The State Government will support country’s first disability-focused technology accelerator Assistive Technology Accelerator (ATA), along with Samarthanam Trustfor the disabled at a cost of Rs 11 crore, according to Social Welfare Minister Priyank Kharge.
Launched in November 2018, ATA is India’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Start-ups empowering SC/ ST & Persons with Disability. The ATA will aid in developing solutions that can help create positive impact in areas like Social Inclusion, Economic Independence, Manual Scavenging, Waste Segregation, Social Drudgery Accessibility – Physical & Web, Independent Mobility, Empowerment through Technology, Employment & Education, according to a Social Welfare department press release.
In his address at the Bengaluru Tech Summit last week, Kharge said, “There is no technology institution working exclusively for the disabled to ensure a life of dignity for them in the country today. In Karnataka itself we have over 1.3 million disabled people registered. We are positive that the government, with the Assistive Technology Accelerator, will help bring in the technology innovation to create a much-needed social impact.”
According to latest reports, the number of people registered with disability accounts for 2.1% of India’s population (over 21 million). In Karnataka, the number of disabled crosses 1.3 million, mostly challenged with mobility, visual and auditory issues and 100,000 with multiple disabilities. The disability rate is high in the SC/ST population. Within the state of Karnataka, the SC/ST population is constituting 16.2 and 6.6% respectively, primarily physical disability (43%) and visual impairment (40%). The ATA aims to bring in technology innovation, reduced cost of solutions, Increased availability of Assistive products to disabled population according to the press release.
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