International Day of Persons with Disabilities Celebrated At Pakistan Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, Islamabad

“In our daily life, we just look for disability in any Special Person just to categorize as disabled instead of his/her abilities. There is only one thing to change and that is our attitude to the persons with disabilities.” Mr. Asim Zafar, a well known activist and social worker, Head CBID , shared his experiences at the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities at Pakistan Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences.

The United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons was held from 1983 to 1992 to enable governments and organizations to implement measures to improve the life of disabled persons all over the world. On October 14, 1992, as this decade drew to a close, the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day was first observed on December 3, 1992. On December 18, 2007, the assembly changed the observance’s name from the “International Day of Disabled Persons” to the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. The new name was first used in 2008. The annual observance of the Day aims to increase awareness and understanding of disability issues and trends, and to mobilize support for practical action at all levels by, with and for persons with disabilities.

Pakistan Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, organized a program at its campus at ISRA University Islamabad Campus, Islamabad on 3rd December 2014 to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities among students, professionals and general public. The major focus was the advocacy for care and understanding of disabled and issues related accessibility among PWDs in Pakistan.

The occasion was honored by Mr. Khalid Naeem (Ex. Director General, Directorate of Special Education), Mr. Asim Zafar (CBID), Mr. Altaf G Sheikh (Pro Vice Chancellor, ISRA University, Islamabad Campus), Mr. Farhat Abbass (Editor , Montly Pakistan Special) , Mr. Sohail Ayaz Khan (CEO, CHEF International), Mr. Umar Farooq(CBM),Dr. Muhammad Naveed Babar (Principal, IIRS), Col (Rt) Noor (Medical Superintendent, Al-Nafees Medical College) Brig (Rt) P.B Khokhar Executive Director Al-Nafees Medical College) Raheem Buksh Channa( Registrar, Al-Nafees Medical College) & Dr. Farrukh Seir (Executive Director .PIRS). Large number of Students, professionals and general public attended the program. Participants from Directorate General of Special Education and National Special education Center for Physically handicapped Children also attended the program.

Students of all the three faculties (Vision Sciences, Audiology, & Orthotics Prosthetics) at PIRS, presented the importance and role of their disciplines to improve the living of persons with disabilities. Skits and speeches by young professionals were highly appreciated by audience.
An impressive and exclusive thought provoking speech was delivered by Mr. Asim Zafar regarding the attitudes, accessibility and conditions of persons with disabilities in Pakistan. His presence at the event admires all the audience to help and support the PWDs.

Mr. Farhat Abbass, Editor , Monthly Pakistan Special , shared his thoughts about role of media for development and awareness about the problems of PWDs at vast level. He also introduced the efforts and achievements of Pakistan Special in last 15 years. Dr. Muhammad Naveed Babar, Principal, IIRS, showed his concerns towards the collective role of Rehabilitation Team for Community based Rehabilitation.

Mr. Khalid Naeem, in his speech, shared his valuable experiences during his 35 years of services at Department of Special Education. He explored the new dimensions of understanding the disabilities and PWDs. He emphasized on the importance of prevention in the society from disabilities. At the end, Executive Director, Pakistan Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences, Dr. Farrukh Seir, in his vote of thanks, introduced the PIRS, its objectives and achievements regarding Disabilities and PWDs. He urged all the students to feel the true emotions of PWDs, to achieve the best out of their professional knowledge and skills in practical life. He showed his gratitude to all honorable guests and professionals to strengthen the efforts of PIRS for PWDs. Poster Competition was also the part of this program. Nearly 35 posters were submitted by Students to promote the disabilities & accessibility issues in Pakistan. After the program all the participants among the honorable guests visited the exhibition hall. The efforts of students were highly appreciate by every one.

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