IDIA Odisha chapter conducts sensitisations for diverse audience, and catches media attention – Sensitisation Stories
IDIA Chapter conducted 5 sensitisations for diverse audience ranging from housekeeping staff to school students. They traveled 30 kms for a sensitisation, and their activities caught the attention of Odisha Diary, Telegraph India, and Sambad (the largest circulated Odia daily in Odisha). NLUO, Cuttack students have many interesting things planned for this year.read more
2016 was our biggest year yet. We want to thank everyone who made it possible. Here’s a look back at the year!read more
Arodhum awards scholarships to deserving rural students who demonstrate laudable strength or skill in a field, and show great potential to be agents of change. It has selected IDIA scholar, Dharu Ram as Arodhum Scholar 2016. Dharu, hails from a village in Rajasthan, and wants to fight for justice. Read his story and about Arodhum scholarship that provides opportunity and resources to bridge inequality.read more
Tribal children in remote parts of Chattisgarh are the key to transforming communities – Sensitisation Stories
IDIA members visited villages in interior of one of the most disturbed regions in India in Chattisgarh for conducting sensitisations. With the support of Indo-Tibetan Border Police that was conducting many civil action activities in the area, IDIA reached out to many children from tribal communities who demonstrated great potential. Abhay, IDIA team member, talks about his experiences during the trip, and the hope that children from tribal communities hold for transforming the area.read more
In spite of equal employment opportunities being promoted internationally, status of employment of persons with disabilities is dismal. Workplaces continue to be non-inclusive. There is a need to recognise and promote efforts fostering equal opportunities and inclusion in employment. One such effort is Equal Opportunities Awards by Nipman Foundation.read more
Our next interview in the IDAP interview series features Jack Chen, a highly accomplished patent attorney who works at Google in New York City.
Despite being completely blind for the last 25 years, Jack has scaled many peaks in his academic and professional life, having obtained degrees in computer science and law from Harvard University, UC Berkeley and Fordham University School of Law.
In addition to being an exceptional patent attorney, Jack has also competed in marathons and ironman triathlons. You can read more about his stellar achievements here.
We are particularly thrilled to be getting an opportunity to bring you this interview on the 3rd of December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. For it is our earnest belief that stories such as Jack’s are a testament to the fact that one’s dreams should not be handicapped by one’s disability; that having sight is not a prerequisite to having vision; and that, if provided appropriate support systems, there is no impediment too difficult to surmount for the disabled.read more
IDIA recently had the honour of Justice Prabha Sridevan writing about IDIA in a very popular Tamil daily – Dinamani. She talks about IDIA, our scholars, and opportunity to pursue education for all.read more
On the 29th of October, 2016, 15 members of the IDIA Kerala Chapter conducted a street play at Marine Drive, Kochi. The first street play by the IDIA Kerala Chapter proved to be a fun and rewarding experience. The day began with an hour long journey by the team in a bus from NUALS, Kochi to Marine Drive, starting at 2 p.m. from NUALS. On reaching the venue, we started scouting the area to find the best place for maximum impact – a task of no small importance for a successful street play. We shared the joy felt by colonial explorers when we discovered moving crowds at the pathway adjacent to the backwaters. Having found our audience, we started setting the stage with our modest prop – a flex with the chapter’s logo and information. With the preparations over, we began the street play.read more
The fourth interview in the IDAP interview series features Haben Girma, the first deafblind student to graduate from the prestigious Harvard Law School. Haben has been recognized as a White House “Champion of Change” by the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. She has also been recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 leader, and a BBC Women of Africa Hero. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Skadden Fellowship instituted by the Skadden Foundation. Haben had the singular honour of introducing President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2015 and has also received recognition from former American President Bill Clinton. An internationally acclaimed accessibility consultant, Haben has worked tirelessly to promote equal opportunities for persons with disabilities in the United States of America and has also delivered talks on removing access barriers for students with disabilities. In addition to her exemplary work on accessibility, Haben also enjoys salsa dancing and surfing. This interview was conducted by Rahul Bajaj and Anusha Reddy, members of the IDAP Team. First off, would you mind describing to our readers the precise nature of your disability? I’m Deafblind, which means I have limited vision and hearing. One of the most interesting aspects of your background is that your family migrated to the United States from Eritrea before you were born. Based on the educational experience that you have acquired in the U.S., would you say that disabled students who study in developed countries enjoy significant and substantial benefits in comparison to their counterparts studying in developing countries? It really depends on the community. Students with disabilities in inclusive communities have higher success rates than those living in inaccessible communities. There are many communities that are not inclusive, unfortunately. I know many students with disabilities who have struggled for access in developing countries. The culture of a community affects access more than a community’s resources, though. In India, access to adaptive technologies and software such as Open Book, JAWS and Braille displays is limited as they are exorbitantly priced. Most visually challenged students here come from low-income families which makes it impossible for them to purchase laptops with the requisite software. As an expert in accessible technology, can you recommend any alternate open source or low cost adaptive technologies for disabled students which can help them compete on a footing of equality with their able-bodied counterparts? Every student is unique and would benefit from an individual assessment. A great solution for one student will likely be ineffective for another. Depending on the resources available to a community, communities may need to explore low tech solutions such as readers and scribes. Communities could also partner with organizations with more resources that could help fund the purchase of assistive technology. In India, most students with disabilities do not attend mainstream schools with their non-disabled peers; instead, they attend separate schools for the blind and/or schools for the deaf. An argument generally put forth by mainstream schools for refusing in take of blind students is that they do not have the resources or requisite expertise to cater to the needs of a blind and/or deaf student. In your opinion and from your experience of studying in public schools...read more
The third interview in the IDAP interview series features Shweta Bansal, an accomplished lawyer at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, whose appointment to the Indian Foreign Service was recently cleared by the Delhi High Court.
Shweta, who sustained a spinal injury in a car accident when she was 6 which left her orthopedically disabled, pursued her schooling at the prestigious La Martiniere school in Lucknow. She graduated from the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in 2007 and secured a job at the erstwhile firm of Amarchand Mangaldas and Suresh A. Shroff & Co.read more