- Accessible India, the next sweeping initiative bearing the stamp of the Prime Minister’s Office, will introduce landmark initiatives over the next five years to make the country disabled-friendly.
- For starters, the government is working to introduce set-top boxes that will make TV programmes more useful for the visually impaired.
- Officials from the Department of Disability Affairs, have met manufacturers of set-top boxes to discuss introduction of a button on the set-top box and remote control that will convert text on the TV screen to voice.
- The feature would include video descriptions, which are narrations of a television show’s key visual elements, a feature found in some programmes in the US, UK and European countries.
- India has 2.2 crore people with disabilities, or 2.13% of the population, according to the ministry website, citing Census 2001 data.
- The Department of Disability Affairs is also introducing other initiatives in the Accessible India programme, including conversion of content on government websites through screen reader programmes for the visually impaired and the introduction of a mobile app to provide information on disabled-friendly public utilities in a city.
- The government is also laying emphasis on making all public buildings disabled-friendly. To start with, the department has identified auditors and selected parameters for an audit of 100 government buildings.