Friday, 19 January 2018

ICT enabling the disabled

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

 

This article is in no way exhaustive but serves as a “compass” to see where we are and where we are heading. It must always be remembered that when ICTs are available, accessible, affordable and usable their impact on socio-economic development of communities across board is very profound.

Knowledge and information is today’s most valuable currency.

Thus is not restricted to naturally disadvantaged groups like the girl child, the disabled, people living with HIV, mentally challenged, incarcerated ones, commercial sex workers but everyone.

Disability is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. Bearing in mind that most disabled people or those living with some form of disability live in poor countries, it is imperative that uptake of ICTs in the true sense of the word is affirmatively adopted so as to social and economically include this group. Talk is cheap especially in Africa. We have those in positions of authority with capacity and ability to make decisions that can assist the disabled so much engaged in self serving cheap sloganeering.

As an example if you look at the ICT Draft Plan produced by the ICT Ministry It contains a single very brief paragraph with no flesh nor position as to where the Ministry plans or stands with reference to assistive technologies for people living with disabilities. Here I am not only discussing those with physical challenges but also those with hearing and vision challenges.

And furthermore I will give examples of how social media has great potential as an assistive technology for those who are hearing.

Unfortunately environmental barriers continue to prevent persons with disabilities from accessing, participating, and being fully-included in social, economic and political in their communities.

Don’t look far.  Ever been to most supermarkets parking bays, be in Bulawayo or Harare, there are NO parking bays for people with disabilities. With this in mind it comes as no surprise that there is clear and precise clause in the national ICT policy towards people living with disabilities – save for a very generic statement of that mentions need to include them.

Well no one can blame them. People with disabilities (most) did not have a chance to input into that national plan.

So it might a question of an administrative over sight. I am sure somewhere someone has access to ICT resources for people living with disabilities and doing what you are suspecting.

Benefits of access to the ICTs by the disabled is visible when they are able to use ICTs to access health services, mobile banking, content production and many more at any level and hence make them universally competitive in any market.

SMS and instant messaging services are already being used by various health concerns to collect and or disseminate information to clients. In a world where the Ministry of Health and Child Care is working to reduce infant mortality and the HIV burden, embracing of ICT is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

SDC Events Calendar

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

A community of software developers with a common ground of developing world standard software for organisations.

Email:

sdc@sdc.com

Tel:

+263 4567 8910

Tag Cloud