Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan

Vision: To promote the creation of an inclusive society which values and upholds the rights of people with disabilities through sustainable endeavors and a holistic approach driven by clear social objectives. Mission Statement: People with Disabilities have equal access to opportunities and are an integral part of society. Objectives - Generate a greater level of awareness about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities. - Create economic empowerment for persons with disabilities by fostering greater commitment levels. - Advocate the rights and needs of persons with disabilities to the State. - Build capacity of disability organizations to meet their objectives.
Jun 21, 2016

Mobilizing Persons with Disabilities

Taufeeq - Accessible Cycle Design Challenge Winner
Taufeeq - Accessible Cycle Design Challenge Winner

Dear Supporters,

We are getting closer and closer to placing persons with disabilities in the driving seat of their own lives. Your continuous and generous support has enabled us to work tirelessly in order to change and ease the existing mobility-related hardships they encounter on an everyday basis.

The highlights of the period March-mid June along with their details are as follows:

Short-listing the top entries for Accessible Cycle Design Challenge 2016 and Selection of Competition Winner

The Accessible Cycle Design Challenge (ACDC), a nation-wide design competition for engineering and architecture students and professionals to come up with innovative cycle solutions for persons with lower-limb impairments, began on 1st January this year as mentioned in the previous report, and continued for the busy but exciting period of three months, ending on 31st March. Out of 58 cycle design submissions, 10 of the best entries were short-listed through the internal jury team from The Tree House and Automobile Corporation of Pakistan. The main jury then selected the Competition Winner and Most Innovative Design.

On 2nd June 2016, we hosted the ‘Moving People, Changing Minds’ event to inform the public about the need and importance of accessible transport for persons with disabilities, as well as to announce the ACDC competition winners. This event became a great platform for bringing together representatives from the government, the corporate sector, non-profit organizations, the media, and educational institutes. Taufeeq, an aspiring entrepreneur from Abbottabad, attained first position in the competition, and brought home the grand prize amount of Rs 200,000. Furthermore, The Most Innovative design was also recognized and awarded Rs. 100,000 prize money to the team of students from PNEC NUST Karachi consisting of Daim, Bayan, Ahsan and Danish. The top 30 designs from the competition were also exhibited at the event. Our very own Imran, Program Supervisor and person with disability, also developed a cycle prototype which was displayed and given an honorary mention.

As mentioned in the preceding report, the Accessible Cycle Design Challenge is the first phase in this larger journey that we’ve embarked on titled “Accessible Cycle Project”; a journey motivated by your gracious support. Second and third phases would be the Prototype Development of the winning design and the Market Availability of the accessible cycles, respectively. However, before they are mass produced and marketed, 40 of the winning design’s cycles will be developed and provided to deserving persons with lower-limb impairments, which they will keep free of cost, to gauge the effect on their lives.

CHIEF Survey conducted among those with physical, hearing, and visual impairments

The Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors (CHIEF) Survey was developed in 1997 to provide a new type of instrument that allows the quantification of Environmental Factors and leads to a better understanding of the degree to which elements of the environment impede or facilitate the lives of persons with disabilities through the assessment of societal, infrastructural, and policy barriers. We conducted this survey from March to May among 90 persons with physical, hearing, and visual impairments and are in process of compiling a comprehensive report for future interventions.

Facilitating research for Access Exchange International

We drafted a chapter for Access Exchange International’s Guide for the Transport of Children with Disabilities to Schools and are in the process of developing another.

Rickshaw Replicas

Our team continued adding artistic elements to the rickshaw replicas, which features short stories of them and their peers with disabilities, and symbolizes our message of mobility. Furthermore, this time round a big corporate order was received and our team enjoyed playing with colors and elements to give it the perfect look.

Yearlong Advocacy Campaign planned to commence from July 2016

We have outlined, prepared, and carefully organized an extensive and essential yearlong advocacy campaign for the mobility of persons with disabilities. Coalition and network building, grassroots organizing and mobilization, social media campaigns, guerrilla awareness activities, policy research, lobbying, and litigation are just some of the ways we intend to further our cause and bring about legislative changes that will benefit persons with disabilities.

