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Disability Summit Pakistan
Group Picture Disability Summit Pakistan

A commitment on the rights, freedom, dignity and inclusion of people with disabilities was endorsed today in a summit hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). This summit was organized as a satellite event in connection with the Global Disability Summit which will take place on July 24 in London to mobilize global commitments on disability.

The summit was organized in collaboration with the Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) and Sight savers. A large number of representatives of Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government, media and donors attended the event and discussed measures to improve the lives of those living with any form of disability.

Link to the two day workshop short film:

During the Disability Summit Pakistan, the participants agreed a Charter of Demands as the basis of action for disability inclusion on four key themes; tackling stigma and discrimination, inclusion in education, routes to economic empowerment and harnessing technology and innovation.

Pakistan Mobile App Awards 2016

President Mamnoon Hussain with Disabled persons in PTA Event

President Mamnoon Hussain on Tuesday said that focus on Information Technology (IT) for stability of national economy was must and the use of IT was the need of the hour to inform the young generation about modern learning and research trends.

Addressing the Pakistan Mobile App Awards 2016 ceremony for persons with disability at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts, the president said the government had taken many initiatives for development of information technology in Pakistan, adding that funds had been provided for initiation of different projects regarding 3G and broadband services, which were benefiting distant areas of the country. He said it would be helpful for the overall growth of the sector and would facilitate the common man.

He further said that IT parks, youth training institutions and other relevant initiatives had added a plus in recent development of information technology. For the purpose, he said that IT education has been declared mandatory in initial schooling. Moreover, initiating training programmers in various technical areas was also an encouraging factor. 

Similarly, he said delivering laptops and providing scholarships was a crucial step towards equipping our youth with modern education. He said the government and the IT Ministry were utilising all resources to provide the best facilities to disabled persons, adding that disabled persons were part of the society and serving them was our moral responsibility. He said these mobile applications had been prepared by the IT experts which could provide relief to the people with disability of speaking, hearing, seeing and other problems in their lives.

Minister of State for Information Technology Ms. Anusha Rehman Ahmad Khan said mobile application award would go a long way in developing a strong relationship between the academia, industry and the relevant government organisations and would turn out to be exemplary for the rest of the sectors of our economy. These mobile applications, she said, would enable special persons to live close to normal people with the help of mobile phones and would enable them to work and communicate with other people for daily affairs. 

Later, the president presented awards to the winners of the competition. The awards were given with cash prize of Rs300,000. To 1st position holder Dr Abdul Ghafar and his team for developing the App smart devices. Second position was won by Ms. Sumayya Munir with cash prize of Rs200,000 for developing the Tell Me App. Whereas 3rd position with cash prize of Rs100,000 was won by Hatham Nasar and his team for developing App Rollout.

Chairman PTA Dr Syed Ismail Shah said that Pakistan was already an exemplary model of regulatory and commercial success in the ICT arena. He said telecom services were accessible to over 86% of the population while 71 out of 100 people were already among the subscribers of telecom operators. “The introduction of mobile broadband services has also opened new arrays of ICT innovation, digital content delivery, entertainment and economic opportunities for the people of Pakistan”, he added. CEO Telenor Irfan Wahab Khan also spoke on the occasion.

Open Mind Pakistan 2017 Announced by Telenor Pakistan
Group Picture
Telenor Pakistan prides in pioneering inclusion and accessibility in Pakistan. At Telenor we believe in creating opportunities and providing a level playing field.

Open Mind Pakistan 2017 Banner

Open Mind Pakistan is Telenor’s flagship trainee program and we are pleased to announce the launch of 4th Batch where we will be on boarding people with disabilities for a one year trainee program to enhance their skills and abilities and pave way for better career opportunities in the job market.
Kindly encourage others to seize this opportunity of a life time and encourage people with disabilities in your network and circles to apply.
Applications are open till 15th January’17
For details & application process, please visit: 


Mobile App Awards 2016

STEP with collaboration with PTA, National ICT R&D, Telenor and ISOC is going to organize mobile app awards. In these app awards we are only taking those applications which directly provide  assistance to persons with disabilities in Pakistan. It can be a mobility assistant or informational assistance. 

The deadline for submitting the ideas is now over, but still we are accepting proposals which are innovative and creative. 

For submitting of proposals please visit: http://mobileawards.pta.gov.pk/. 

American Ambassador Praises Work of Advocates for the Disabled
Islamabad, April 15, 2016 – American Ambassador David Hale encouraged community activists to continue their work in supporting and empowering women with disabilities during a conference yesterday in Islamabad organized by the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP). 
“Our partnership with STEP focuses on raising awareness about resources for women with disabilities, providing training to increase these women’s participation in the workforce, and educating the general public about the rights of people with disabilities,” Ambassador Hale said.
Regarding disability rights, Ambassador Hale acknowledged “ensuring equal participation by women with disabilities is a work in progress everywhere, and it is a challenge we can and must tackle.”  The conference, funded by the American Embassy, brought together activists from across Pakistan to discuss additional measures that can be taken to empower disabled women.  The event featured panel discussions on sustainable development goals and the roles of gender and disability in development. 

Presenting Souvenir to US Embarrassed

humqadam logo
The session on “Mobile Financial Services” was conducted by Telenor Pakistan in collaboration with the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) at the STEP office on 11 November 2015. The session was attended by 40 participants, including 30 persons with disabilities from Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The session had consisted of making the participants aware of mobile financial services by giving a general overview and also opening accounts of those participants that have Telenor Sims followed by refreshments.
Mobile financial services will become the new normal. People all over the world will go from restricted opening hours and a few locations to having their bank in their hand. State of the art mobile and online banking will be for everyone, not only for the affluent. Telenor is committed to exploring ways that the mobile phone can help meet the banking and purchasing needs of people around the world. Through various programs in all of its markets, Telenor is bringing banking services to the unbanked and giving mobile purchasing power to the masses.
picture during the session

Group Picture

Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and Telenor Pakistan values diversity and strives to become an equal opportune employer by promoting an accessible environment and inclusive mindset. We are proud to announce the batch 3 of open mind Pakistan, the “First Special Trainee Program” under our flagship disability initiative khuddar Pakistan.

It is a unique program designed to enhance the employability prospects of people with disabilities and enabling them to work in a competitive corporate environment, under this program a selected batch of persons with disabilities (PWDs) will undergo a 3 months training, after which they shall be placed as trainees in relevant departments for a period of 9 months.

Last date to apply has been extended till 31st October 2015

Apply for the program kindly log on the following link:


Note: Only Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are eligible to apply.

Open Mind Pakistan 2015 - 2016

Pakistan Television Emphasized on Making Information and Knowledge platforms Accessible for Persons with Disabilities

At conclusion session of the workshop held in Pakistan Television Headquarter Islamabad Mr. Muhammad Malick, Managing Director PTV said that PTV is a pioneer TV Chanel to introduce Sign Language on news bulletins and the service can be restarted again. The workshop on ‘Access to information and knowledge platforms for persons with disability has been conducted by   UNESCO Islamabad and STEP (Special Talent Exchange Program)   in collaboration with PTV with prime objectives to raise awareness about ways to enable barrier free accessibility by all to information and knowledge platforms and to enhance understanding of the importance of using closed and open captioning in public media (Pakistan Television News) for persons with hearing  impairment as well as use of technology and means to improve computer based-access to news and information by persons with visual impairment. Addressing participants of the workshop Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Director UNESCO Islamabad Said that “we have to  focus on the rights  based approach to include person with disabilities in mainstream development which is possible through making information and knowledge platforms accessible for all“. The workshop was attended by 30 persons including leading producers, program Controllers, Engineers and decision makers from PTV. Continue Reading.......

