Toolkit on Enhancing Accessibility in Schools launched at World Habitat Day 2023
09 October 2023: During the World Habitat Day 2023 celebrations by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs at New Delhi, the Honourable Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, the Secretary, MoHUA, Shri Manoj Joshi, and the UN Resident Coordinator in India Mr. Shombi Sharp launched the "Toolkit on Enhancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Schools".
This Toolkit has been developed through a collaboration between UN-Habitat India and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur under a city-level initiative titled “Enhancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Schools’’. It is an endeavour to sensitise all stakeholders that are part of the school ecosystem on barrier-free and accessible schools for all, especially for children with disabilities.
As part of the city-level initiative, pilot training programmes were conducted in December 2022 in 2 schools that fall under the jurisdiction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). This included training sessions for the awareness and sensitization of students, parents, caregivers, special educators, school faculty and staff, and school management authorities. The content of the training modules and learning materials utilised during the sessions have undergone a peer-review process through several stakeholder consultations with sector experts, organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), policy institutions, and UN agencies, among others. The training modules are being designed as a self-paced online course which will be accessible on an international learning platform and which can also be incorporated into school curriculums.
This Toolkit builds on the e-training modules and has been developed as a “Hands-on Practical Guide” primarily targeted towards technical experts (including architects, engineers, planners) involved in the design, construction, and management of accessible built infrastructure and assets in schools. Though the focus of the Toolkit is on schools, this document can be adapted for preparing similar toolkits and guiding documents for other building typologies with minor modifications.
This document has been developed under the umbrella project ‘Mainstreaming Leave No One Behind (LNOB) in National Urban Policies and Programmes in South Asia’. In partnership between UN-Habitat, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (UNOICT), the project focuses on mainstreaming disability inclusion in four South Asian countries – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.