The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India is the nodal body to look after all the development agenda of Persons with Disabilities of the country. With the vision to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives, the Department will be celebrating the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on 18th May 2023.
Keeping ‘inclusion’ as a central mandate, the Department with 65 institutes/organisations that are associated with DEPwD will be conducting events at more than 80 places across India. Celebrated on the 3rd Thursday of May every year the purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital- web, software, mobile, etc. access/inclusion for people with different disabilities. Aligning with GAAD’s purpose and with the aim the to make technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities the Department shall organise seminars/webinars on topics like accessibility of websites, social media platforms, mobile/PC as well as in banking systems, universal design, assistive technologies, and disability representations. Even distribution camps shall be organised to distribute aids and Teaching Learning Material (TLM) kits, launch new aids & assistive devices and further demonstrate accessible short films among other awareness generation programs. All the events shall involve experts from the field of technology accessibility, academicians, industry leaders, policy-makers among others. Moreover, thousands of Persons with Disabilities, many experts themselves in the domain of digital accessibility, shall also be participating to share their challenges and experiences.
The celebration and awareness generation of GAAD by the Department is national level celebration that is poised to bring together all relevant stakeholders on a single day across multiple locations of India to share knowledge, experiences, views and ideas, and discuss the latest developments and trends in the field of Digital and technological accessibility. The celebration shall thus further strengthen mutual confidence and interoperability of institutions as per the needs of PwDs and also enable sharing of best practices. The exercise will be yet another milestone in strengthening digital accessibility in continuation to the 3-day Web-Accessibility Workshop organised by DEPwD in March 2023. With the firm belief that every Person with Disability deserves a first-rate digital experience on the web, the celebration of GAAD is a progressive step of DEPwD to enable Persons with Disabilities to participate as independent and productive members of society.