Purple Fest 2023’s Purple Think Tank had diverse panels on disability rights, inclusion, diversity and accessibility. One of the panels organised on 6th January 2023 was titled ‘Sensory & Speech Disability – ICT Accessibility’.
Our Founder and Executive Director Nidhi Goyal was a speaker, as the ambassador for blind people, along with Mahadev Sawant who represented the low-vision community, Sunil Sahasrabudhe who represented the Deaf community and Zamir Dhale, who represented the Deaf-Blind community.
All speakers had insightful contributions to the conversation, and Nidhi Goyal spoke specifically about the importance of accessibility in the surrounding environments of persons with disabilities. Three important aspects that were identified in the conversation: Awareness, Education and Implementation.
The first thing to focus on would be awareness — that people with disabilities live. Since in many places and spaces, persons with disabilities are not seen as people enough, human enough or contributors enough, even though disabled people are also big contributors to shared human life and society.
The cost of exclusion through inaccessibility was also highlighted, and the lack of understanding and education around these themes was pointed out as a significant problematic aspect. Finally, it was brought to notice that ‘Universal Access’ as a concept needs to be more mainstream. It is harder to change our mindsets than build an accessible world, Nidhi pointed out.