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Citywise inclusive initiatives this Global Accessibility Awareness Day

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the Association of People with Disability (APD), a pioneering Bengaluru-based NGO, is organising a series of engaging and immersive activities throughout the city on Thursday, May 16, to highlight the importance of digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 16: On Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the Association of People with Disability (APD), a pioneering Bengaluru-based NGO, is organising a series of engaging and immersive activities throughout the city on Thursday, May 16, to highlight the importance of digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

The concept of accessibility encompasses the ability to navigate environments without physical and attitudinal barriers. In line with this, APD has launched ‘Yes To Access’, a transformative project designed to make society more accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities. As part of this initiative, ‘experience zones’ will be set up at key locations in the city including Lulu Mall, Wipro’s Sarjapur and Kodathi campus, MS Ramaiah Campus, and Nexus Koramangala.

These pop-ups are crafted as immersive experiences that allow members of the public to explore the lives of people with disabilities such as visual impairment, speech and hearing impairment, and locomotor disability, by virtually “walking a mile in their shoes”. The pop-ups will be open from 10 AM to 7 PM across locations.

Celebrated globally on the third Thursday of May each year, GAAD emphasises the need for enhanced accessibility for individuals with disabilities. APD aims to capture the public’s attention and promote awareness through these citywide events. 

Additionally, in collaboration with the Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, Government of Karnataka, APD is facilitating GAAD events across districts in Karnataka; Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur, Kolar, Vijayanagar, Ramanagara, Chitradurga and Tumkur on the day. 

“With this hands-on approach, we aim to foster understanding and empathy, encouraging the general public to engage openly and ask questions, thus raising awareness and sensitivity towards the needs of people with disabilities. Moreover, it is crucial to recognise that the challenges of accessibility affect not only those with permanent disabilities but also the elderly and those with temporary disabilities,” said Dr NS Senthil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of People with Disability (APD). 

Despite the existing empathy and regulatory frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016, and the Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), a nationwide campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), people with disabilities and the elderly are largely invisible and marginalised because societal barriers prevent their full participation and inclusion. By addressing these issues through public engagement and awareness campaigns, APD hopes to enhance visibility and drive societal change.

About The Association of People with Disability (APD) 

APD is a pioneering non-profit organisation, established in 1959 by the Late MS. N. S. Hema. APD has impacted over 7 lakh People with Disability from underprivileged communities from remote, rural, and poor socioeconomic backgrounds. Various programs by APD cover 21 disabilities stated in the RPWD Act 2016. With a diverse and inclusive team of over 330 members (45% Women and 30% PwDs), APD reaches out to over 1,00,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, annually.

APD is managed by a professional team of developmental and technical experts overseen by an eminent Board of Governors and Trustees. The Association maintains the highest standard of governance, has been acknowledged by multiple donors, and is accredited by independent agencies like the TISS, Credibility Alliance, RCI, and NIPMAN Foundation.

To learn more, visit – https://www.apd-india.org/

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