New Delhi, India
EquallyAble is proud to announce the successful completion of its first Bridging the Gap project, which empowered children with disabilities to get to school in the urban slums of Delhi, India.
Done in partnership with ASTHA, an Indian organization focused on the education of children with disabilities, the project identified and eliminated walkability barriers; educated persons with disabilities and their families on accessibility rights and solutions; and, disseminated best practices through media and meetings with public officials.
Urban slums are characterized by extremely narrow uneven lanes with crisscrossing open drains, heaps of garbage, and industrial waste making them difficult for children with mobility and other impairments to navigate. Most children in the slum areas walk to schools as very little transport is available.
This project began by conducting an access and walkability audit that mapped the most used routes to school and identified obstacles on them to persons with disabilities. Practical, low-cost solutions to the obstacles were then developed and implemented, including items like grates over deep channels in the pavement and bridges over open ditches.
Parents and the local community were involved in the project from the start. Numerous meetings and discussions were conducted. Topics ranged from the rights of children with disabilities, to access to education, rules and laws, accessibility, safe walkability, and the safety and security of children while going to school.
The project finished by disseminating its results and lessons for the benefit of other communities. Four short films were made, and public meetings were held with local officials and members of the Legislative Assembly to urge them to address the needs of children with disabilities in accessing education.
Bridging the Gap Awards
EquallyAble established these awards in collaboration with Access Exchange International to promote the recommendations and best practices laid out in the groundbreaking book Bridging the Gap: Your role in transporting children with disabilities to school in developing countries. The awards are designed to support creative solutions to challenges children with disabilities face in getting to school every day. As with all our work, EquallyAble is working with partners on replicable, scalable solutions to multiply the good each of your dollars is doing.