Mumbai police site to increase accessibility for disabled

A first for a city police force in India, the Mumbai police Web site will be upgraded to meet international accessibility standards and better serve the disabled population.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

In a step toward greater inclusion, the Web site for the Mumbai police will be upgraded with a new software which will allow disabled persons to easily access the site's information and services.

This makes it the first city police force in India to adopt such an initiative and marks an important measure toward inclusion, Mumbai Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh said in a report by Indian Express on Tuesday. The software is expected to be functional and the site ready in about two weeks.

"Even we did not realize the problems of accessibility that a disabled might be facing when it comes to approaching the police. We were educated by experts on scenarios where they might need help, for which an interactive Web site can assist," Singh said. "The primary focus will be to adopt a platform to help the disabled in understanding their region and police jurisdiction. We can also update them on a regular basis on our initiatives."

With the Internet increasingly becoming a place to disseminate information about the services of the Mumbai police, it is important to take care of the needs of the disabled segment of the population who are underserved and largely ignored, the police chief said in a separate report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The upgraded site will conform to international Web accessibility standards and become accessible to all disabled persons. For instance, the visually impaired can use screen readers, while screen displays and videos will help the hearing impaired, PTI reported. The revamp was supported by Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) and a private company, Barrier Break Technologies.

Rajeev Vaishnav, vice president of Nasscom, said it is focused on addressing challenges faced by persons with disabilities through its diversity and inclusion initiatives. "Working with Mumbai police on this project is a part of bringing technology closer to disabled persons and making information relevant and useful to them," he said.

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