizations and people with disabilities. The day was inaugurated by Advocate Shri Shivajirao Moghe, Minister of Social Justice, Shri Dinesh Waghmare, Secretary, Social Justice and Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of IT. The morning session comprised of speeches and panel discussions on creating awareness about the needs of people with disabilities, barrier-free infrastructure & transportation as well as Accessible ICT & Assistive technology.
Some of the speakers at the event were Shri Dinesh Waghmare, Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Ms. Shilpi Kapoor, CEO, BarrierBreak Technologies, Rita Soni, CEO, Nasscom Foundation, Shri Yashwant More, Assistant Commissioner, Persons with Disabilities, Shri. Abhishek Ray, Founder, Disability Research and Design Foundation, Shri Arvind Prabhoo, Founder, Access4All, Shri Sam Taraporewala, XRCVC, Shri Alok Lall, Microsoft.
The highlight of the event was Maharashtra.gov.in website demo by Bhavesh Patel from Barrierbreak using the Screen reader & the Braille Displayer. The work of Trinayani , Ferro Equip and Modular-infotech in the field of accessibility were recognized at the event.
BarrierBreak Technologies formulated Accessibility 101 for the post lunch session – Accessibility training for developers and webmasters discussing the Web Content Accessibility Guideline 2.0 by the World Wide Web Consortium. The event was a huge success and was closed by thanking the sponsors, supporting partners, Government of Maharashtra and all the people who attended the event to make it so big!