Welcoming Dr. Ruchi Palan
I am Ruchi Palan. Some of you might remember meeting me at the SNA workshop in Cork in May. Since we are likely to cross paths (digitally or in-person) in the coming months, I thought it would be nice to say hello and tell you a little more about myself.
In 2009, I moved back to my home city Mumbai after completing post-graduation in sociology. I specialised in media and gender studies. I had applied for a job to my dream workplace, a leading women’s organisation. And I was rejected. Amidst this, I was offered a job at a disability support unit by someone I knew there. Reluctantly, I took it up. Disability was an area of interest but not something I was passionate about.
During my time there, I contacted academic publishers and convinced them to give us digital copies of their books for our print-disabled students. I also did workshops on disability awareness. I learnt a lot about assistive technology and its possibilities. But I did not expect what accompanied this - a lifelong obsession for equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
Since then, my passion for disability equality has led me to work on:
researching issues faced by students with disabilities in higher education in India and UK.
dispelling myths about people with disabilities among those without disabilities.
promoting access to assistive technology for students with disabilities to make what is assumed to be impossible, possible for them.
I look forward to continue learning about how at UrAbility, we can leverage existing and emerging technologies to help children and students with disabilities realise their full potential. And parents, teachers and SNAs like yourself are invaluable in this endeavour.
I am humbled and excited to work with James to provide more resources and supports to all of you.