Tech giant Microsoft is teaming up with the World Bank and Fordham University to create a publicly available, comprehensive, clearinghouse for information surrounding disabilities. The decision to create the hub, including data from national surveys and census data, featuring visualisation tools and country profiles, followed Microsoft’s pledge in 2021, to help “close the disability gap.”
“It’s really time to help us all to understand the sheer size of this community in a standardized, methodical, reliable, credible way,” said Microsoft Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie.
In 2010, the World Bank was estimated to have at least 1 billion customers that live with some form of disability, approximately 15% of the population. With the added stress of COVID-19, the population saw a significant increase in mental health challenges globally.
The initiative was announced on the 15th of June at the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The World Bank will be leading the drive, with Microsoft providing the technical assistance and necessary personnel.