PTV Workshop .MOV

Persons with disabilities have been excluded from exercising their human rights, including the right to political participation. Article 29 of UN Convention addresses the design and implementation of an electoral process that is non-discriminatory, while also requiring states to provide voters with disability-related accommodations and other facilitative measures to enable their equal right to vote.

Project launching ceremony at Islamabad has been successfully organized on 25th of March, 2015 at Margalla Hotel. The ceremony attended by 58 participants. A comprehensive list of participants and an invitation letter for this ceremony has been prepared in consultation with IFES team earlier. Including the number of participants disaggregated by gender and the affiliation of participants. Participants were very excited and willing to support this initiative under their mandates. Dr Khalid Naeem Ex Director General Special Education appreciated the STEP and IFES on launching of this great initiative; he said ‘it would be one giant step to have policies and legislation reformed to cater to the rights of persons with disabilities to exercise their right to vote. Political parties and govt.  Line departments have assured their support for this initiative as well.

Observance of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, 2014

To mark the International Day of persons with disabilities 2014, seminar of International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3, 2014 was organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and National Forum of Women with Disabilities (NFWWD) in collaboration with Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on the theme of this year “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology” . As a major outcome of the discussion among key stakeholders a policy recommendation paper will be adopted to include disability in development plans of Pakistan.

Each year around the world, thousands of events occur to mark the achievements of persons with disabilities on the day. This year the day will be commemorated under a general theme “Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology”. 

Pictures from event (International Day of Persons with Disabilities)

Open mind pakistan 2014 (Logo Telenor Karo mumkan STEP Khuddar Pakistan)

Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and Telenor Pakistan values diversity and strives to become an equal opportune employer by promoting an accessible environment and inclusive mindset.
We are proud to announce the batch 2 of open mind Pakistan, the “First Special Trainee Program” under our flagship disability initiative khuddar Pakistan.
It is a unique program designed to enhance the employability prospects of people with disabilities and enabling them to work in a competitive corporate environment, under this program a selected batch of persons with disabilities (PWDs) will undergo a 3 months training, after which they shall be placed as trainees in relevant departments for a period of 9 months.

Last date to apply has been extended till 21st Sept 2014

Apply for the program kindly log on the following link:


Note: Only Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are eligible to apply.

Latest Research Done on the Livelihood of the Persons with Disabilities

ESCAP in partnership with STEP, conducted an action research encompassing both quantitative and qualitative indicators to generate new data on the livelihoods of persons with disabilities. The research in being carried out in eight countries in the Asia-Pacific region by UNESCAP partnering with disabled persons organizations (DPOS). Two focal persons from STEP attended a capacity building workshop organized for the project partners at Social Development Division  ESCAP, Bangkok on 16-18 January 2012 with an objective of developing robust strategies for the research based upon reflection and discussion.

The participatory approaches have been adapted and used for the  research in Pakistan and to achieve the purpose, three teams of persons with disabilities were formed including persons facing physical, visual and hearing disabilities. Each team Was constituted of 5 to 6 people with disabilities were given one day formal training. Special instructions were given to the trainees to fill up the Questionnaires as per experiences shared in capacity building workshop and guidelines from ESCAP. A focal group discussion session was also convened with the key stake holders/employees, numerators and some of the participants. One of the uncounted population of the country, how we can be part of decision making.
Research Picture

Research Picture 


STEP was proud to be one of the organizations selected by the U.S. Embassy for its Mentorship Program 2012. Three mentees were interviewed by STEP and selected for duration of four months (June- September). The object of this program was to familiarize the mentees with STEP’s mission of mainstreaming disabled people in society.
  US Embassy Alumni
For this purpose, the men-tees 
participated in all projects running during their tenure and were encouraged to contribute ideas to further the vision and mission of STEP.

Telenor Pakistan Pledges to values diversity strives to become an equal opportunity employer by promoting accessible environment and inclusive mindsets.

Open Mind Pakistan is unique program designed to enhance the employ-ability prospective of Persons with Disability and enable them to work in a competitive corporate environment.

Join Telenor Pakistan Trainee program and prove that the brain and heart are the strongest muscle of the body.

Log on to http://careers.telenor.com.pk/ and apply now!

Last date to apply: 24 August 2013

Only Persons with Disabilities are eligible to apply!

International Women's Day, March 8, 2013

To mark the International Women Day 2013, seminar of women with disabilities in development was organized by Special Talent Exchange Programme with Government of Pakistan, CHEF International, National Forum of Women with Disabilities on March 8, 2013 in Islamabad, Wife of Ambassador of Saudi Arabia,H.E Abdullah bin Andul Ghadir honored us with her participation and expressed her commitment to take practical steps towards the implementation of UNCRPD. 

Each year around the world, thousands of events occur to mark the achievements of women on the day. This year The Day will be commemorated under a general theme “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.  






Disability Leadership Professional Exchange Program, 2 – 16 April, 2013

MIUSA and STEP is calling for expressions of interest from Pakistani NGOs and Disabled People’ Organizations and networks working in the field of disability rights and services. Selected organizations will be offered 14-day group-centered program in Eugene, Oregon, USA. During the two-week program in the US, two representatives of selected organizations from Pakistan will have opportunities of participation. The program is designed to reach the following goals:

1.    To build the leadership capacity of people with disabilities in Pakistan.

2.    To strengthen the capacity of organizations to effectively empower people with disabilities in Pakistan.

3.   To promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States of America and Pakistan.


All expanses for the fellowship will be borne by the funding organization that includes;

Delegates will live with a local host family for the majority of the program Shared lodging at a modest hotel will be provided during the first part of the program only. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided each day by MIUSA and/or a host family. All additional meals, snacks, or personal incidentals will be at the expense of each delegate. 


Accessible public transportation will be provided.


National Day of Persons with Disabilities, 5 July 2012

Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in the collaboration with Director General of Special Education & Social Welfare, Sightsavers Pakistan and Lenoard Cheshire Disability (LCD) Pakistan observed the National day of persons with disabilities since on the completion of one year since the ratification of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Representative of International and national NGO’s and person with disabilities in large number participated in the seminar. The theme of this year is “Right to Work” which is article 27 of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Under this article we distributed sewing machines and Rs. 35,000 for initiating the enterprise of Persons with disabilities.






20th Abbottabad National Sport Festival, 20 -26 June 2012

20th Abbottabad National Sport Festival was held on 26th June 2012 in Abottabad. It included a number of sports designed especially for persons with disabilities of Pakistan such as Blind Cricket, Wheelchair cricket, Wheelchair Marathon etc.

The organizations that attended the event were Milestone,  Leonard Cheshire Disability, USAID, SADA, A Star Association and CHEF International. The chief guest was Muhammad Atif Sheikh, president of STEP. 

Events and competitions such as these boost the morale of Persons with Disabilities and go a long way in mainstreaming them through sports.

The Winners of the tournaments were as follows:

•       Wheelchair cricket : Multan

•       Blind Cricket : Gujranwala

•       100 meter Wheelchair marathon : Mardan

•       Shooting : Karachi





National Stakeholder Workshop, Islamabad Hotel, 13 June 2012

In collaboration with CHIP, DFID and Sightsavers, STEP completed a 4 year project of leadership training and mentoring of PWDs in Jhelum and Sohawa. The villages were made models for the Government and other organizations to replicate in other rural areas. At the National Stakeholder workshop, STEP invited local and international NGOs as well as the government to present on the results of the leadership training. More importantly, the workshop briefed the NGOs and the Government on the guidelines to replicating the same model in other backward areas.








Ms. Ingrid Ihme Annette, a representative of Telenor’s Open mind program (a part of Telenor’s Corporate Social Responsibility) from Norway visited STEP’s office in Islamabad in June 2012. She met with STEP members and discussed the possibility of Open Mind Program in Pakistan. Open Mind Program trains disabled persons for a year and then they are employed on merit. As part of her visit, she visited Assistive technology National Institute of Special Education in Islamabad where she discussed future collaboration with DGSC and the implementation of Open Mind Program. She also met disabled persons in NISE.





