Bengaluru-based NGO sets up experience zones to help navigate challenges of PwD

Individuals had to engage with a screen reader, navigate an obstacle course blindfolded, and even learn to communicate using sign language.
A young girl tries to use the wheelchair to experience mobility challenge at one of the experince zones
A young girl tries to use the wheelchair to experience mobility challenge at one of the experince zonesPhoto | Express

BENGALURU: Association of People with Disability (APD), a Bengaluru-based NGO set up experience zones across the city, to highlight the challenges faced by people with disabilities on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. These experience zones were set up at Lulu Mall, Nexus Koramangala, Ramaiah College of Law, and Wipro campuses in Kodathi and Sarjapur Road.

Through the experience zones people got a chance to explore the lives of people with disabilities such as visual impairment, speech and hearing impairment, and other disabilities. Through this activity, APD aims to create awareness towards the challenges faced by people with disabilities, and their needs.

Individuals had to engage with a screen reader, navigate an obstacle course blindfolded, and even learn to communicate using sign language. Additionally, visitors sat in wheelchairs to experience mobility challenges first-hand.

“We had seen people in wheelchairs, but never actually experienced it. As we experienced it for the first time, I realized it’s how difficult it is to navigate in the wheelchair. From a third person’s view point, using a wheelchair doesn’t look so hard. We understand the challenge only when we try it ourself,” said a participant at the experience zone in Nexus Koramangala.

The organisation, in collaboration with the department of empowerment of differently-abled and senior citizens, Government of Karnataka, organised similar events across nine districts - Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur, Kolar, Vijayanagar, Ramanagara, Chitradurga, and Tumakuru.

Despite existing regulations, people with disabilities are often ignored. APD’s project - Yes to Access - aims to bridge this gap by starting a conversation and raising public awareness, said Prerana George, a staff member at APD.

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