Bangalore : Raksha is hearing-impaired. Six months into her job at a big IT company , she is unable to break the ice with colleagues. She wonders why nobody understands her or how she can include herself better in the team.
An NGO in Chhattisgarh wants to begin computer training for those who are visually impaired. But they have some apprehensions on how to train in-house teachers to conduct such classes. A Tumakuru-based NGO has skilled persons with disability ( PWD ) in the retail sector. A company is interested in hiring 150 such people. But the two do not know how to come together. These examples reflect the gaps that exist in providing livelihood for PWDs, an obstacle that Bengaluru headquartered Enable India is trying to address through its soon-to-be launched platform, Enable Academy.
Now in its beta phase and expected to be launched in August, Enable Academy wants to bring together PWD jobseekers, companies wishing to employ them, NGOs, training tools, publications, tutorials, courses and certifications in order to create a synergy in the ecosystem of PWD employability . Says Shanti Raghavan of the founding team, “The platform is going to be open and crowd-sourced and is India’s first such platform to mainstream livelihood issues of persons with disability .”
The inspiration for the venture appears to have come from the Union government’s National Skills Policy 2015, in which it set a target of skilling 38 lakh persons with disability in the next seven years. Since the beta launch in February , Enable Academy has had over 8,000 hits. Over 750 users have ordered and downloaded resources from the platform while nearly 500 users have registered for different courses. The target, says Raghavan, is to have 20,000 visitors by November this year.
Building India’s first W3C compliance (global standards for open web platforms) website however is no mean feat. Bengaluru-based Lollypop Design Studio, which designed the platform, had no reference material to fall back on. Understanding the world and challenges of differently abled people was a challenge itself.
“This is a first site to have been conceptualized, designed and developed in India. Our aim is to drive the cause of an inclusive society that boosts the morale of the community,” says Dhruvi Shah, UX designer at Lollypop Design Studio.
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