Saksham and FICCI Report Launched Highlights How Technology Transforms Education and Employment of Persons With Disabilities

Saksham in collaboration with FICCI conducted a research study and launched its flagship report, “Status and Opportunities for Promoting the Use of Assistive Technologies and Content for Persons with Disabilities in India” on 26 April 2022 at Digital Bharat 2022, organised by the Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Communications, the Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. The report was unveiled by Dr Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, and Government of India.

The research study focuses on three groups of persons with disabilities – persons with visual impairment, persons with hearing impairment and persons with specific learning disabilities – that represent a mix of differing levels of technology users and covered a range of age groups, languages and occupations. It was conducted in collaboration with implementing partners Chetana Trust (for deaf-blind disabilities), National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) (for hearing impairment), and Orkids (for specific learning disability (SLD) and Saksham (for visual impairment) who are respective experts in their disability domains.

The research demonstrates through evidence and data the potential role of technology in the lives of persons with disabilities, especially in the space of education and employment and highlights the current gaps and opportunities that exist. It explores the variety of solutions that are available and used by persons with disabilities in India, and the various aspects of availability, timing, training, preferences and support which affect their ability to realise optimal efficiency and independence in mainstream education, work and everyday life.

Analysis from the research study shows:

  • Technology positively impacts persons with disabilities and furthers their inclusion especially in education and employment as well as enabling them to lead a more independent life. For example, among persons with visual impairment 90% of the people used their technology for reading and writing, 100% used it for communicating with their friends, teachers, and peers; and 80% used it for internet search for information and reading material.
  • Early intervention of technology seems to work for all groups and is not limited to one sphere but improves overall life skills of individuals as well as their ability to learn and use other devices.
  • A minimum of technologies- mobile and laptop/ any other appears to be a requirement for successful navigation of life – education, work and communication. For example, among persons with hearing impairment, an overwhelming 98% of the participants above the age of 18 years used smartphones and 88% used a personal computer or laptop. The group relied on the internet and social media (77%) and peers (54%) for their primary source of information.
  • The study also highlighted the role social media plays in bridging the communication and literacy divide for persons with disabilities. For example among participants with specific learning disabilities, all the participants said that they are active on and connected with others through social media. Social media was used not only for connecting with others but also to get updates on news and information. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, LinkedIn were used by 86% of the participants with specific learning disabilities as learning platforms.

Presenting the report, Mr Dipendra Manocha said, “Results of this study clearly indicate that we need to provide digital devices as their reading and writing tool to persons with disabilities along with traditional methods very early in their school education”.

The research also puts forth actionable recommendations for different stakeholders on how to scale up AT adoption across the country.

The launch is available for streaming at:

Read the press release by FICCI here: