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Inclusion App-athon on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day

NASSCOM Foundation in association with Barrier Break celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 21st, 2015 by hosting an APP-ATHON in Bangalore.

 

In order to mark the 4th Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the NASSCOM Foundation, as a part of its Disability Initiative, joined hands with BarrierBreak and IBM to organize a first of its kind Inclusion APP-ATHON in Bengaluru on 21st May 2015. With the recent boom in mobile apps, our intention of seeing more apps accessible to people with disabilities intensified which led us to conceptualize the APP-ATHON. Currently only 0.4 percent of the mobile apps are accessible to Persons with Disabilities. It was an exclusive mobile app developer- designer session and Amazon, Ebay, IBM, Skyro ,VMWare, Xeptos, and other companies participated. 20 developers attended the APP Athon and tested their apps for accessibility.

 

The day long sessions included:understanding the need for Inclusion in mobile applications to cater to the needs of elderly and 1 billion people with disabilities, testing of the current Apps for accessibility and learning to make Apps accessible. Through the session each of the companies got their apps tested??by the accessibility experts- Shilpi Kapoor of Barier Break and her team and worked with the experts to understand coding for accessibility.. With outstanding support from IBM, the APP Athon also saw participation by accessibility experts from IBM as well as other organizations.

Nilkanth Iyer, Country Leader - Cloud Ecosystem India-South Asia, IBM showcased Bluemix Platform which is a digital innovation platform designed for Apps developers. Kunal Bhat, technologist, designer, inventor and an innovation practitioner working with Tech Mahindra Ltd, spoke of sZenseEYE a smart goggle which works in conjunction with a smart phone to help the visually impaired navigate their surroundings using haptics as a means of directional indicators. Srinivasu Chakravarthula spoke about his own journey with respect to vision challenges and his passion to spread computer literacy among the visually impaired and spoke of his journey and his contributions to setting up the Accessibility Labs at Yahoo.

 

The developers from the companies identified critical areas that they will work on to make each of their mobile apps accessible. This is the first of this kind of a program to work with companies to make their Mobile App accessible. Going forward NASSCOM Foundation, in partnership with the NASSCOM D&I initiative plans to actively address issues of web and products accessibility.

 

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