 Dialogue on “Defining Disability” April 11, 2012

The Dialogue on ‘Defining Disability’ has been organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in collaboration with Director of Special Education &  Social welfare, Pakistan institute for Social Research and Advocacy (PISRA), Sightsavers Pakistan & Saach TV on April 11, 2012 at Helen Keller Friendship Center, National Library and Resource Center, Islamabad.

 The perception and understanding of disability are formed through the influence of history, culture and society and the relate to all aspects of lives of people (Barnes, 1994), therefore it is difficult to develop a universal definition of disability with the simple statement, although various attempts have been made (UN 1999). Further definition can influence the way in which non-disabled people respond to disabled people. Center for Disability Studies, University of Leeds defines disabled person as person with impairment who experiences disability. Disability is the result of negative interaction that takes place between a person with impairment and her or his social environment. Impairment is thus part of negative interaction, but it is not the cause of, nor does it justify, disability. Here ‘impairment” is an injury, illness or congenital condition that causes or is likely to cause a loss of difference of physiological or psychological function, while “Disability” is the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in society on an equal level with others due to social and environmental barriers (Chadwick, 1997). 


Persons with Disabilities Take Oath as Ilm Ambassador

The session of Ilmpossible workshop took place in Laraib Inn, G-9/4 Islamabad on March 23rd, 2012. A total of 45 participants attended the workshop, which began at 10 in the morning and ended at 4pm.

The session took off with an informal introductory activity, in which the lead facilitator, Ali Shabbar, asked the participants to intermingle with each other, introduce themselves and ask three questions. After that, when the participants became familiar with each other, introduction was given about the organizers: STEP, Shashca and British Council, and about their campaign of Ilmpossible. The participants were told about the Article 25A of the Constitution of Pakistan.


More Detail (Report)......

              Wheelchair Distribution Ceremony, February 26, 2012 

Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in collaboration with Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundatin, US based Walkabout Foundation and UNHCR distributed 300 specially customized wheelchairs to the flood affectees as part of its initial phase at Marriot Hotel Islamabad.

To mark this occasion, Mr. Richard E. Hoagland, Deputy chief Mission – US Embassy Islamabad, Ms. Carolina Bunster, CEO – Walkabout Foundation and Mr. Ali J. Siddiqui, CEO – Mahvash and Jahngir Siddiqui Foundation, Mr. Ali Munir – a UK based Pakistani investor and entrepreneur, and may other notable dignitaries were present and spoke regarding  the initiative.




                                                              More Detail (Report)......

Welcoming 2012: Culture Fashion Show of Persons with Disabilities

29 December 2011

The Culture Fashion show, titled “Welcoming 2012: Culture Fashion Show of Persons with Disabilities”, was jointly organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP), Monthly Pakistan Special, Embers and Shahzads Designs on December 29, 2011 in National Library Islamabad.





Capacity Building of Persons with Disabilities from the Slum of Islamabad

Empowering Youth for Peace and Development (EYPAD) project aims to develop peace, tolerance, knowledge in the youth by encouraging exchange of ideas through different means of communications, like the internet, photography and video films etc., to build bridges for solidarity and brotherhood on the local and international level. 




Walk on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 

December 9, 2011 Islamabad 

Another walk on International Day of Persons with Disabilities was organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) with the collaboration of Telenor Pakistan and Directorate General of Special Education (DGSE) on December 09, 2011 in front of parliament house Islamabad.








Walk Report

Walk on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 

December 3, 2011 Islamabad 

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011, a symbolic solidarity walk was organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on December 3, 2011 near Iqra University Islamabad.  

 Person with different spheres of life addressed the participants of walk, Dr. Kozue kay Nagata representative of (UNESCO) in her addressed she said that disabled persons are highly talented agents for social transformation .As a member of the international community, the Government of Pakistan’s action to ratify the CRPD is a significant step forward; however, there are still many measures to be taken, including the formulation of legislation/act on anti-discrimination.

