Making Workplace Accessible: NOWPDP unveils a Model Workplace for People with Disabilities

Karachi, Pakistan, March 5: The Network of Organizations Working with People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) unveiled a model Accessible Workplace in Karachi today. The workplace was created as part of I AM KARACHI, a campaign that inculcates hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi to collectively strive for a peaceful city.

Based on the Accessibility Code of Pakistan 2006, the model workplace comprises tactile flooring, reflective surfaces and braille embossed signs to improve access for people with visual impairments; and ramps, grab rails, lower switchboards to improve access for people with mobility impairments. Restrooms and workstations have also been modified to be more accessible, particularly for wheelchair users.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Omair Ahmad, Director NOWPDP said “NOWPDP is striving to create an environment that makes Karachi more accessible for people with disabilities and the Model Accessible Workplace is a testament to that commitment. The workplace demonstrates how barriers to access can easily be removed or lessened through simple modifications to an environment. ”

Honorary Secretary of the Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP), Mr. Ramiz Baig, highlighted the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities. He said that “NOWPDP’s efforts in creating an accessible workplace that can be taken as a model of inclusion by other organizations and institutions is commendable.”

Founding Chairman NOWPDP, Mr. Amin Hashwani, said that “people with disabilities could flourish and live as active, contributing members in our society if their rights were respected and equal access in society granted.” He added that people with disabilities can prove to be vocal and vibrant peace ambassadors for I AM KARACHI. “We are all committed to reclaim the peaceful city of old for both people with and without disabilities,” he said.

The Model Accessible Workplace is a natural fit to I AM KARACHI as disability is a cross-cutting issue, with all ages, genders, religions and ethnicities represented; the campaign is inclusive for all. The I AM KARACHI campaign aims at inculcating hope, pride and ownership in the citizens of Karachi and therefore it is imperative not to  neglect people with disabilities when making a concerted attempt for restoring peace in the city.

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