The State government has begun an initiative to empower developers in constructing digital ecosystems that are accessible to all, especially Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and has set a deadline of 2024 to make all government websites disabled-friendly.
As a part of this ongoing programme, the Goa State Commission for Persons with Disabilities, in collaboration with the Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications and Mission Accessibility, organized a joint workshop at Ela Farm, Old Goa wherein enhancing developers’ website skills, application, and software development with a particular emphasis on digital accessibility were emphasized on.
Joint Director of IT Pravin Volvoikar assured the PwDs that by 2024 all government websites would be made accessible to them. “We have a crucial mission ahead of us, which is to ensure that old websites become fully accessible. It's time to rectify any existing issues and make them inclusive for all. By 2024, we aim to achieve maximum accessibility across these websites. Accessibility is an ongoing process, and we will diligently comply with the guidelines set by the Government of India,” he said.
The officer added that the department is actively implementing the guidelines for accessibility introduced in 2016, and are actively implementing them. “We understand the importance of accessibility, and together with website developers, we will continue our efforts to create an inclusive digital space,” he added.
Guruprasad Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Goa expressed that the initiative will help build a future celebrating diversity, respect, and equal rights for all.
“Disability is not a limitation; it is an opportunity for innovation and empowerment. We are committed to advocating for inclusion, breaking barriers, and creating a society where every person can realize their full potential. By working together, we can dismantle physical, societal, and attitudinal barriers that hinder the full participation of people with disabilities,” he further said.
Participants attending the two-day workshop that ended on Thursday had the opportunity to engage in hands-on training, learn about universal design guidelines, and gain practical insights into creating accessible digital products.
Through the capacity-building exercise conducted during the workshop, the participants were equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create accessible digital experiences for everyone in the times to come.