Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS) is a research and outreach unit at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore. It aims to be a centre of excellence and scholarship, bringing together academia, industry, government, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) and change-makers working in the area of accessibility to study and understand the various concerns related to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the Global South and help in creating and disseminating effective solutions.
The first CAGS Winter School, being organized during 7-9 January 2021, aims to offer participants a space to deepen their understanding of accessibility and inclusion in institutions through sessions that will cover crucial dimensions of disability, with a specific emphasis on needs of the Global South. The Winter School will provide an introduction to critical and useful frameworks for recognizing how PWDs have experienced disadvantages and exclusion because of personal and societal responses to impairment, and how accessibility professionals have re-conceptualized disability from a more empowering perspective to an element of celebrating human diversity and a source of improving organizational work spaces.
The Winter School will be of relevance to professionals concerned with diversity and inclusion (D&I) within corporate organizations and higher educational institutions as well as researchers from the academia and industry interested in accessibility and assistive technologies.
On successful participation in all the activities of the Winter School, a course completion certificate will be provided by IIIT Bangalore.
Introduction to disability studies from a global south perspective: will cover diverse ways of looking at disability and disability studies; will familiarize participants with Southern voices, perspectives and theories that have been developing as a counter discourse to the global north-centric theories which are shipped off to the global south with minimal attention paid to cultures, context and histories
Legal and policy dimensions: will explore and analyze legal and policy perspectives that provide resources to individuals, academics, practitioners and policy makers on how to effectively further the cause of accessibility and inclusion of PWDs in organizations
Diversity and inclusion practices: will cover the experiences of organizations, both in the industry and higher education in embracing diversity and inclusion in their workforce and student body respectively, and will aim to showcase the diverse strategies used to turn laws into effective implementations for overall benefit
Methodological perspectives: will cover a few relevant approaches and methodologies that have been used or have the potential to be used in the field of disability studies, with emphasis on technology and design with suitable case studies
Assistive technology design and implementation cases: will explore research and development in the field of assistive technology that has been and is being conducted in the Global South- what these technologies are, who has access to them and who creates these technologies.
The Winter School will also include team-based activities and a mini-project to provide an opportunity to the participants to apply the concepts covered during the sessions and relate them to their day-to-day work-life practices.
Instructors and facilitators for the sessions will be drawn from the industry, academia and disabled people’s organizations. We are expecting confirmations from Dr. Shaun Grech (Centre for Global Disability Research), Prof. Nidhi Singal (University of Cambridge), Prof. Mukta Kulkarni (IIM Bangalore), Dr. Manohar Swaminathan (Microsoft Research India), Ms. Supriya Dey (Vision Empower) and Prof. Amit Prakash (IIIT Bangalore) to conduct the sessions
All Winter School sessions will be conducted online using Zoom. Live captioning and sign language interpretation (ISL) will be made available, if required. The timings of the sessions are as follows: