The Directory of Aids and Assistive Devices for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) is an online repository of information built as a result of an initiative of the Department of Disability Affairs under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India to collate exhaustive resources around assistive technology on a single platform.
The Department of Disability affairs came into being in 2012 to give a focussed attention to the needs of the PwDs. In addition to running seven National Institutes dealing with different types of disabilities and seven Composite Regional Centres (CRCs), the Government supports through rehabilitation services to PwDs and runs courses for and funds the NGOs similar initiatives.
Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India has conceptualised & coordinated the knowledge and design support in building this portal.
The portal aims to –
1. Facilitate the users & their families with the explicit knowledge of all the available assistive technologies and their makers under the one roof for their easy pick and choose.
2. Compile and disseminate information about the latest research in this field and identifying the challenges and gaps in the research leading to a paradigm for the Development.
3. Provide information on the upcoming products, both nationally and internationally.
4. Facilitate support and interaction for a multi-stakeholder engagement between PwDs and the families, the manufacturers, researchers and developers of assistive technologies, organisations working with PwDs to access assistive devices and the government systems.
This online resource would act as a common platform for the end users, their families, various stakeholders, manufacturers, traders and address the crucial need of making the PwDs aware about the various alternatives available for them; allowing them to take an informed decision about the devices that are most suitable for meeting their needs which in turn will enhance their ability to lead an independent life. The web-portal also provides an opportunity to the manufacturers/ traders to showcase their products under the one roof leading to a better outreach to the users. It will also act as an interactive platform for the users and manufacturers/service providers eventually catering to the various needs of both the manufacturers and users.
The interactive website consists of a listing of different assistive technology products being sold in the country currently and a section on the products available internationally. It talks about the technologies currently being researched to be made into usable products, followed by the current policies and schemes at the Central and State levels of the country for facilitating improved access to assistive technology. The homepage also consists of sections on latest events, conferences, workshops etc. related to assistive technology. There are upcoming sections about the needs and challenges experienced by diffeirent people related to this sector.
Count the Ability Not Disability