Showing posts with label Right to assistive devices in employent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Right to assistive devices in employent. Show all posts

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Mouseware - a head mounted wearable assistive technology device for those with upper limb disabilities

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the Smart Solutions Challenge and Inclusive Cities Award, 2022 organised by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and United Nations India and supported by NITI Aayog, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Atal Innovation Mission, and others and held on Thursday, 01 September, 2022 at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.

The Smart Solutions Challenge and Inclusive Cities Awards aimed to start a dialogue on the need for people-centric design for technological innovations and for fostering novel home-grown solutions and approaches through citizen participation in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’, in much broader contexts for finding new ways to bridge the digital divide for vulnerable population groups in urban development. 

The initiative sought to crowd-source innovative technological solutions to align with the New Urban Agenda and promulgate the principle of ‘Leave No One Behind’ (LNOB) in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG11 in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016. 

Mouseware, is a head-mounted wearable devices that allows handsfree use of mouse. Seen in image the device with accessorie placed on a table with background of Brand Logos etc.
In the category 2 - Market Ready Solutions, Mouseware by Dextroware Devices won the first award. On the sidelines of the award the winning entries also showcased their technological  products. 

Assitive Technologies for Persons with disabilities, assist them to live an independent life in turn improving their quality of life. Mouseware is a product that can help many persons with disabilities can gain potential employment opportunities in open market. The aim is to make every place that has a smart device accessible for all. 

Mouseware, is a head-mounted wearable devices that allows handsfree use of mouse. Seen in image the devices mounted on head of a user.Product Details: Mouseware is a head-wearable device that enables hands-free control of computers and all smart devices such as phones, tablets and television with simple head movements.  It’s a plug-and-play device, that enables users to move the cursor with simple head movements and accessible click buttons. The system also allows users to interact with computers through customizable voice commands through a speech – to – text engine. A person can interact with any smart devices completely hands free. This chargeable device can be used for nearly 90 hrs upon charging.

Using the device:  The user is required to wear the headgear and rotate their head in the direction the mouse cursor has to be moved, the head movement is synchronous with the cursor on the screen. The tracking sensors track the user's head movements and transcode them into corresponding cursor coordinates on the screen. The user can strap this small sensor box to an elastic band or headphones or caps or even spectacles. Depending on the nature of the disability, mouse clicks can be performed with any one of the following assistive switches: 

  • Foot Tap Switch
  • Finger Switch and 
  • Microswitch

Additionally, a software-based Dwell click is also provided for users who cannot use any of their limbs to use the above physical switches to perform mouse clicks.

Typing is performed with a Speech-to-Text engine that includes an Indian-English accent and most Indian regional languages. It is the only assistive tech in India for hands-free control of smart devices for amputees, people with neurological disorders, and people with hand fractures.  For more details, see this video:

       

Employment Options that Mouseware can potentially open up:  As computer jobs are being highly pursued, Mouseware offers a solution to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by aiding them to seek better job opportunities. Like any other individual, the aspirations of persons with disabilities to have a career and better livelihoods are often affected due to limited job opportunities for them. Mouseware will socially and financially empower persons with disabilities in multiple ways as it provides complete access to perform all computer and smartphone operations, thus enabling the user to be independent. 

The device can be integrated into every private and government workplace to make computers and other smart devices accessible to encourage employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Computer labs in schools, colleagues and other educational institutions can also integrate this assistive technology to make the computers accessible for children and youth with disabilities. There is also a need for insurance companies to add such devices under the post-hospitalization facilities as it is also used at orthopaedic hospitals & physiotherapy centres for fractured & chronic hand pain patients.

Providing this Assistive Tech as Reasonable Accommodation: Employers can also provide this technological product  as a reasonable accommodation at workplace, to their employees who may have acquired disability or to simply enhance their productivity of emloyees with disabilities with this device.

Handholding to users: The user are provided with clear instructions and are assisted in getting accustomed to the product and also guided throughout their learning curve by the organisation. 

Comparing with other products in market: Although there a number of such technologies available in the market today. Technologies that assist persons with upper-limb disabilities or those who don’t have control over their hands and fingers are few in number and may not always be economically comfortable. Mouseware is the only affordable solution at Rs.15,000 developed in India in comparison to similar products available in foreign markets in the range of Rs. 50,000 to Rs.1.2 Lakhs. In addition to this, some products also use a camera to detect eyeball/head movement to move the mouse cursor, for which a good lighting environment and HD camera are mandatory which is not possible to have for all users. Further, it may not include speech-to-text integration and most of those products can control only computers or laptops and not smartphones.

Price: The price is set at INR 15,000/- + GST, however, currently there are multiple subsidy programs due to which it can be made available at a mere cost of 5,000/-. 

Contact Details: You can reach out to the agency by email at  hola@dextrowaredevices.com and contact cumber: +91 9487650321, Website: www.dextrowaredevices.com

Disclaimer: The post is not a paid promotional activity. It has been shared for information in larger interest of persons with disabilities who may benefit from this product. 


Thursday, June 11, 2009

An IAS officer, against all odds- Hindustan Times

Dear Colleagues,

A sensitized senior officer can make all that difference that is needed to accommodate the special needs and provide equitable environment to persons with disabilities to perform in education and employment. In the instant case, due a highly sensitized Director General of Academy of Administration, Mr. Sandeep Khanna who happened to serve in Ministry of Social Justice at one point of time and knew the capabilities of blind made all that difference. The DG ensured that the Academy provided an enabling environment to the trainee IAS office who was a person with visual impairment. Thus braille printer, braille translations of the revenue book circular, land Revenue Code and CC (conduct) Rules were provided to make the academy/ educational institution an inclusive set up.

Here is the story of the success of inclusive set up and of course the grit and determination of Krishna Tiwari!


An IAS Officer, against all odds - Hindustan Times

Losing his eyesight at the age of 20 could have demoralised Krishna Tiwari. Instead, he decided to proceed with his life according to plan, becoming India’s first IAS officer with a 75 per cent visual disability. Tiwari, whose retina gradually deteriorated, leaving him legally

blind by 2001, is currently finishing his training programme at Madhya Pradesh’s RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration in Bhopal.
In a welcome change, the government is adapting itself to working with people with disabilities, rather than the other way around.

Director General (Academy of Administration) Sandeep Khanna, who has served with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the past, made a laptop and screen reader software available to help Tiwari with his training.

The Academy also got a Braille printer and Braille translations of the Revenue Book Circular, the Land Revenue Code and the Civil Services (Conduct) Rules — the Bibles of every revenue officer.

“This is being done as part of a move to have more inclusive education,” said Khanna.

The Academy has also offered the 28-year-old the option of taking the equipment with him when he the training is over, to help him in his work.

It wasn’t always this easy, though.

Tiwari secured the 142nd rank in the Civil Services Examination, 2007, the highest rank ever for a person with a physical disability.

But in August that year, the Department of Personnel & Training told him he was ineligible to join the Indian Administrative Service on three counts: He would be unable to perform his duties as he could not see, he could not read or write and could not walk without help.

Tiwari protested, saying he was adept at handling computers and could walk in a secure area without help.

The matter was referred to the medical board and the objections were waived. In November 2007, Tiwari was finally inducted into the IAS.


An IAS Officer, against all odds - Hindustan Times