Independent Living means controlling and directing your own life. It means taking risks and being allowed to succeed and fail on your own terms. It means participating in community life and pursuing activities of your own choosing. Independent Living is knowing what choices are available, selecting what is right for you, and taking responsibility for your own actions.
For people with disabilities affecting their ability to make complicated decisions or pursue complex activities, independent living means being as self-sufficient as possible. It means being able to exercise the greatest degree of choice in where you live, with whom you live, how to live, where you work, with whom you work and how to use your time.
Independent Living Training teaches everyday life skills and is often provided by people with disabilities. Training may include budgeting, meal preparation, arranging transportation, or personal assistance services, job seeking, and self-advocacy. Information and Referral Services aim to provide individuals with resources and options that may be necessary in making informed choices about living, learning, and working independently. Independent Living training useful for individuals with disabilities and community organizations to promote full inclusion of people with disabilities at all level.
Saaya Center for Independent living took initiative to organize awareness Session on Disability and Independent Living on monthly basis in collaboration with HANDS under the umbrella of CBID Network on Monthly basis for persons with disabilities, women with disabilities volunteers, NGOs DPOS and Community Mobilizers and local community.
Keeping in this view Saaya has organized one day awareness Session on Disability and Independent Living on 12th Oct, 2017 at Saaya Center for Independent living located in I-10/4 Islamabad.
The session was started with recitation of Holy Quran. The participants has introduced themselves and presented his/her name, designation, and role in their native organization.
Ms. Saima Aslam (Director Projects) shared the aims and objective to the participants. She explained that this session is to create an understanding and conceptual clarity on disability. The session was also conducted to motivate persons with disabilities and their families regarding their needs and living priorities. Also how to take care of Persons with Disabilities so that they may spend their life in a dignified manner.
She also explained to participants regarding the understanding on disability. She said, include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on and equal basis with others survive as an honorable individual without any dependence upon others as well as to eliminate the factor of sympathetic attitude in Society for persons with disabilities.
The overall objectives were:
- Understanding on disability, a conceptual clarity.
- To mainstream persons with Disability in development.
- To promote an inclusive development approach
- Empowerment of persons with Disabilities to become agents of change
Mr. Asim Zafar shared that the estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as access to justice. He said that persons with disabilities must be able to fulfill their role in society and participate on an equal basis with others. It is important to focus on the ability and not on the disability of an individual. Often, the societal image of persons with disabilities is impacted by attitudes based on stigma and discrimination, as well as archaic ideas about disability and persons with disabilities that are often the greatest barrier to their full and equal participation in society and development on an equal basis with others. He also highlighted comprehensive details about the issues that persons with disabilities are facing in their daily life activities; it is time to create awareness among general people and to train persons with disabilities accordingly so that they can survive as an independent human being. He said that these following areas needs to be addressed at all level.
Mr. Kamran shared with the member of DPOs regarding the role & function of DPOs .He shared the last ten years disabled people have organized themselves into their own organizations in 100 countries. Disabled people’s organizations are those controlled by a majority (51%) at the board and membership levels. Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) considers the role of organizations of disabled people to be the most fundamental issue for the disabled person’s movement.
The role of these organizations includes providing a voice of their own, identifying needs, expressing views on priorities, evaluating services and advocating change and public awareness. As a vehicle of self-development, these organizations provide the opportunity to develop skills in the negotiation process, organizational abilities, mutual support, information sharing and often vocational skills and opportunities. In view of their vital importance in the process of participation.
Ms. Ayesha also shared her life experience to the participants. She said it is very difficult for girls with disabilities to get education in normal school due to non-accessible Environment. But after joining this center I have learn how to manage life with disability. Now I am living independently with my family. I am enjoy my life with different life style.
In the end Mr. Asim Zafar thanked to all the participants, organizers and especially HANDS Pakistan for the great support.