KARACHI (June 1, 2022): NOWPDP hosted a panel called “Leaving No One Behind – Working Together to Accelerate Action on Accessibility” to discuss viable ways to curb inaccessibility so that persons with disabilities can move beyond this basic hindrance and flourish.

Persons with disabilities, corporate organizations, and media personnel attended this highly anticipated panel to voice their own lived experiences and solutions to this massive issue in Pakistan. The panel was made fully accessible with assistive devices and sign language interpreters.

Also attending and speaking on the panel were Sadiq Memon – Special Assistant to the CM on Disability Affairs, Sindh, Irfan Salam Mirwani – District Commissioner Malir, Farhat Rasheed – Director DALDA Foods and Westbury Group of Industries, and, Adnan Ahmad – Trainer and Specialist of Visual Studies at NOWPDP.

Panels such as these are significant in sparking and steering conversations towards making proper policies on a national and provincial level as well as inclusive programs on an organizational level to bolster persons with disabilities in becoming independent.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of any country’s population comprises persons with disabilities, making that Pakistan around 31 million. For them, accessibility is imperative to experience the full range of human rights, and increase their participation across social, economic, and political life.

President NOWPDP, Amin Hashwani said, “Accessibility is a basic right for all persons with disabilities and we have been working for 14 years to bring about pragmatic ways through which we can ensure this happens; be it through the sensitization and infrastructural guidance to organizations or provision of assistive devices to persons with disabilities. We hope that more awareness comes out of such important panels.”

Sadiq Memon stated that Centers of Excellence that focus on economic empowerment and accessibility like NOWPDP’s Moriro Markaz are to be created in more districts soon. He said, “NOWPDP’s model of Moriro Markaz is an epitome of quality that should be used as a standard for Special Education in all over Sindh.”

Farhat Rasheed also shared her lived experiences and said, “There really need to be proper measures for accessibility and its implementation for all kinds of disabilities. There should actually be penalties for all public spaces and buildings that do not have accessible measures for functioning and movement.”

DC Irfan Salam said, “We really need to work on more public-private partnerships to ensure accessibility becomes a basic facet of functioning for everybody.”

NOWPDP pledges to continue working on accessibility for persons with disabilities through sparking vital conversations by these panels, advocacy, and consultancies/sensitizations of different organizations.

Because Inclusion starts with accessibility.

About NOWPDP: 

NOWPDP is a disability inclusion initiative and we operate in the areas of education and economic empowerment. In 2020 -2021, NOWPDP trained over 815 persons with disabilities, placed over 345 persons with disabilities in different jobs, provided assistive devices to over 300 persons with disabilities, and processed over 930 SCNICs, & Disability Certificates. A major milestone for NOWPDP was receiving the Zero Project Award “Workplace Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan” as an Innovative Practice at the United Nations in Vienna. NOWPDP also completed several disability inclusion projects at different corporations.