Mr. Muhammad Atif Sheikh, President STEP also addressed, in his addressed he said disability and poverty are intertwined. In fact, the qualitative evident suggests that disabled people are significantly poor in developing countries, and more so than non-disabled counterpart. Many people with disabilities are denied education or jobs, the disorder may require chronic health care and these in turn drain the scarce household resources. "Unless disabled people are brought into the development mainstream, it will be impossible to cut poverty in half by 2015 or to give every girl and boy the chance to achieve a primary education by the same date which are key among the Millennium Development Goals agreed to by more than 180 world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000."





Ms. Lucie Dechifre from Handicap International appreciated the effort and ensured that in disaster affected areas of Pakistan disabled persons will be involved in the processes of rebuilding the infrastructure and all kinds of development interventions. 

Observance of the Day globally provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations of persons with disabilities – to focus on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents.

600 persons with disabilities, people from all spheres of society, representatives of Government, International development organizations, representatives of UN agencies joined the event. Among the other partners such as Sightsavers, Handicap International, British Council, Telenor Pakistan, Iqra University, YFP (Youth for Peace) and Sayya Association supported the walk. .

 A memorandum from the participants urging the representation of disabled persons at policy making level and requesting the reforms for inclusive education was handed over to Ministry of Law and Justice followed by the launching of a nationwide ‘Ramp Campaign’.  

Walk Report

International Leadership Conference of PWD's 2011

Special Talent Exchange program has organized this conference for disabled people from all over the world for an inclusive society and accessibility and mobility. It is been held in Serena hotel Islamabad from 3rd Oct 2011 to 5th Oct 2011 to promote the ratification of UNCRPD and to empower them with Leadership.

Welcome speech was delivered by Peter Hill GM Serena. He mentioned that from the past few years Hotels has been taking initiatives for changes. And they still need a lot to do to support the disability. 




Conference Report

National Consultation on Implementation of Convention 

on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Islamabad - Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP)  in partnership with United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), organized a consultation seminar on the implementation of the United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Sarena Hotel, Islamabad on September 12, 2011, focusing on “Inclusive Education/Literacy and barrier free communication and information with special emphasis on Women with Disabilities”

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its Optional Protocol was adopted on 13 December 2006 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007. Pakistan officially ratified the UNCRPD on June 6th, 2011 when President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari signed the Instrument of Ratification at a special ceremony at the Aiwan e Sadar. The objective of the Consultation yesterday was to devise a strategy of implementation of the UNCRPD in Pakistan.



Attended by various important figures, such as revered disability experts, UNESCO representatives, members of different national and international NGOs and persons with disabilities themselves, the Consultation had aimed to review the status of Access of Persons with disabilities to Education (article 24 of UNCRPD), Information and Communication Technology (article 9 of UNCRPD) and Mainstreaming of women with disabilities in development (article 6 on UNCRPD).

Talking to the gathering, Dr Kozue Kay Nagata, Director UNESCO said that she is hopeful about the outcomes of the consultation and expects it to bring a marked change at the policy level.

After presentations from noted government, UNESCO, DPI, STEP and CADD, the participants were divided into five groups and discussions were held on Gender Mainstreaming and Women with Disabilities; Inclusive Education; Literacy, Right to Education & Barrier-Free Communication and Information; Barrier for implementation of UNCRPD; and Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) supported by WHO, UNESCO and ILO. The event culminated with a representative from each group presenting about the solutions they had come up with.

Sign Language for Beginners Training Conducted at STEP.

With a globalization and dozens of international languages is use, we have our own limits on how fast we can learn different languages and communicate fluently with others. "Sign Language" can help us communicate with any person with limited language skills.


Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) brought Professional Sign Language Course for all those who wish to learn sign language - out of necessity or interest. Beginning from August 17th and ending on August 18th, Professional Sign Language Course aimed to transcend the barriers of communication between the disabled persons and the society by becoming their voice, at a very nominal registration fee. Conducted by trained professionals from the field, the two day course was held at STEP office, from 10am to 2pm.