Beneficiary quotes, testimonials and stories

ACDC:

“There are very limited competitions that are so elaborate that they involve a lot of teamwork, motivation, skill and social welfare. To top it off it has a prize on it to create that immense competition that something is really bound to come out of it.” – Abdullah & Team, ACDC participants

“Your organization is really an inspiration for those who set the same vision as yours. I am proud of myself to take part in this competition.” – Rubab, Student at NEDUET Karachi and ACDC participant

“While working on this project I realized that disability was just a perspective because we have failed to integrate those individuals into our society. Had it been easier for them to mobilize, we might have not ended up alienating them. No one can call me disabled despite my faulty vision because these glasses help me cross that barrier.”– Taufeeq, Winner ACDC

“Tens of millions of people globally need a device such as this. Absolutely brilliant design work which could be a successful company" – Mr. Matt, instructor at D-Lab Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and jury member of the competition

“Some of the materials supplied were so good that they could almost be mistaken as sales brochures for a finished product. Congratulations to all involved” – Ms. Alice, Globally recognized assistive technology expert, Founder HIS Wheels International and jury member of the competition

"This is a very good initiative. I am constantly reminded that people of Pakistan can really work hard.” - Mr. Shahid, seasoned Pakistani Architect and jury member of the competition

CHIEF Survey:

“I live in Korangi and have worked for 6 years in [the] packing industry. I had a lot of colleagues who were people with disabilities but we all got laid off since our company could not afford our transportation to and from the factory.” – Eliyas, person with visual impairment said.

“The biggest hurdle that I face in my life is to step outside of my own home. Even today, I am not empowered with respect to my mobility. I have to ask my family for transportation and that is not taken well. Such [an] attitude is really disheartening.” - Person with a physical impairment said.

 

Our ongoing efforts in our continuous endeavour to mobilize persons with disabilities is driven by our unyielding vision to facilitate and ensure their equal access to opportunities and integration into society. Your contributions are greatly appreciated and your continuous support shall aid our aim in the greatest possible way. Thank you!

Most Innovative Design team from NUST Karachi
Most Innovative Design team from NUST Karachi
A houseful with designs exhibition at the back!
A houseful with designs exhibition at the back!
Imran receiving an honorable mention for prototype
Imran receiving an honorable mention for prototype
Engineering & Architecture students & Chief Guests
Engineering & Architecture students & Chief Guests
Rickshaw Replicas decorated by our team!
Rickshaw Replicas decorated by our team!

Links:

May 31, 2016

Giving identities to 200 Persons with Disabilities

Applicants wait with their guardians
Applicants wait with their guardians

“I was told by a friend to come here and get my son’s Special CNIC made. This is a very good initiative as we are treated in a very respectful manner and the process is quick so we can avoid the hassle of going to different Government offices and waiting for long”, exclaimed Bilawal at the Special Computerized National Identity Card Registration Camp 2016 organized at our office in Saddar, Karachi on 17th March 2016.

Shafqat, whose daughter suffers from disabilities, reinforced the remark above - “I cannot bear the long process of visiting different departments. It takes months to complete the process, but here all the work has been done in a single day.”

With gracious encouragement from supporters like you, this was the first Special CNIC Camp of 2016 we organized in collaboration with four Government departments which were Social Welfare Department, Health Department, Employment Exchange Department and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). 200 applicants from our partner organisations, namely Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF), Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) and Aga Khan Social Welfare Board (AKSWB) were invited and accomodated at given time slots to get their Special CNICs processed.

A cumbersome process was made smooth with the help of our team and volunteers by ensuring all required documents were checked at the reception desk, applicants data was collected (also to aid our employment database and research), refreshment tokens were issued and applicants were directed to the relevant rooms for processing of their Special CNICs. The employment exchange cards were processed first after which medical assessments led to the processing of disability certificates. Finally, the applicants were able to apply for their SCNICs with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

Our team of staff members and volunteers ensured that during the camp feedback was taken from the applicants/persons with disabilities and their guardians for future camps. Some of the comments/observations were as follows:

“People over here are very courteous and talk very nicely with us. We are very happy”, the father of a person with disability exclaimed.

