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India Launches AI-Based Job Portal for Persons with Disabilities

The Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad (IIT-Hyderabad) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based job platform for people with disabilities (PwDs). The Institute claimed that the platform, Swarajability, is the first of its kind in India. It will offer technical training and job opportunities that are tailored to the user’s skills. The platform will analyse the available information and suggest the required training needed for the jobseeker. For maximum reach, the platform is accessible on both the web and mobile phones.

According to reports, the platform was developed in partnership with private players, and several organisations with different areas of expertise have come together on the project. There are 21 million persons with disabilities in India. Over 70% of them are unemployed/underemployed. The platform is a step towards remedying this. The importance of creating this platform is if the country is to meet its demographic dividend, the most vulnerable, like youth with disabilities, should be skilled and given sustainable opportunities, the platform developers said. Technology can facilitate this and ensure that no one is left behind. The platform supports NGOs, educational institutions, and governments in their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

An official highlighted the significance of rigorously testing technology in both the software and hardware sector among groups of people who need them before these innovations are scaled up by the industry. Furthermore, he added that it is important to remember the age-related subgroups of people with disabilities; children are a vulnerable group too and their disabilities should be considered.

Around the world, governments are pushing forward initiatives to aid persons with disabilities through technology. Technological innovations have also helped mitigate some of the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. OpenGov Asia reported last year that New Zealand launched a device to assist people with disabilities to be vaccinated. The online tool, Manaakitanga Journey, summarises crucial information from the Unite Against COVID-19 website, such as how to schedule New Zealand Sign Language interpreters at clinics and how to get to and from a vaccine appointment. The government collaborated with the disability sector and community, as well as the Office for Disability Issues, the Ministry of Health, and the District Health Board (DHB), to establish services and information to ensure individuals are aware of their vaccine eligibility.

The vaccination initiative is aimed to be inclusive and accessible to all New Zealanders, ensuring that everyone can get vaccinated. DHBs and local providers are dedicated to ensuring that persons with disabilities get access to the vaccine in a way that fits their needs in their community. The New Zealand government also launched a disability-specific section of the Unite Against COVID-19 website, which is updated weekly with accessible locations and centres for individuals to get vaccinated across the nation. The Unite Against COVID-19 website will also include consolidated information for people with disabilities and those with underlying health issues, such as supported decision-making, a list of accessible vaccination centres near them, transportation arrangements, and information in alternative formats.

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