Technology can help remove stigma on disability: Wakaniyasi

Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons President Joshko Wakaniyasi speaks during the Rehabilitation and Mobility Conference in Nadi. Picture: REINAL CHAND

TECHNOLOGY could help remove the stigma on disability, says Fiji Disabled People’s Federation president Joshco Wakaniyasi.

He said the prospect of integrating persons living with disabilities have become easier with the aid of new assistive technologies.

“We are looking at what is available, especially into the assistive product listing provided by WHO,” he said.

“Technology can actually remove stigma on disability.

“One such example is the ‘include disability employer program’ where a disabled person was fired by a company that provides telephone marketing services.

“They conducted the interview over the phone and the last process was if you get the job was for you to go for an orientation.

“It was only when she went for the orientation then the company realised she was blind.

“They asked her how she got through the interview, she said she was computer literate and there was a software that actually talks to her and she can type as fast as any other person.

“So technology has provided that platform and technology should be used appropriately.”

He said while there may be a wide range of products, it should be able to cater for all persons living with disabilities.

“At the moment there has been a lot of focus on wheelchairs and walking aids. How about our brothers and sisters with hearing and visual impairments?

“How can we start looking at providing them with the devices and assistive technology they need?”

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