Article: Technology’s role in integrating inclusion


Technology’s role in integrating inclusion

Mohammed Asif Iqbal, Senior Manager, PwC India shares his views on how technology has transformed lives especially for the differently-abled
Technology’s role in integrating inclusion

Newer technology has transformed lives of many. People with disabilities face notable barriers in achieving daily tasks. Now, with the use of latest technology, people with disabilities can read, write documents, communicate with others, search information online and even upload pictures on Facebook. And employees with disabilities working in various companies are capable of handling a wide range of activities independently with the help of assistive technology. 

“I first experienced power of technology, when I was actually losing my eye-sight at the age of 16. I only had about 60 percent of eye sight at that time. It was reducing at very rapid stream. I didn’t know how to react. My world was suddenly turning into darkness. The thoughts of not being able to survive; made me fall deep under depression. Everybody tried to convince me that there are millions of people living without eye- sight. Nothing seemed to convince me and I started to slip into depression more. I wasn’t willing to listen to anyone and I wasn’t willing to learn. My teacher, who was responsible for teaching me alternative skill sets to overcome my blindness , told me  one day that - Asif you have got only two choices – Choice A- accept the fact that you are going blind  and do nothing about it and  be miserable . Choice B – Accept the fact that you are going blind – learn alternative techniques to overcome it and do wonders. And that kind of clicked. And that’s when I experienced power of technology,” avers Mohammed Asif Iqbal, from PricewaterhouseCoopers

Mohammed Asif further explains, “I started to learn how to use computers with the help of the screen readers installed on my laptop. I learnt how to use a notepad and then I learned how to type. All these skills are required for day to day tasks. Thanks to technology, I graduated from my high school with over 90% without my eye sight. Thanks to technology, I actually became the first blind commerce to graduate from St. Xaviers, Calcutta. Thanks to technology, I graduated from Symbiosis Centre for Management in MBA (HR). Thanks to technology I was instrumental in creating reservation quota for disabled across IIT’s IIM’s and all prominent colleges and universities in India. I am now working as Senior Manager in Advisory in PWC India Pvt. Ltd. I have also been involved in HR consulting assignment for the last 7-8 years and for the last 3 years I am mainly involved in e-governance. You all must be wondering – how do I get around? How do I do my work? Well, thanks to the technology, it makes things real easy but for people like me – it makes things possible. I use a normal laptop given to me by my office. I use it extensively for assignments such as job descriptions, competency framework, people performance; assignments such as assessment Centre, going to campus for recruitment, and assignment such as design training and development etc.”

Appropriate technology allows people with disabilities to participate fully in all aspects of life including home, workplace and community. It increases their opportunities for education, social interactions, and potential employment. Moreover, it gives them greater independence and control; thereby reducing their dependency on friends, family members and others. 

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Topics: Diversity, Technology, #TechHR2016

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