Making schools accessible for children with physical disabilities in Afghanistan
- AOAD - Accessibility Organization for Afghan Disabled
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- South Asia
- Start Year
- First published
“Now many children with disabilities in the war-torn country of Afghanistan can continue their education, and their parents’ and community’s mindset has changed with seeing and believing.” Abdul Khaliq Zazai, Executive Director and Founder, AOAD
As a result of war and other uncertainties over the last four decades, there are currently some 280,000 children with physical disabilities in Afghanistan; and most public buildings, including schools, are not equipped with physical accessibility features.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
AOAD is the first national organization to introduce Universal Design and to create accessible educational environments for children with disabilities. To make public schools accessible, AOAD reached out to accessibility consultations, and local assessments were conducted. The organization then enabled the better inclusion of children with disabilities by equipping schools with accessible ramps, handrails, washing rooms, and drinking water installations. To date, approximately 100 schools have been adapted. The project removed some of the problems of a marginalized, vulnerable, and excluded group in communities where it was implemented. Furthermore, it improved the overall living conditions of people with disabilities and strengthened their independent movement in society. As a result, more than 3,000 children with disabilities have been able to attend school and access education, and 108 staff members (including teachers) were given trainings and workshops on the facilities provided. The project has created awareness among policy makers, and a regulation with new building codes for physical accessibility regarding public buildings was introduced.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project receives funding from the non-profit organizations Association for Aid and Relief Japan, ABILIS Foundation from Netherland and Cordaid from Holland; the embassies of France, Finland and the Netherlands in Afghanistan; the United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan and the US Department of State Weapons Removal Abatement (WRA) . The organization has further expanded its project to other provinces, including Pawan, Laghman, Nengarhar, Kuner, Helmand, and Herat. Other countries in the region, such as Pakistan, India, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also shown interest.