On December 3rd, people across the globe took part in International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. AIF and its partners recognized this auspicious day by holding two events, one in New Delhi and one in New York City. The event in India garnered coverage from CNN-IBN.
In New York City, AIF brought together preeminent thought leaders in the disability space for a discussion on “Skilling the Disabled for the Workforce.” The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, who is a world-renowned entrepreneur and is the Founder of the Wadhwani Foundation. Dr. Wadhwani spoke about the innovative work that his foundation is doing in India in terms of skilling those with disabilities, as well as his Foundation’s strong partnership with AIF. Ravi Kumar, the CEO of AIF, talked about AIF’s Ability Based Livelihood Empowerment (ABLE) program. ABLE trains persons with disabilities and facilitates their entry into the job market through advocacy, promoting inclusive growth in India. Kumar talked about how this year ABLE has impacted more than 3,000 persons with disabilities, 2.5 times the previous year, and that the program has now overall has impacted over 10,000 persons with disabilities.
The event also featured an enriching discussion with some of the world’s top thought-leaders in the disability space including Atul Bhatara (Co-Managing Member, Ushaholdings LLC), Sheena Iyengar (Inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division, Columbia Business School), Peter Kenny (Director in Global Compliance, Barclays), Michael Monteferrante (President and CEO, Envision), and Frances West (Chief Accessibility Officer, IBM). The panel was moderated by Shraysi Tandon, Business Reporter/Anchor, CCTV America.