There are more than 1 billion people with disability globally, that is about 15% of the world’s population or one in seven people. Of this number, between 110 million and 190 million adults experience significant difficulties in functioning.
It is estimated that some 93 million children or one in 20 of those under 15 years of age – live with a moderate or severe disability. India has 40 to 80 million persons with disability. Low literacy rates, few jobs and widespread social stigma are making disabled people among the most excluded in India.
Problems faced by differently abled
People with disability face widespread barriers in accessing services including medical care, therapy and assistive technologies, education, employment, and social services, including housing and transport.
The origin of these barriers lies in, for example, inadequate legislation, policies and strategies; the lack of service provision; problems with the delivery of services; a lack of awareness and understanding about disability; negative attitudes and discrimination; lack of accessibility; inadequate funding; and lack of participation in decisions that directly affect their lives.
Access to various services and assistive technologies is often a prerequisite for people with disability to be able to go to work, participate in community life, and access health care, and for children and adolescents with disability to attend school.
Role of Assistive Technologies
Assistive technologies are evolving quickly and include any hardware, software or equipment or product, whether it is acquired commercially, modified or customised, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disability.
Assistive technologies include low vision devices, hearing aids, augmentative and alternative communication, walking frames, wheelchairs, and prostheses such as artificial legs. The field also covers information and communications technologies such as computers, screen-reading software and customised telephones. Assistive technologies play a significant role in enabling people with disability to function and participate.
Investments in assistive technologies are beneficial because they build human capacity and can be instrumental in enabling people with limitations in functioning to remain in or return to their home or community, live independently, and participate in education, the labour market and civic life. In addition, they can reduce the need for formal support services as well as reducing the time and physical burden for caregivers.
For example, hearing aid significantly improves productivity among people with hearing difficulties. Nevertheless, hearing aid production currently meets less than 10% of global need, and less than 3% of hearing aid needs in developing countries are met annually.
Vivent School of Love
Vivent is initiating a digital educational learning centre for the differently abled children aged between 3-12 years based on assistive technologies.
We are developing specific content and adaptive technologies to improve the skills with appropriate programmes for diverse needs. We will ensure the quality of teaching methodologies are on global standards to the differently abled children. Apart from this, our organisation emphasises individual learning using educational technologies.
Our long term goal is to enable a source of income for the differently-abled people. If we are able to raise funds beyond our planned activity for this campaign, the next step for us should be to start a Centre of Excellence (CoE) with advanced research and school learning facility for the differently-abled children from class nursery to 7th grade in which we provide books, stationery, uniform, transportation, food at free of cost for those who cannot afford.
Vivent will help the differently abled individuals realise their hopes, dreams and ambitions and help those who need just a little extra support. To do this we are going beyond the traditional limitations using assistive technologies and aim to serve in totality, keeping every tangent for the empowerment of the differently abled people.
To be disabled and poor is a double vulnerability. Yet, they can be equal contributors to society with a little support. With your small support and contributions, we can also help them get access to mobility aids like hearing aids, artificial limbs, walking canes so they can be independent in the long term.
What we will do with the funding?
Assistive technologies are designed to help students who have learning disabilities. Whether students have physical impairments, dyslexia or cognitive problems, assistive technology can help them to function within the classroom.
The tools we are intending to develop include hardware, software and systems that helps students to compensate for their learning disabilities. While they are unable to eliminate learning problems entirely, they can help students to capitalise on their strengths and minimise their weaknesses.
The following are some of the elements we are trying to build,
Text to Speech
We are planning to develop text-to-speech and speech synthesising technology for improving numeracy for the children. Students with learning disabilities like dyslexia can use this to complete their learning assignments. This will help students to line up words, equations and numbers on their assignments.
Speech to Text