NEWS: PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities
PACER, IBM partner to open model center in India for people with disabilities
The first comprehensive assistive technology center serving people with disabilities in India opened on Sept. 13, thanks to a partnership between PACER Center, IBM Corporation, and the Spastics Society of Karnataka (SSK) in Bangalore, India.
“This center will be a model for the rest of the country,” said Paula F. Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, a national parent center in the U.S. “We’re very excited about this tremendous opportunity, and we appreciate the support of corporations in India and the U.S. to make this center a reality.”
More than 350 people attended the Sept. 13 inauguration of the Spastics Society of Karnataka Assistive Technology Centre for Education and Life Skills Training on the campus of the SSK, a nonprofit agency serving children and young adults with disabilities. The new center will give
people with disabilities in India the opportunity to learn, communicate, and participate more fully in many work and life activities.
Through a collaborative effort involving parents, professionals, and consumers, the center will provide numerous services, including technology consultations, workshops on technology-related topics, individual training, and library facilities. The new center was modeled after PACER’s Simon Technology Center in Minneapolis, Minn.
The opening of the center “is a milestone in international cooperation,” said inauguration keynote speaker Paul Ackerman, Ph.D., an international consultant on disability and a noted author. He was formerly with the United States Department of Education, providing assistance to projects aiding children and adults with disabilities in India.
Shanker Annaswamy, Manager Director, IBM India Pvt. Ltd, also spoke at the inauguration. “IBM is committed to enable differently challenged people with technology and expertise. Our volunteers and consultants are engaged in supporting this centre,” he said. “It’s heartening to see how quickly children are adapting and growing when they get access to these types of assistive technologies.”
The inauguration’s guest of honor was Shri. P.M.Narendra Swamy, Honorable Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of Karnataka. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Rukmini Krishnaswamy, executive director of SSK, Bridget Ames, coordinator of PACER’s Simon
Technology Center (STC) in the U.S., and others.
PACER Center provided training for the SSK staff and solicited corporate donors and assistive technology vendors to contribute technology, financial gifts, and volunteer time to help build and support the center. IBM donated the hardware and Accessibility Works software. IBM
consultants and volunteers will also help support this center.
About Assistive Technology
Assistive technology (AT) is a device or technology that helps a person with disabilities perform tasks they were unable to accomplish or had great difficulty doing.
About Spastic Society of Karnataka
Spastics Society of Karnataka is a Non-Government Organization (NGO) dedicated to the welfare of persons with neuro-muscular disorders and developmental disabilities.
For more information, visit: http://spasticssocietyofkarnataka.org/
A national organization based in Minnesota, PACER works to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents Learn more at www.PACER.org.
For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com
I received this press release when it was passed along by Joan Durocher via her email distribution list.
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