Removing barriers to create an inclusive 

and accessible society for all

Theme for 3 Dec 2012 

(International Day of Persons with Disabilities)

Persons with disabilities (PwD) are not only 15% of the world’s population but also “the world’s largest minority.” For us, the lack of access to essential services remains a source of discrimination and lost opportunities. Barriers exist everywhere in the form of physical, attitudinal/societal or/and inaccess to information technologies (E-inaccessibility). 

The PwD (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act1995 mandates barrier-free access to all public places.  Also, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [(CRPD) Article 9, accessibility] seeks to PwD to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development. Under the CRPD, disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Accessibility and inclusion of PwD are fundamental rights recognized by the CRPD and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights. PwD have infinite abilities and we need to tap this talent. 

To commemorate the International Day of PwD, Enabling Unit in association with Infinite Ability has started an accessibility advocacy campaign “Aagaaz”. 

We advocate Ronald Mace’s concept of Universal Design (the design of all products and environments to be usable by people of all ages and abilities, to the greatest extent possible). 

This concept changes the emphasis from “special features for a few” to “good design for many.” An accessible design is for PwD but a Universal Design is for everyone, including PwD’s.

"If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?"  Gloria Steinem 

"Give me accessibility and I will give you productivity"  Abha Khetarpal

Aagaaz means beginning. It’s never too late to make a start. Let’s unite for the implementation of Article 9 of UNCRPD, and section 46 of the PwD Act1995 to ensure accessibility and inclusion.

As a part of ‘Aagaaz’ we invite you to submit pictures/videos from anywhere in the world depicting a form of inaccessibility or good accessibility. You are welcome to submit photos showing physical barriers, attitudinal barriers or barrier to information technologies. The photographs will be uploaded on Enabling Unit’s Flickr account and linked below. Your submissions are welcome at It’s time to highlight inadequacies and celebrate inclusion. There are no prizes but your small gesture will help in spreading the awareness.
Aagaaz...Enabling Unit, UCMS' items Go to Aagaaz...Enabling Unit, UCMS' photostream
Aagaaz...Enabling Unit, UCMS' items Go to Aagaaz...Enabling Unit, UCMS' photostream

Small beginnings (aagaaz) at UCMS & GTB Hospital 

Physical Barriers 

EU/EOC/24 dt April 9,on the sub-“Scheme for Implementation of PwD, 1995 (SIDPA) – financial assistance from Ministry of SJ & E, New Delhi-proposals-reg” 

EU/EOC/UCMS/32 dt: May 05, marked ‘Urgent’ to the Branch Manager, Canara Bank, GTBH with the sub-"Implementation of Article 9 of UNCRPD, and section 46 of the PwD Act,1995 to ensure accessibility.”

EU/EOC/UCMS/34 dt: May 07, marked ‘Urgent’ to the Executive Engineer (Civil) with the subject- “Reminder: Barrier free building under SIDPA”

No.MC/GEN/2012/91dt 8 May to Medical Superintendent, GTB Hospital on the subject-“Inaccessibility of the first floor post office to PwD".

No.MC/GEN/2012/91dt 10 May marked ‘urgent’ to the Executive Engineer (Civil) and (Electrical) on the subject-“Action report on activities of Enabling Unit, UCMS from June 2011-April 2012.

                                                                            ...and more 

             Attitudinal Barriers  

Counselor for students with disabilities vide EU/EOC/UCMS/2 dt 20 June 2011

Leniency towards students with disabilities vide MC/Acad/EOC/2011 dt 23 Nov 2011

Faculty supervised near peer mentoring- Medical Education Unit

Introduction of 'psychological injury' in WHO PCI mutlidisciplinary module for VIth semester students


"Accessible websites'' proposal under SIDPA faxed through Principal to Joint Secy

Coming Up...

Workshops, Confluence (Medical Humanities lecture series), symposia to mark the theme of IDPwD. Watch this space.

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