ITU

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MEHTA Arun

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Prof. Arun Mehta, President of Bapsi, is a software writer, a teacher, a disability activist and a human rights activist. His introduction to technology for the disabled was from Professor Stephen Hawking, for whom he designed sophisticated communication software eLocutor, which can be operated by a single button. For three years he taught blind students how to write software. Along with other students he designed 'skid' software, for children with mental challenges, or multiple disabilities to help them communicate. Skid has been developed using Ruby on Rails, in a way to make it easy to develop it further to meet the growing communication and educational needs of children, to reduce teacher workload and to serve as a platform for summer training of computer-savvy students.
His experience in human rights began with 15 years volunteering with Amnesty International, including two as president of its Indian section. He has been involved with many national issues where technology met policy and politics.More recently, he has campaigned vigorously for the rights of persons with mental challenges. He has made academic contributions in many areas.
Prof Mehta has a PhD - Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, as a fellow of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a Masters in Computer Sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a B. Tech degree from IIT Delhi in 1975.
Bapsi, the NGO of which he is President, was awarded the ISIF Asia Grant 2013 for its innovative project for the deaf-blind and the 4th NCPEDP (National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (India)-MphasiS Universal Design Awards 2013
Previously he was given the Manthan Award in 2008, for developing skid software, the Vibrations series of Mobile Apps for the Deaf-blind was a Finalist at the Vodafone Mobiles for Good Award 2012.
The idea of “Marketing mobile phones to those for whom mobiles don't work today” was a winner with special mention at the mBillionth Award South Asia, year 2012.
SMS for those both deaf and blind, a short film on the mobile application PocketSMS won Jury Special Award at the We Care Film Festival (Disability Film Festival) in 2012. The app was the first in the vibrations series of mobile applications to enable the deaf and blind communicate via Android smartphones.