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Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD 2013)

by Prasad Krishna last modified May 09, 2013 04:27 AM
The Centre for Internet and Society is pleased to invite you to participate in the Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Bangalore on May 9, 2013. The event begins at 4.00 p.m. and will end by 7.00 p.m.

Event details


May 09, 2013
from 08:00 AM to 11:00 AM


TERI, Southern Regional Centre, Bangalore, 4th Main, Domlur II Stage, Bangalore 5600071

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The purpose of the day is to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) accessibility and users with different disabilities. The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in the topic of making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities, the reality is that they often do not know how or where to start. Awareness comes first.

This will be an opportunity for you to understand the importance of accessibility and how accessibility impacts several users and increase your customer base. This event will consist of presentations by Accessibility professionals in the industry, hands on demonstrations of how people with disabilities use technology and an opportunity to meet peers in the industry.


Opening remarks by Nirmita Narasimhan, Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
Accessibility - What, Why and How? by Vivek Gaikwad, Lead Accessibility Expert, Informatica
Test for Accessibility by Lavanya Lakshman, Yahoo!
Demonstrations of assistive technologies
Q & A with panelists
Wrap up, networking and refreshments

There will be panel discussions with the following speakers:

  • Vivek Gaikwad, Lead Accessibility Expert, Informatica
  • Lavanya Lakshman, Yahoo!
  • Rama Chari, Director, DEOC
  • Anasuya Das, Mitra Jyothi
  • Srividya Vaidyanathan - Multimedia

About the Speakers


Vivek Gaikwad

Vivek is an individual, passionate about accessibility, who digs out all the possible ways to make an application accessible to persons with disabilities. For past 7 years, he is consistently doing R&D on how to make applications, games, e-learning and mobile apps which are built in various technologies/platforms such as Flash, HTML, iOS and Android, PDF, etc., accessible.

His emphasis is on providing feasible accessibility solutions by understanding the scenario and the compliance required.

His various roles so far in his career such as a developer, tester, trainer and consultant apprehends in finding the exact fit solution for any accessibility related issue. This also helps in understanding and filling the gap between management and the delivery team for accessibility projects.

He doesn't work only for compliance of any product, but tries to make it 100 per cent accessible for all the users. Vivek also loves trekking and getting involved in creative things.


Srividya Vaidyanathan

Srividya has a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from NIT Warangal and is currently working as a Consultant for the Centre for Internet & Society. She more than 13 years of experience in the software industry with TCS, Oracle etc with her latest stint being a co-founder of PixelMat Software a company that makes development of pure native mobile apps easier. A very hands-on mom who loves to play ball with her son in her free time.


Lavanya Lakshman

Lavanya has done BE in Electronics Engineering and MS in Networking from Symbiosis, Pune. She has close to 10 years of experience with over 5 and a half years with Yahoo alone. She is working as principal engineer on font end development and works mainly on platform products varying from user profile experience to application development network. She is currently working on Geo Platform for serving location based experience across Yahoo. She has submitted papers in various forums which includes:

  • White paper titled “Strategic Choice of Test Automation Framework”. This was selected for plenary presentation at SteP-IN Summit 2009.
  • White paper titled “A New Era of Accessibility Testing”. This was selected for publication at the USID Conference 2009.
  • White paper titled  “Accessibility: An Emerging field of Usability” for Step-IN Summit 2010.



Rama Chari

Rama Chari has about two decades  of work experience in the field of disability.

She started her career as an Educator for children with disabilities in the rural community based project of Action for Ability Development & inclusion (AADI) (Formerly, Spastics Society of Northern India (SSNI), She prepared children with disabilities for integrating them into regular schools in the villages of Haryana. She then joined National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), a leading national level advocacy organisation. At NCPEDP, she headed  the Legislation, Networking and  Communication Units. As part of the core management team of NCPEDP, she  played an important role in bringing about several policy changes vis-à-vis disability in the country. In November 2005, she took up a consultancy with Infosys BPO, for setting up their Equal Opportunity Programme. In July 2007, she along with four other professionals set up DEOC.

She is serving as an Honorary Board Member of ARUNIM, a marketing initiative for promoting products and services made by disability groups and NGOs. She is also part of the NCPEDP’s National Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability, which focuses on advocacy for appropriate policies in the country. She is also a Core Group Member of the Disability Forum of Confederation of Indian Industry – Karnataka Chapter. She has travelled widely and has made several presentations on the subject, in national and international conferences / seminars.


Anusuya Das

Anusuya graduated in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University in 2004, and worked as a Software Engineer for 2½ years. Later, she changed her field and completed Masters Degree in Social Work from Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work, Mumbai University. During the 2 years, she gained valuable experience and insight while working for various causes such as Child labour, Disaster Management and Disability.

Since 2010, she is working as Chief Coordinator at Mitra Jyothi, Bangalore. It is an NGO working towards the education, training and empowerment of the visually impaired. She is mainly handling the DAISY production unit, Braille Transcription Centre and Digital Talking Book Library at Mitra Jyothi, and is a certified trainer in DAISY content creation.


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