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‘Design for Dignity’ showcases innovations for disables

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The Consulate General of Sweden and Swedish Institute hosted the preview of the Swedish design exhibition titled Design for Dignity. Also, both the orgs hosted a photo exhibition titled AccessAbilty at Prin. L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WeSchool).

Design for Dignity, curated by Ace designer Margarita Bergfeldt Matiz, showcased twenty two diverse innovative Swedish products including:

  • Foldable ramps
  • First generation of prisma pedestrian signalsfor those with impaired hearing or vision
  • Easy-to-carry shower and toilet chair
  • A listening system that uses digital signal processing technology to filter out background noise and enhance speech
  • A hassle-free Braille printer for high volumes of braille production
  • The super-light wheel chair
  • Tetra packs for those with reduced hand functions
  • Cutlery for easy eating
  • Comforters to remain calm and many more

Design for Dignity highlights the importance and benefits of being inclusive when developing products for the future. AccessAbilty speaks of everyday stories of Swedish and Indian individuals with disability, their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

The preview was attended by project stakeholders from Sweden and India, researchers, manufacturers, doctors, academia, representatives from NGOs along with students and faculty from WeSchool.The exhibition will be open to all from Sept 20th – Sept 29th, 2016, Tue – Thur, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm.

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While welcoming the gathering, Prof Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool said, “WeSchool is pleased to collaborate  in this initiative of bringing in awareness and sensitization about living life with disability and design for dignity for people with disabilities. As responsible citizens I believe that it is our responsibility to provide an ecosystem that gives persons with disability a true opportunity to contribute using their abilities as this will play an important role in boosting their confidence as equal partners in society and enable them to leverage their abilities. As WeSchool, we are pleased to bring in this sensitivity among our students, and open their mind and heart to ensuring they create enabling environments as future leaders when they take their place in the world of work.”

While applauding the efforts by Swedish Consulate in hosting the event in collaboration with WeSchool, Advocate Mr. S.K Jain, Chairman, LMC, WeSchool and Shikshana Prasaraka Mandali  said,” As more and more of  the millions of disabled in India aspire to join the mainstream workforce to contribute their mite to the nation’s growth story, it becomes essential to create an environment with enabling systems and solutions where persons with disability are able to have access to education, opportunities for careers and lead lives of dignity.  With its focus on design and innovation and the spirit of We Link and Care, WeSchool is committed to nurturing the global Citizen leaders not only through its academic programs but also by changing their lenses so that they are able to work with sensitivity and empathy for the benefit of all stakeholders in the global society.”

Consul General of Sweden Mumbai, Nils Eliasson, Consul, Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai said, “It is a great pleasure to be associated with a very sensitive initiative that provides solutions to persons with disabilities. The products showcased today will help specially-abled people to lead a quality life.”

The expert curator of the exhibition, Margarita Bergfeldt Matiz spoke about the history of Swedish design and theimportance of the right for an equal and dignified life for all while introducing a different perspective on the concept of disability. “In Sweden we haven’t yet fully won the battle for equality for disabled people, and the participants’ stories say a lot about the Swedish disability policy. Giving everyone a chance to be seen and heard is a step along the way to not seeing people with disabilities as a homogeneous group but as individuals with different needs. The personal stories of this exhibit and the design products on show can hopefully initiate discussions and strengthen cooperation internationally on accessibility, dignity and disability policies.”

After its stint in Mumbai, the exhibition is scheduled to   travel to other countries like Singapore, Macedonia, Belarus, Latvia and Brazil.

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