Project Funded by National ICT R&D Fund
Capacity-building in Science and Technology (S&T) is one of most important aspects of a viable S&T infrastructure. Unfortunately majority of S&T institutions in Pakistan suffer from a severe lack of human and institutional capacity to conduct any meaningful research and development projects and to provide quality teaching in the areas of science and engineering. There is therefore an urgent need to train manpower and upgrade scientific institution in Pakistan. This grant scheme is thus aimed to train manpower and strengthen R&D institutions working in the fields of science and technology relevant to the national needs. The purpose of this grant is twofold: (a) to support the candidates in obtaining essential training/certification and (b) to fund reputable institutions that want to either strengthen existing or start another program. Funds should be provided to either completely or partially subsidize the training programs and to buy equipment/software that the institution cannot afford. From this grant, medium sized scientific equipment can also be purchased with strong justification and cost-benefit analysis. Funds should not be spent on brick and mortar. The details of training and/or experiments that will be performed and the goals that will be achieved should be clearly stated.
We plan to develop awareness and capacity on mobile accessibility issues and needs by organizing training and awareness sessions, inviting mobile application developers. These sessions will be organized in different cities, will be open for all to attend, and will target participation of University students interested in mobile application development as well as professionals developers.
In second phase, the project aims to embrace development of ready-to- use mobile applications for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Pakistan to promote inclusivity. Groups or individual mobile application developers will be mentored by PWDs, helping them in applications development, identifying key requirements as PWDs and will help them to test and validate their applications. The final mobile applications will be made available for general use of Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan. The project would also look into providing awards/ recognition to developers in form of a national mobile application competition.
The independent international sources (including WHO) quote that about ten to fifteen percent of Pakistan’s population consists of people with disabilities (PWDs). Our objective is to promote awareness on mobile accessibility, build technical capacity of mobile developers on global standards and mechanisms, and, to produce mobile application(s) for persons with disabilities in Pakistan. Our team of trainers includes PWDs, working on subject of ICT accessibility; brining an exclusive and rich knowledge to the mobile developers as they interact, learn and engage with trainers. Over the duration of 6 months, our team targets to facilitate learning of 150 to 200 developers across the country.
Training sessions: We plan to conduct training sessions in various cities in Pakistan inviting students and professional mobile application developers. The sessions will inform on global guidelines, standards, coding techniques for developing mobile applications for individuals with visual impairment, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, people with physical disabilities and people with cognitive impairments. The sessions will be open for all to maximize the benefit. These sessions will also arrange brainstorming dialogue between mobile application developers and persons with disabilities, to better understand the real needs and possible mobile applications.
The mentor-ship period would last for approximately four months during which the interested developers would be given an option to seek help from one or more PWDs working on the project, in order to develop an accessible app. This would not only assist the developers in identifying key design and usability requirements but will also allow them to test and validate their apps before submission.
The competition will arrange awareness raising workshops for mobile developers and students in various cities of Pakistan to encourage interest and participation. The main aim of these workshop(s) would be to raise awareness on mobile accessibility, and providing interaction with persons with disabilities to brainstorm on their needs.
These workshop(s) are planned to be organized in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta. At the end of each workshop, interested contestants will be registered. These contestants will then be required to develop their mobile application(s) with the help of a mentor who will be a person with disability. The mentor will also assist to test and validate their application(s). Detail of Awareness workshop can be found below