A 2018 research report by the World Health Organization shows that over one billion people will require one or more assistive items on a global scale by 2030 and that more than two billion people will require at least one assistive product due to an ageing global population and a surge in non-communicable diseases. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/assistive-technology). In Ghana, West Africa, where I come from, the prevalence of abandoning the physically challenged and those who find themselves in similar situations to wallow in their fate remains a problem. Our educational and health facilities, places of work, commercial buildings, and places of worship do not provide any kind of support for these minorities in terms of the design and user-friendliness of their infrastructure. It is in this light that a social enterprise has sprung up in Ghana and has taken it upon itself to play an advocacy role in equipping and enhancing the quality of life of these people.
TECH ERA -AN ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSIVE ORGANIZATION
Tech Era, a technology-based social enterprise in Ghana, is accelerating development towards an inclusive Africa. They are achieving this through assistive technologies. Their major roles include developing and innovating assistive technologies and accessible consumer products. Below, I enumerate some of their strides in realizing this goal.
ORGANIZATION’S ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES
In bridging this gap, they provide accessibility services to the private sector, public donors, and development-based organizations, such as web and mobile accessibility audits and accessibility consulting.
Writing aid, grip, and posture correction for kids
In specially addressing children and individuals with special needs who may be right- or left-handed, autistic, or have cerebral palsy, they have developed an easy-to-grip material to ease writing and help them to adjust their grip and posture.
Through their many seminars and workshops, they also offer experiential learning & digital skill development assistance programs for independent living.
Workshops and Training
In empowering young people, they advocate for volunteerism and youth empowerment by creating life-changing interventions they can participate in.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Organization, Derick Omari, believes that creating access and bringing relief to the minority through innovation and technology remains very pivotal in accelerating the growth of every emerging economy such as Ghana’s. This is further necessitated since these groups may have talents and skills that are yet to be tapped into. He has received awards both internationally and on the local front for his relentless efforts in this area. He is vested in seeing the accessibility gap fully bridged, especially in this part of the world and in all of Africa.
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