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Media Lab Asia (MLAsia), a not-for-profit R&D organization, works on the paradigm of collaborative research in the task of developing relevant and sustainable technologies and culturally appropriate solutions and bringing them to the daily lives of people. The objective of the organization is to bring the benefits of ICT to the common man.
ObjectiveThe aim of the Punarbhava (literally meaning ‘renewed being’) project was to build a comprehensive Internet portal which would function as a gateway to specialized information for people with disabilities, and all entities involved in this sector. MLAsia was looking to create a one-stop information service in cyber space to find information, discuss issues, network, find employment, look for assistive devices, seek redressal of grievances, undergo training and much more. The challenge was to keep the design simple and the site easily accessible by the audience it was intended for – the differently-abled. In this endeavor, MLAsia chose Iridium Interactive (ii), already established as a crusader of the cause of web accessibility.
Solution proposed iridium Interactive built a comprehensive website (www.punarbhava.in) rich in information on the disability sector in India. The website was designed to function as an information database, sourcing relevant news on a daily basis, and listing the assistive devices available for the disability and rehabilitation sector. Careful attention was paid to make sure that the website was easily accessible by the disabled. Towards this end, the site has been designed for 1024*768 viewing to allow access by all screens. Hyperlinks are written with tags and cascading style sheets (CSS) are used for visual layout, while frames have been avoided. The color scheme has been selected to ensure that there is sufficient contrast between text, background and links, and the site uses only non-serif font types for readability. Page content has been structured for ease of navigation and takes into consideration the different technology visitors may use to access the site, for example, speech readers and screen magnifiers. The Punarbhava site features resources like films, documentaries and publications that deal with disability, and lists institutions in the sector (vocational training centers, etc). Users can access a complete database of NGOs working in this field in India and network with sponsors to finance projects for the welfare of the disabled. They can also download all government orders, laws, circulars related to disability and disability certificate forms. Additionally, the website features a section, “Connect”, which includes online chat, blog, discussion forum and newsletter, making the site interactive and participative.
ResultsThe website has proved to be a comprehensive warehouse of information on the disability sector in India. It provides useful and updated information, and also a platform to engage in dialectic and discussion on the disability sector. Feedback shows that users have found the website design friendly and easy to use. Through the efficient use of ICT and the web medium, Punarbhava ensures that the disabled can also use the resources of cyber space in an informative and interactive manner.
iridium Interactive Limited (ii) specializes in providing online business solutions. With a presence across three continents, it has been at the forefront in integrating strategy, design and technology to build unique and robust user-centric e-business solutions. At ii, a holistic approach is adopted towards complex business problems to arrive at a complete solution. ii’s talented team has worked on a variety of disciplines for a multitude of clients drawn from various industries, and has a number of award-winning works to its credit. ii offers it services in the areas of interactive marketing, web marketing, e-learning, enterprise consulting and web accessibility initiatives.
Tags: Case study, iridium interactive, Punarbhava, Web Portal
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