Published by africanews
March 09 2016- Go to Original Source
An award-winning initiative by an Egyptian NGO is enhancing the mobility of persons with disabilities. The initiative is being implemented by Helm, which started out as a club at the American University in Cairo.
The group builds ramps and trains persons with disabilities in an attempt to help them have greater access.
The society itself needs to be prepared more than people with vision and other disabilities or the disabled. Persons with disabilities are people just like everybody else, but the problem is that the society itself needs to be taught how to deal with all of the different factions
Six governorates in Egypt have since September 2014 been training people with vision disabilities in a bid to make them employable. The project is being jointly undertaken by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
“The idea of accessibility is one that a lot of people think is just about ramps, that we can just build a ramp and resolve the problem of persons with disabilities in Egypt. But that is not true, because accessibility as we define it, is any obstacle a person faces in their daily lives, and this obstacle is not in the person himself, it is in the environment around them,” Ramez Maher, Co-founder of Helm said.
The project trains employers and co-workers on how to handle persons with disabilities.
“The society itself needs to be prepared more than persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities are people just like everybody else, but the problem is that the society itself needs to be taught how to deal with all of the different factions,” said a blind trainee, Shehab Al-Omda.
Egypt’s 2014 constitution requires the creation of a favourable environment that will allow persons with disabilities enjoy their rights.
“This is a clear acknowledgment, for the first time, that the state is making itself responsible to treat the disabled as citizens who are equal with everybody else and that it is right to reach everywhere and enjoy the services and its luxuries and be able to reach information,” Ashraf Marei, Secretary General of the National Council for Disability said.
The exact number of persons with disabilities in Egypt is unknown.