Wasnik releases Microsoft’s disabled-friendly software toolsDecember 3rd, 2011 - 10:56 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) Disabled-friendly tools for application in software of common use, developed by software major Microsoft India, were released by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Mukul Wasnik Saturday on the occasion of World Disability Day
Microsoft also announced special certification programmes for those with visual, hearing and learning impairments.
Releasing the set of 40 templates for most commonly used public information circulars, forms, gazettes and notifications, Wasnik said: “Access to information is an important aspect for providing equal rights to all sections of society, including disabled people.”
“Our Ministry has taken the lead step in making its website accessible to all people by various means. The templates developed by Microsoft will further ease the process,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said: “It is estimated that there are around 70 million people with disabilities in India. Ensuring that their needs are met with and that they have an equal opportunity is crucial to the process of inclusive growth in the country.”
“Our vision is to create innovative technology that is accessible to everyone and adapts to each person’s needs. User-friendly public documents are a small but significant step to remove barriers, physical or otherwise, that keep individuals on the wrong side of the opportunity divide,” he said.
These tools will help achieve accessibility and ensure that the documents created are useful within the government departments as well as for public consumption. The documents like five-year plan papers, annual reports, acts, laws, policies, circulars, office orders, census data, citizen charters etc, are accessible by design for those with special needs.
“The 40 templates (tools) created and released by Microsoft India today will enable governments and businesses to have accessibility incorporated at the time of creating a document itself. For example, if a template is used to create a circular, it can easily be converted into a digital talking book or a large print-output document for a visually impaired person,” a statement from Microsoft said.
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