Technology - Boon or Bane?
Technology possesses the power to change the course of history of our planet. Humans have used technology for the benefit of all living things, but we are also guilty of using it for the extinction and annihilation of life around us. For instance, we can use nuclear energy to light up our lives or blow the lights out of our lives. Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Let us just say we have left the worst behind us and we have learnt from our past digressions.
Technology is definitely meant to be used as a tool of empowerment of the disadvantaged. In terms of what is possible, we have just scratched the surface.
“...Technology can solve our problems and then some. Solutions may not only erase physical or mental deficits but leave patients better off than 'able-bodied' folks. The person who has a disability today may have a superability tomorrow.” - Daniel H. Wilson, Best-Selling Author
Technology is an ever-evolving subject. What used to be the subject of sci-fi movies until a few decades ago, is now a reality. There is constant innovation in the field of technology with a better product replacing the older one in a matter of days. What is required is a concerted effort on the part of industry and governments to help promote innovation in medicine and assisted technology sectors. Apart from the moral and ethical aspects, there is a large market for the disable-friendly gadgets, services, training and equipments.
There are an estimated 650 million people, 10% of the world population who are disabled in some way. People with physical disabilities constitute the largest subgroup. India is home to a large number of disabled people owing to socio-economic conditions, lax road safety and general safety standards and an over-burdened healthcare system. The numbers are actually on the rise with road accidents accounting for a good part of the statistics.
A Government of India initiative, the ‘Accessible India’ campaign aims to provide wheelchair friendly buildings, sign language training, skill training and easy loans to help people with disabilities to lead an independent lifestyle. We have an excellent track-record of producing world-class solutions that has given a new lease of life to not only our own disabled citizens but also to those victims of landmine blasts in the war-torn sub-saharan Africa.
Development of cutting-edge technology is expensive and a bigger challenge is developing that technology at an affordable cost. We have the scientific expertise and human resources to develop low-cost Assistance Technology tools. With increased awareness about disability in general public and the weight of government resources behind the campaign, the assisted technology solutions should witness a great deal of innovation. But the challenges are huge and government must strive to attract more investment by creating an investment-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investors. Making the mission a part of corporate social responsibility with financial incentives and tax benefits is a also a good strategy.
About 44% of people with disabilities are women. They have limited opportunities and are denied most of their basic rights. The Horticulture Training Center at APD has worked with and trained several people to manage women with disabilities.Read More >>
The development of people with disabilities is considered a part of the overall development of their families and local community.Read More >>
APD recognizes that the size and complexity, not to mention the urgency, of the challenge of rehabilitating millions of people with disabilities spread across the country, is too large for any one organization.Read More >>
APD provides financial, technical and management advice to several community organizations that work as viable interfaces between persons with disability and local authorities.Read More >>
APD’s Urban Advocacy work in Bengaluru and municipalities of Kolar, Bagalkot, Chikkaballapur and Bidar includes helping people claim rightful benefits under the laws of education, livelihood, mobility assistance, transport concessions and housing schemes.Read More >>
Therapeutic care is an essential part of the rehabilitation process that helps in regaining strength, relearning skills or finding new ways to perform day-to-day activities.Read More >>
In Karnataka, an estimated 7.2 lakh youth with disabilities in the age group 16 to 35, with no employable skills or relevant education, require livelihood support to ensure a life of independence and self sufficiency.Read More >>
Bangalore Urban has a very high drop-Out rate of Children with Disability from mainstream schools. Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA) estimates a mere 25% of those who start out in Class I, stay on in school, till Class X.Read More >>
APD is a pioneer in setting up rural, community-based livelihood programs. Youth with disabilities from economically backward strata have benefitted from these opportunities.Read More >>
The APD Industrial Training Centre offers vocational training programmes recognized by the NCVT (National Council of Vocational Training) scheme of the Department of Employment and Training, Government of India.Read More >>
Retaining children with disabilities in schools is a huge problem and we see 60-70% of them drop out after primary education.Read More >>
APD’s Early Intervention Program aims to identify disability and malnutrition at the initial stages and provide suitable aids and a holistic treatment. This is to ensure that children reach their maximum potential for development in these early years.Read More >>
APD’s Community Learning Centre program has been operational since 2007. We enroll children from surrounding urban slums and low income families.Read More >>
Shradhanjali Integrated School, founded in 1973, is a recognized primary school up to Class VII under the SSLC Board, with a capacity to educate up to 200 children. The school maintains an 80:20 ratio of children with disabilities and the non-disabled to promote inclusion.Read More >>
APD aims at ensuring inclusive growth, skills development initiatives are being undertaken across various sectors, to meet the demand for skilled manpower by training youth in short term courses including soft skills.Read More >>
In the last 10 years, we have reached out to almost 2000 people with mental illness through targeted activities like identification, providing access to mental health care and social & economic rehabilitation.Read More >>
APD’s Assistive Devices unit has been producing custom aids and appliances, since 1982, to meet the emerging needs of persons with disability. About 3000 PWDs assessed by the internal therapy unit or identified in rural or special orthopaedic camps, are provided each year.Read More >>
APD is the only organisation which has various comprehensive, structured and community-based programs for people with spinal cord injuries (PSCI). Currently, we have the capacity to annually rehabilitate 360 people suffering with SCIRead More >>