SAMANTA - Equality and accessibility for all - None left behind

The recent statistics published by the CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) – 2011 of Nepal, recorded 513,321 people suffering from different types of disabilities. Due to the Maoist conflict which engulfed Nepal as well as the recent earthquakes, the number is likely to rise in the future. Therefore, a strong consideration is required to provide accessible infrastructures for the disabled population and give them a sense of independent survival. The new structures especially the public and government buildings need to be accessible for all irrespective of any disabilities. Another important factor are the roads and the pavements which I have noticed are not at all wheelchair accessible and most government buildings have similar situations as well. Besides the physical structures the information technology services provided by the government agencies as well as the private and public sectors also lack to provide such accessibility features. American Disability Act (ADA) and European Standard designed by ETSI for procurement of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) provide guidelines to obtain accessible technologies. Therefore, the procurement, rebuilding and development processes must incorporate accessibility features in planning, designing and building physical structures as well as ICT infrastructures which can ensure equal participation from all the citizens and also emphasizes safety for all, even under natural calamities like the one we have faced recently.

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@suraz_shrs I really like the topic you chose for the challenge. Seems to me after over 3 months of exploring Kathmandu that the city obviously is light years away from what needs to be done - hence the number of people with disabilities you see moving around the capital is very small. Another problems is lack of relevant and up-to-date statistics, which would give the exact numbers of inhabitants of the city to start with, then - bring it down to numbers of people with certain types of disabilities. Then, there will be need for technical,psychological, social, economical assistance to make their lives more bearable.

Do you know any groups that either work with people with disabilities or are involved in lobbying for their rights somehow? I would be more than curious to hear about the ways they try to include and empower them. If you, yourself, are involved in this kind of social work, I would be extremely grateful to hear what is happening on this battlefield? How do people lobby for these particular rights? What kind of steps are being taken by the authorities?

As we know, it’s not about good practices as much as about implementation - we all know of countries with great educational systems, or with great healthcare - but the problem is how do other countries get there? Somehow replication of good practices is neither obvious nor easy in many places. I wonder what would be the right tactic for Nepal.