Islamabad, November 23, 2020 (PPI-OT): Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has said that integration of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) into the society was imperative to capitalizing their potentials. He said that their digitalized integration would enhance socio-economic inclusion. He emphasized to ensure the registration of PWDs on priority to have an accumulated data for effective policy making for them. He expressed these views while launching the Mobile App “EQUAL ACCESS” for PWDs to bridge the gap between PWDs and services available for them in Parliament House, today.
Speaker Asad Qaiser while addressing the ceremony attended by a large number of PWDs appreciated the efforts of Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP), British Council and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), for developing the Mobile Application for PWDs “Equal Access”. Referring to the enactment of Law on protection of rights of PWD by the National Assembly and constitution of Parliamentary Committee in that regard, said that legislature would always stand with the PWDs for their inclusion in the society as productive members through effective policy, Legislation and oversight on its implementation.
Executive Director STEP, Mr. Ali Sheikh speaking on the occasion said that content of the APP has been developed by PWDs themselves having personal experiences and professional background of working directly with disabled people in diversified communities across the country. Mark Crossey, Deputy Director British Council said that Equal Access App is built on through excellent Multi-stakeholders partnership, addressing diversity and the inclusion of PWDs. He said that they would continue this initiative which is in line with achieving “Build Back Better” toward achievement of the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Director Project STEP Ms. Abia Akram, who herself is a PWD acknowledged the contribution and support of British Council and PTA. She mentioned that this initiative will be the bench mark for many developing countries in the world. PTA Chairman Maj. General (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa said the he appreciated the British Council and STEP for their valuable contribution in the development of this Mobile APP. Later, apprising the features of the APP, the Executive Director STEP informed that the app will provide information in accessible formats including Sign Language Interpretation, Sound Description, Dark Mode and resizable text formats.
He said that this app contains information related to disability services, disability stakeholder’s information and laws related to disability. The initiative Equal access is supported by British Council AAWAZ-II programme which is a five year programme working with the local communities in KPK and Punjab Provinces to promote Rights of children, women, and youth and other marginalized groups including PWDs, Minorities and Transgender persons to strengthen their control over their own development.
For more information, contact:
National Assembly of Pakistan
National Assembly Secretariat,
Islamabad – Pakistan