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App on ‘accessibility’ to address concerns of the disabled also in Covid-19 | India News


NEW DELHI: Focusing on the critical need for accessibility, a mobile application “Sugamya Bharat App” made available to the public starting Tuesday will not only allow people with disabilities to complain about inaccessible spaces and services, but will also search for information and raise concerns. related to Covid-19.
The application, by the way, comes at a time when the second phase of vaccination has begun for those over 60 years of age and for those in the priority group of 45 and over with specific comorbidities that include certain categories of disabilities.
The list of comorbidities specified for the determination of the eligibility of citizens in the age group 45 to 59 years includes people with intellectual disabilities, those who have great support needs, muscular dystrophy, acid attack with compromise of the respiratory system and multiple disabilities, including deafblindness. All those who fall on this list will need to obtain a certificate from a doctor to request vaccination.
The new application offers to address a wide range of accessibility issues: built environment, transport sector and ICT ecosystem. The separate section of the app that allows people to write down their Covid-19-related concerns is also cited as a way to reinforce the need for inclusion that is not limited to just accessible spaces.
Launching the app, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said that it aims to mobilize “jan-bhagidhari” (public participation) to gain access to on-the-ground issues related to inaccessibility faced not only by people with disability but any vulnerable limb. of society such as the elderly, sick and infirm, pregnant women, children, among others.
The department of empowerment of people with disabilities under the ministry of social justice has set a period of 15 days for the authorities in charge to respond and process any complaint registered in the application. Any delays will be raised to higher authorities and nodal officials in ministries, departments and states. DEPwD Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin said delay cases will also be referred to disability commissions in the states so they can issue orders of action.
Gamlin also shared that if someone raises a problem that they are facing related to Covid-19 or if they want information about the ongoing vaccination process, they will be guided according to the instructions and procedures established by the health ministry.
Arman Ali, executive director of the National Employment Promotion Center for People with Disabilities, said the app can be a game changer to bring out the concerns of the disabled as long as it is properly implemented on the ground.

Times of India