“The facilities are all under one roof, which is a great initiative. There are very few programs like these happening in our country.” said Asif, student at Society for Rehabilitation of Special Children (SRSC).

Abdul, who suffers from speech impairment, showed a ‘thumbs up’ sign to gesture that he has completed the obstacles to get his SCNIC.

Prominent personalities from the Government and Media dropped by at the event to show their support and for coverage. They all agreed that for the most of us, living in perfect health, thinking about persons with disabilities does not form part of our consciousness. Persons with disabilities are often ignored, neglected or are castrated from society altogether, which is alarming especially when it is a well known fact that Pakistan has one of the largest population of persons with disabilities in the world. However, according to them, there is hope as there are organizations and institutes like ours (NOWPDP) that cater to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities.

In the words of an elderly person on a wheelchair who came to get his SCNIC processed, “I do not even know the benefits this Special Identity Card has” – a challenge NOWPDP looks forward to taking up simultaneously whilst countering the low number of SCNIC registrations.

SCNIC Registration Desk
SCNIC Registration Desk
SCNIC Process
SCNIC Process
Taking feedback from applicants & their guardians
Taking feedback from applicants & their guardians
Hosting Government representatives
Hosting Government representatives
Our Senior Manager speaking with Media
Our Senior Manager speaking with Media
Guiding applicants & guardians in Sign Language
Guiding applicants & guardians in Sign Language
Asif from SRSC School
Asif from SRSC School

Links:

May 2, 2016

Creative young minds hard at work! - May 2016

Students hard at work at screen printing training
Students hard at work at screen printing training

Dear Supporters,

Your continued support towards training students with disabilities, from our partner schools, to learn the skills of weaving and textile design has been our biggest motivation in achieving our goals in the first semester.

The training sessions were initiated at three schools, beginning from February. The three month long training now draws to an end in all three schools, which will be culminated by an exhibition to promote and encourage the hard work of our trainees.

With your generous support and motivation, we have been able to touch the lives of 70 students with disabilities to enhance their skills and have a positive impact on their psychological wellbeing

Weaving Training:
Weaving training sessions are being conducted at two schools with students with intellectual impairment and multiple impairment. The training is designed to help children with disabilities to develop a sense of confidence and belief in their own abilities. Moreover, there is notable improvement in their fine and gross motor hand movements. Students with intellectual and/or multiple impairments have much to learn from these training based on their day-to-day conduct and personal growth. The training was instrumental in improving their behavior at home and at school. Weaving training also helps students in maintaining focus and attention. Students looked forward to their training sessions, completing their projects and making new intricate designs.

Textile Design Training:
Textile design training involves techniques like doodling and screen printing, which was imparted to students with hearing and speech impairments. The training is designed to equip students with skills that are relevant in the market. The training was more focused towards apparel and its specific style of design.  Students enjoyed learning the techniques of doodling and screen printing and were excited to prepare the final product. An exhibition was also organized by the school to sell the prepared apparel line, which was a great success!

Way Forward:

Based on the learning gathered from the training, the textile design module is being modified to introduce computer-based designing as a part of the textile design course. We are also planning on taking more schools on board for textile design.

Beneficiaries:

Weaving Training:

“We have noticed an improvement in Maham’s fine motor skills, she can now grip much better than before because of the weaving training.” – Maham’s mother

“Involuntary movements are also controlled through these activities, as well as fine and gross motor skills of these trainees.” Dr. Shaista, Occupational therapist at a partner school.

Success Story – Textile Design and Screen Printing

ANUM

Anum is one of our success stories at our partner school. Anum has a mild intellectual impairment and has been in training with heARTwork since a year. Due to her constant improvement and grasp of designing skills, Anum has been promoted from weaving training to textile design. She can work with different textile techniques, including patchwork, weaving and design composition.

Anum is a team player and helps out her peers in design development. She works with the most challenging patterns and layouts, surprising us with her incredible work. She is an inspiration to all students in training, and hopes that some day she can become a designer.

 

Thank you for supporting the students with disabilities in this venture to give them a chance for a better, brighter future!

 
   

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