KARACHI - It is high time that places like universities be made more accessible to people with disabilities.

This was stated by Dr Sanish Sumbul from Darus Sukun Karachi, while speaking at the second lecture held under the “Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series” of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Karachi.

An official of Karachi University said on Tuesday that the lecture series is an initiative of the faculty of social sciences to highlight and provide the faculty and students with an opportunity to contemplate complex social issues.

Dr Sanish spoke in detail about ‘Disability Etiquette and Protocols’ to raise awareness about people with disabilities and how the society should perceive them in a positive manner.

The purpose of the session was to bring together students from diversified backgrounds to understand core aspects about People with Disability (PWDs) and equip them to interact with such people in a better way.

The session covered challenges and needs of persons with disabilities, effective ways to communicate with PWDs and opportunities for PWDs in Pakistan.

In this connection Dr Sanish pointed out that unlike West we are still not conscious of needs of people with disabilities. She said that even places like universities, where all sorts of differently-abled people should be expected to visit there are no ramps and accessible environment for PWDs. “Now in modern shopping malls you can see specially designed toilets for people with disabilities, and I wish the trend is followed at all public places to make them user friendly for PWDs”, she said. Coming to society’s acceptance of such people she opined, “We still think that disability is a curse and stigmatize PWDs by tending to hide them from public’s eye”.

It is the responsibility of every society to recognize PWDs as persons in their own right and able to do many things that the so called normal people don’t expect from them.

“It is a matter of positively engaging and interacting with them”, she concluded.

Prof Dr Mohammad Ahmed Qadri, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, on the occasion said that the issues around PWDs are quite complex and encouraged the faculty members to organize a conference on the rights of PWDs and responsibilities of the society towards them.