Overcoming disability via ICTs
We should not forget our great scientist Stephen Hawking is a disable person, but he overcame all the disabilities by ICT as well as his strong determination to live long for science. Many people do not know an Indian software designer developed his software, which is providing him a big help. Persons with disability can overcome their every sort of limitation via ICTs.
The traditional assumption info-tech is only for some educated and physically capable people became wrong. Many researches and experiments have proved that by the blessing of IT we can empower disable persons. It does not a matter whether they are blind or suffering for other physical impairments.
AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC), observed these while he was conducting second session of the National Conference on "I! CT and Persons with Disability: The Context of Bangladesh" at BRAC Inn, Dhaka.
The National Conference was jointly facilitated by Relief International-Schools Online (RI-SOL) in cooperation with Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) and Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organization (BERDO), National Forum of Organizations working with Disabled (NFOWD) and Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio Communications (BNNRC).
He again mentioned, “Now people with disability can go back to normal life if they could come under the guidance of ICTs. Thus they need to learn computer from experts who have knowledge on this field, specially in teaching blinds and physically challenged people.”
Computer performance by visually impaired Vashkar Battacharya surprised all the percipients.
He showed after getting training every blind people can acquire computer literacy, even they can play mind-storming game. He remarked “we should provide blind people some computer facilities and almost software are free. Actually there is no reason to think blind person with IT knowledge is a burden on society. On the contrary, acquired IT knowledge can make them assets for our society.”
Other speakers mentioned, “ The handy capped people are lagging behind for many miss-concepts, ignorance and lack of proper knowledge. Electronic and print media can play a pivotal role in enlightening our citizens on the actual capacity of disable people. Besides radio and TV NGOs can take many innovative approaches to solve the problem.”
Dr. Atiur Rahman, Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka and Chairman, Unnayan Shamannay, was chief guest of the conference. Mr. Mostafa Jabbar, Director of Ananda Computer and Dr. Ananya Raihan, Director of Development Research Network (D.net) spoke on the occasion as the special guests.
UNESCO’s study found over 10 per cent of the world's populations are experiencing various disabilities.
According to the statistics of Handicap International and NFOWD, out of eighty lakh disabled in the country 32.2 per cent are visually impaired, 27.8 per cent physically handicapped, 6.7 per cent hearing challenged, 6.7 per cent mentally retarded, 3.9 per cent dumb and the rest are suffering from multiple disabilities. Moreover, disability is more in number in rural areas (6 per cent) than in urban areas (4.2 per cent).
The aim of the conference was to bring practitioners, policy makers and the mass people of the country under the one umbrella for the benefit of disable people via best practices of ICTs as well as showing the finest instances of achievement and acquired IT knowledge of the physically challenged people. Moreover, the conference projected some ICT based innovative programs, which can empower the physically challenged persons by involving them in the income generating process.
The conference was held under the patronization of the Global Connections and Exchange Project- Bangladesh that is being implementing with support from the Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau of the US State Department, HP Foundation, USA and Global Catalyst Foundation, USA.
Cap- National and international experts think ICT can bring blessing to disables persons.