Certificate distribution

 More Picture are available at STEP Facebook page.

Home Based Job Opportunities Created for Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan

A two days training titled ‘Trustworthy Digital Work Opportunities'  was attended by  40 Participants including 17 Persons with Disabilities on May 7-8, 2011. 

 The training was conducted by STEP in collaboration with Brightspyre at Assistive Technology Center established at National Institute of Special Education with partnership of Telenor Pakistan, Sightsavers and STEP.  All participants signed an agreement at the end of the training and started home based digital jobs. 



Launching the Empowerment Cafe (E-Cafe) 03-05 February 2011.


Launching the "Make the Right Real" Campaign, Pakistan, 26-31 January 2011.

The local and international stakeholders working for the rights of physical-challenged persons Saturday announced the implementation of Third Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled persons starting from 2013 – 2022 as Pakistan ratified the UN convention on rights of Persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) on January 26.



Regional Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities in South Asia, 2010.

The government of Pakistan has agreed and endorsed the establishment of “South Asian Disability Forum (SADF)” that will network various DPOs and NGOs in South Asia, representing all disabilities, to address a regional point of view in South Asia.

The decision was taken at the end of the Regional Leadership Conference for Persons with Disability jointly organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in close collaboration with Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education, Asia-Pacific Development Centre of Disability (APCD), Sightsavers, Telenor Pakistan and British Council Pakistan. More than 150 representatives with disabilities from the Pakistan and south Asian countries participated in the conference.




More pictures from the event

Workshop on Promoting Electoral Access, November 26, 2010.

On November 26, 2009, the Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) convened a Workshop on Promoting Electoral Access: Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the Electoral Process, in Islamabad. 


Funded by the USAID, through IFES, the workshop was attended by 31 persons with disabilities from 13 organizations of disabled persons representing all provinces of Pakistan and Kashmir.The first of its kind in Pakistan, the workshop examined barriers to electoral participation for persons with disabilities, taking as its starting point the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 


This Convention calls on state parties to ensure the effective and full participation of people with disabilities in political and public life on an equal basis with others, including the right and opportunity of persons with disabilities to vote and be elected. Pakistan has signed, but not yet ratified, the Convention. To increase electoral access in Pakistan for persons with disabilities, workshop participants recommended the following:

  • Establishing a National Forum of Persons with Disabilities on the Electoral Process;
  • Reform of the electoral law;
  • Reform of policies, election regulations and procedures;
  • Hiring of persons with disabilities by the Election Commission of Pakistan;
  • Awareness training for ECP staff;
  • Election observation by persons with disabilities;
  • Civic and voter education outreach; and
  • Inclusion of disability issues in the platforms of political parties and candidates.

One priority of the National Forum would be to ensure that the election law fully protects and promotes the rights of persons with disabilities. Understanding that the Election Commission of Pakistan and others are working toward electoral reform, it is critical to include electoral participation for persons with disabilities on the reform agenda.

Group Photo

National WheelChair Cricket tournament, 2010, Concluded Successfully.

A heart pumping event of T20 cricket for wheelchair users which was organized by STEP, Saaya Association and Milestone concluded on the eve of 7th Feb, 2010. The two day event which was unique of its kind was supported by Telenor Pakistan and Sightsavers International.  

A total of 6 teams of wheel chair users participated in the tournament from all over the country. The event started on 6th Feb 2010 with an agenda promoting peace and harmony in the country. The event was held in front of Liaqat Gymnasium in Sports Complex, Islamabad. The event came to an end after a final match between Chanar Heroes and Mehran Dolphins with later coming out as winners. 

Live performance of an official band Raakez Crew and Fadi Gujjar entertained the guests at Gala Night. The chief guests at the occasion were IGP Islamabad Mr. Kaleem Imam, Country Director Sightsavers International Mr. Niazullah Khan, Director Telenor Sales and Service Centre, Affan Haider and representatives from Saudi Embassy. 

