Facebook, GSMA on harnessing assistive tech for Persons with Disabilities in South Asia

Marking the tenth anniversary of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) and to drive more collaborations on disabilities inclusion in South Asia, GSMA and Facebook hosted a virtual industry discussion today, with panelists from DeafTawk (Pakistan), a2i (Bangladesh), Dialog Axiata (Sri Lanka), G3ict.

Persons with disabilities are often excluded and marginalised in society due to a lack of access to opportunities and services. Assistive technologies (ATs) are systems (i.e. hardware or software) and services designed to improve access for persons with disabilities. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognises that every person with a disability has the right to access affordable ATs. ATs are instrumental in helping persons with disabilities to overcome some of the physical and social barriers of disability.

There are an estimated 690 million persons with disabilities in APAC and unfortunately ATs are still largely inaccessible to them. Action is required to reach this underserved segment of the population and to address the barriers and requirements of persons with disabilities, drive innovation and place them at the heart of the design process.

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