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M.S.J.E. leads by example. Launches central ministry’s first accessible website

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.), which is the nodal ministry for empowerment of persons with disabilities is finally leading by example. On January 5, it announced that its website has been made accessible to ensure equality and right to information for persons with disabilities.

The website has been developed by National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (N.I.C.S.I.). Some of the assistive technologies embedded on the website are screen reading software for visually impaired people, voice recognition software for those that have difficulty using a mouse, iconic learning for mentally retarded people and autistic persons, keyboard support for those with visual or upper limb impairment, navigation facilities for those with visual and learning disabilities, transcripts for audio-video content for hearing impaired persons, and changes in colour schemes, to name a few.

Access to websites has been a long drawn demand of the disability sector and this effort by the ministry is certainly a step taken in the right direction. Mukul Wasnik, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment during the launch of the website said, I am sure other central ministries and government departments will soon make their websites accessible as well. He further added, It is a landmark step that will ensure protection of right to information and full participation of persons with disabilities in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural spheres with equal opportunities.

It took designers at National Informatics Centre three months to design the website. Neeta Verma, Senior Director, National Informatics Centre said, During the testing phase, 15 persons with different kinds of disabilities helped us to sail through the testing period.