Move Towards Inclusion! Cognizant Foundation To Empower, Skill Persons With Disabilities For Jobs

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Cognizant Foundation, the CSR arm of IT service major Cognizant, announced the launch of its flagship program – Tech4All, to empower and skill persons with disabilities (PwDs) for jobs in technology and its enabled services. The program will be implemented across the country in collaboration with multiple partners, including Dr Reddy’s Foundation and Cheshire Disability Trust.

Aligned with the Foundation’s growing focus on ‘inclusion and technology as an enabler,’ the program will be implemented in phases. In the first year, it will train 700 people, including women from underserved communities, in basic and advanced IT skills to place them in technology-related jobs, according to India CSR.

Announcing the initiative on the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on December 3, Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman, Cognizant Foundation said, “Here, we are deeply committed to creating conditions for everyone to thrive. As we swiftly move towards a digital economy, it is essential that underserved communities, especially persons with disabilities, are not excluded from the future workforce.”

Digital Inclusion

He said that the Foundation champions initiatives that support digital inclusion and equity in the country. It supports programs that harness the power of technology to improve lives and drive social impact.

Tech4all will be started on a pilot basis in four states – Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Telangana, and West Bengal as part of the first phase.

Besides opening career doors, the Tech4All program would be a boon in creating hope by breaking capability barriers to create a more inclusive society.

In addition, the Foundation has partnered with EnAble India to develop Blimey, a cloud-based learning platform to make online learning accessible for visually impaired people in various regional languages. It facilitates distance education and will be accessible to learners around the world. Blimey enables visually impaired individuals to learn computers independently and work with screen readers like JAWS, NVDA and magnifiers. Users can choose from over 400 online exercises and master the topics at their speed, evaluate progress using real-world situations, job simulations without trainers help, and benefit from AI-enabled interventions with increased usage.

“We have been focused on transforming the lives of people with visual impairment for over 20 years. We are delighted to take the next step and help persons with visual impairment become digitally literate,” Dipesh Sutariya, Co-founder and CEO, EnAble India said.

Over the last 16 years, the Foundation has been dedicated to promoting a sustainable future and improving lives in underserved communities. It has adopted the cross-cutting theme of preventing disabilities and empowering such persons across healthcare, livelihood and education. Since 2013, the Foundation has supported projects focused on skilling persons with disabilities and women and youth from underserved communities.

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