Updated Mar 29, 2019

Visibility to increase sensitisation among the community towards wheelchair user

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HqK8u-ZpxQKfEbzIlnxSG7ypzvSAyLaD/view

Regular visibility of wheelchair users in the community can increase sensitisation and help in reducing stigma thereby reducing inequality faced by wheelchair users.

Similar studies have been done to reduce stigma associated with wheelchair users and the concept proposed by them is that of frequent contact. However, frequent contact has its own drawbacks as it might not be perceived to be comfortable and pleasing to all individuals within the community as different people have different ideas of how much personal space they would be willing to share with st...
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Similar studies have been done to reduce stigma associated with wheelchair users and the concept proposed by them is that of frequent contact. However, frequent contact has its own drawbacks as it might not be perceived to be comfortable and pleasing to all individuals within the community as different people have different ideas of how much personal space they would be willing to share with strangers, let alone those on wheelchairs. Contact can also be perceived negatively as something similar to physically helping wheelchair users by lifting them or pushing their wheelchairs because they are dependent which ultimately brings us back to the charity model and does not empower the wheelchair user as such. Our idea is to empower the wheelchair user and at the same time make the community aware of the fact that the wheelchair user can be independent by himself or herself to go out into the community without any assistance. Hence the visibility will foster an impressive impression within their minds, propelling them to change their existing ideologies regarding wheelchair users. This is different from the above mentioned contact theory, which though efficient, can be highly subjective and negatively perceived.
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Stage 2: Research & Development

Focus Areas:

Health, Disability and Social and Behavior Change

Health, Disability and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

India

IndiaSEE LESS

1
Country Implemented In

Problem

The idea specifically targets the core challenge faced by differently abled people in the society especially in a lower to middle income country which is stigmatisation. This leads to frustration, negligence and a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness among wheelchair users no matter what their level of independence on the wheelchair might be. In turn, it forces them to stay at home, unable to seek for equal employment, education, recreational and societal participation opportunities. We propose that regular and frequent use of wheelchair as the primary source of mobility within the vicinity and neighborhood of the individual will sensitise the public around thereby making the society more accepting and inclusive of wheelchair users. Once this is established in the neighborhood or nearby areas, it can be scaled to other public places as well.

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Solution

Frequent visibility while wheelchair users carry out their daily routines in the neighbourhood will reduce the sense of awe or pity associated with wheelchair users. Our motive is to instill the idea within commoners that people on wheelchair can also be independent in their daily routines. This will in turn lead to more acceptance rather than pity or a charity based model which is frequently associated with wheelchair users in lower middle income countries where knowledge and awareness about disabilities still remains very poor. It also will provide a sense of empowerment to the wheelchair user, thus enabling him or her to frequently go outdoors and eventually engage in societal participation.

Planned Goals and Milestones

This idea has been successfully tried on wheelchair users within a community in New Delhi where they were asked to go out on a wheelchair within the community on a daily basis for 3 months and there was a significant change in the attitude of the common people in the surrounding environment which was identified by interview method and a simple retrospective questionnaire. The next step is to quantify the data using standardized tools to measure the level of stigma and compare it to the initial stages.
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted250

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
India