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The need for integration of ICT for Persons With Disabilities

PWDs are defined as people bearing long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Persons with disabilities are deserving of the same rights and basic needs as others although when faced with challenges it is quite harder on their side. PWDS usually face various forms of discrimination in society on a basis of disability and digital exclusion being one of them.

According to the World Health Organisation, about 15% of the global population live with some form of disabilities and the number keeps growing year after year. With this growing number of PWDS and the growing technological and digital standards in the world, PWDS need to be fully included in the new digital era which is currently not the case. Innovations need to be put in place that also fully include PWDS.

In order to fully include PWDS in the new digital era organisations and institutions need to;

a) Fully embrace disability inclusion at every level of the organisation

b) Understand how to reach and better serve persons with disabilities

c) Deliver inclusive products and services that meet the varied needs of Persons with Disabilities.

It is from this background that 8tech came to a partnership with the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda to work together towards enhancing digital inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.

The overall objective of the partnership is to promote digital inclusiveness for Persons with Disabilities through the use of ICT enabled Technologies.

Specific objectives were also defined as below;

  1. To conduct evaluation studies and research to identify the needs of Persons with disabilities and how they can be addressed with the help
  2. To develop content to aid digital skilling of Persons with Disabilities.
  3. To facilitate Hackathons, seminars and innovation challenges to encourage development of solutions for PWDS.
  4. To design an information management system (IMS) to address challenges of lack of information about people with disabilities across the country.

This partnership shall also involve the following key result areas;

  • Research and Knowledge Management
  • Digital Platforms for Persons with Disabilities
  • Innovations for PWDS
  • Content Development, Delivery and digital skilling

The main and first area of focus is Research and knowledge management and research is ongoing under the topic; Digital Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities.

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