Bahria University awards Scholarships and   Jobs to Disabled Persons February 02, 2010.            

STEP achieved another landmark in its on going endeavors for the persons with disabilities when Vice Admiral (retd) M. Haroon, Rector Bahria University, announced jobs and scholarships for PWDs in Bahria university at any level of studies. 

This was announced at the occasion of Disability Equality Training held at Leadership Centre, Bahria University on January 14, 2010 under the project of American Institute for Research (AIR). President STEP, Mr. Atif Sheikh, and Bahria University Rector, Vice Admiral (retd) M. Haroon agreed on providing ample facilities to the disabled people in Bahria University. 

As a follow up of this commitment, a Board at Bahria University approved the appointment of Mr. Abdul Manan, physically disabled, in Statistics department of the University. Another Wheelchair user graduate, Abrar Hussain has been offered the position of teaching assistant at University. Ali Shabbar who is visually impaired, has been offered to continue his research degree in Supply Chain Management. Head of Leadership Development Centre, Mr. Junaid Kiyani pledged his unconditional support for the PWDs who are competent and interested in higher education at Bahria University, Islamabad. 


National Meeting of Disabled Persons Organizations                                                             
January 15-16, 2010.

"Nothing about us without us" was the slogan of consultation exercise facilitated by Handicap International on January 15-16, 2010 at hotel Crown Plaza Islamabad. 

Thirty representatives of leading organizations of disabled persons across the country participated in the moot while the process was observed by the decision makers from Sightsavers International, ASTAR Project of Japan International Cooperation Agency and mass media. 

Government of Pakistan, development organizations and self-help organizations of persons with disabilities all over the country are contributing in the rehabilitation, empowerment and mainstreaming of disabled persons since early 80s but a dire need has always been felt to have a national podium with shared goal. With the prime objective of carving a common agenda the meeting was called.

With the introduction of organizations a warm up facilitation organized for DPOs representatives for better understanding working as network. Next day a brain storming session started how to strengthen National level mechanism of DPOs in Pakistan. After an extensive discussion all representatives agreed to launch a “Campaign for Implementation of National Plan of Action (GOP) 2010-2012” launched.  Five those targets selected from NPA were common among all.

1. Accessibility

2. Women with Disabilities

3. Political Rights and Inclusion

4. Inclusive Education

5. Accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT)


Launch of a Video Documentary by STEP 

"Beyond the Voice of Our Own".


A video documentary on endeavourers of STEP produced by NISTE (National Institute of Science and Technical Education) under the Story based Knowledge Management Project of APCD Thailand (Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability), was launched in conjunction with observance of International White Cane safety Day

on October 14, 2009 in Islamabad. The event held at Auditorium of Pakistan National Council of Arts was attended by about 500 people from all walks of life including representatives of disabled peoples organizations, development sector, government, universities and media.

Pictures from the Event

Leadership Conference of Persons with Disabilities 2009.

A declaration calling for the ratification of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was endorsed at the National Leadership Conference for Persons with Disabilities. Held at the National Institute for Special Education (NISE) from 12-14 Aug 2009, the conference was organized by Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) in partnership with Telenor Pakistan’s flagship corporate initiative “Khuddar Pakistan.” 

The conference witnessed an unprecedented attendance of 50 Disabled Persons Organizations, key leaders from the disability rights movement, state officials, disability advisors, volunteers as well as Telenor Pakistan management. 

Pictures from the conference


Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world.

This article is an attempt to outline the significance of collaboration of among stakeholders to achieve an inclusive society, which is not achievable without strapping integration of internationals instruments for human development such as Millennium Development Goals and United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

The trajectory of efforts of Disabled Peoples’ Organizations at state and international level has proved that MDGs can be achieved if persons with disabilities are included in development initiatives. This year on International Day of Persons with Disabilities all stakeholders need to join hands for making MDGs inclusive.

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Empowering Women with Disabilities


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