Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Supporting businesses in creating accessible workplaces and infrastructure

NOWPDP is an NGO working on disability inclusion initiatives. Based in Karachi, Pakistan, the organization started a comprehensive project for public space and workplace accessibility and inclusion in 2012, and since then more than 50 locations have been adapted. To date, more than 2,000 persons with disabilities have benefitted, and 30 branches of a bank, along with the head-offices of multinational companies have been made accessible.

“NOWPDP in collaboration with Abu Dawood Group has made special accessibility arrangements in the office and given me appropriate transport service.”

Atif JilanyBeneficiary
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Supporting businesses in creating accessible workplaces and infrastructure
Organisation:NOWPDP
Country
of Implementation
Pakistan

FACTS & FIGURES

Until 2017, NOWPDP has:

  • Reviewed more than 100 locations for accessibility, most of which are in the process of or have already become inclusive.
  • Provided workshops and motivational and informational sessions to more than 250 people with disabilities.
  • Supported 10 teams of people with disabilities with funds to start their own businesses.
  • Trained more than 700 children and adults with disparities in various skills.
  • Placed more than 350 persons with disabilities in jobs and internships.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

One of the major barriers for persons with disabilities in Pakistan are restrictions to the built environment due to lack of accessibility. This excludes them from education and employment opportunities and restricts them from being self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

Since 2012, NOWPDP has been working to transform public spaces and workplaces both in the public and private sector. After working on making public spaces accessible, NOWPDP went on to transform its own office into a Model Accessible Workplace. Using this first-hand experience, they then began to offer support services to make other workplaces accessible through a holistic approach, which includes creating accessibility of infrastructure and offering reasonable accommodations, as well as, working on employee attitudes and acceptance through sensitization and sustainable inclusion practices while employing persons with disabilities. In this way, some of the spaces NOWPDP has transformed include 30 branches of HBL, Pakistan’s largest bank, the headquarters of Engro – a multinational company producing fertilizers, food & more, and head offices and locations of Abu Dawood Group and Unilever – Pakistan.

A man on a wheelchair entering a room with accessibility feautures to hold on to. NOWPDP is focusing not only on infrastructure accessibility but also on attitudinal accessibility through advocacy and informational sessions. A major part of this effort is making people and organizations aware of the existing Accessibility code of Pakistan. In addition, the organization is providing relevant and basic sign language training to bank cashiers to be able to accommodate customers with disabilities. NOWPDP also offers the option of certification to organizations that complete disability inclusion projects, which they can opt for at the time for setting terms and conditions. This could then serve as a role model and an incentive for other organizations.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

NOWPDP is replicating its practice already. Based on the self-experience of the first phase of the disability inclusion project, the organization creates customized accessibility solutions for other organizations. A man with visual impairments walking in a room with a yellow guide.
Locally, the practice has been proposed to several organizations, some of which have already began a disability inclusion project.

NOWPDP’s work is funded through grants and crowd funding, and is supported by businesses and organizations that are committed to becoming accessible. For example, HBL funded 40 per cent of the total budget to make 30 of its bank branches across Pakistan accessible at a cost of approximately 28,000 Euro.

CONTACT

Mr. Omair Ahmad
Director, NOWPDP
omair@nowpdp.org
www.nowpdp.org/

FACTSHEET

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