Volume 2 Issue 13 - July 01, 2004

Visually impaired professionals provide new insight for IT firm

DNIS News Network -- FCS Software Solutions is breaking new ground in computer aids for disabled people, thanks to the insights provided by its team of visually impaired developers.

The company, which is based in California, has an outsourcing unit at Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi. Just last month the firm hired three visually impaired graduates to work on developing and improving tools to help visually challenged people to use devices such as mobile phones and computers.

The three graduates, Suman, Mukesh and Madhu, are delighted to be able to contribute to technology that will help millions of people worldwide. Blind since birth, English graduate Madhu is happy to be testing a package that converts books into formats that can be read out loud by computers. Partially sighted programmer Mukesh is currently testing a magnification software package to enable other partially sighted people to read a computer screen. Telecom engineering graduate Suman is working on customising mass-market products to make them suitable for visually challenged users.

These three employees are just the start for FCS, which plans to hire another 12 visually impaired people this year, with starting salaries of Rs 10,000 a month. That news alone stands testament to the high value of the graduates’ input. Head of the testing team, Anoop Srivastava, reiterates this by saying, “We were amazed with their skills.”

Now it can only be hoped that other large companies get the message and discover that employing disabled people is nothing to do with charity and everything to do with sound business sense. There are many more firms around India that can also benefit from the specialised knowledge and insights that disabled people have to offer.

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