The Challenge: Closing the Disability Employment Gap
People with disabilities make up 15% of the world’s total population, making this group of 1 billion people, the world’s largest minority group¹. Data from the United Nations suggests that people with disabilities in industrialized countries are 50-70% more likely to be unemployed than those living without a disability. The gap significantly widens in developing countries where up to 80-90% of people with disabilities are unemployed ². With news sources around the world reporting an emerging global labour shortage, we have an incredible opportunity to address these issues holistically and identify new solutions that ensure a better and more equitable future for all.
The Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 8 supported by Santen was launched to identify solutions that contribute towards reducing the disability employment gap, focused on solutions that address awareness campaigns, education, recruitment and retention programs, improved policies and practices, technological or policy inequalities and/or inaccessibility.
About Trestle Labs
Co-founded by Bonny Dave, Trestle Labs is an Assistive Technology company making schools, colleges and workplaces digitally inclusive and empowering the blind and the visually impaired community towards inclusive Education and Employment. Trestle Labs builds hardware and software solutions that help visually impaired students listen to, translate, digitize and audio’tize any kind of printed, handwritten and digital content independently in 60+ global languages.
Their mission is to ensure that no workplace denies/discontinues employment for a visually-impaired individual - especially when the individual is capable, but the workplace is not. Every person irrespective of its ability to see, deserves to choose what they want to read and learn, without depending on what the world wants to make accessible for them through Braille or audio.
Trestle Labs’ product suite, Kibo, comprises 3 products - Kibo mobile app, Kibo XS device and Kibo Desk - to address the lifestyle, learning and earning aspects of their user’s life:
1. Kibo mobile application: for on-the-go audio-based access to documents
2. Kibo XS device: talking table-lamp like scanning device for hardcopy printed and handwritten documents
3. Kibo Desk web application: for images and scanned image-based PDFs
Kibo is now empowering 65,000+ visually-impaired individuals across 22 countries who have accessed 20 million+ pages.