National Accessibility Programme
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become a positive force of transformation and a crucial element of any personal development, empowerment and institutional framework for inclusive development (ITU - “The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework”, Sept 2013).
To this extent, the National Accessibility Programme (NAP), was a multi-year, multi-stakeholder research, development and innovation initiative aimed at addressing the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, such as marginalisation from the mainstream society and economy, through the use and implementation of ICTs. NAP was conceptualised and implemented by the CSIR Meraka Institute in partnership with a representative group of Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) and the former Office on the Status of Disabled Persons (OSDP) in The Presidency.
The programme was implemented through six complementary tracks, namely; Domain R&D, Technical R&D, Management and Leadership, Deployment and Sustainability, Advocacy and Awareness, and Methodology development.The programme resulted in the following notable assets:
- An accessible information portal.
- The SAnote, computer for the Blind – www.sanote.co.za.
- GNApp - an Augmentative and Alternative Communication Framework to enhance inclusion of persons that cannot speak - GNApp is available at www.napsa.org.za/IZ-GNApp.jar.
Following the successful R&D phase, the NAP team embarked on a stakeholder awareness and fundraising drive in order to raise investment to establish a NAP Implementation Vehicle for the operationalisation of the initiative. However, in this challenging environment, we have been unable to secure such investment for the ongoing upkeep of the NAP Portal and establishment of operations. For this reason, the NAP Portal has been closed, and the initiative placed on hold, until further support and investment is secured.
Should you be interested in any further information or in taking up this opportunity, please contact Hina Patel (NAP initiative leader).
May I use this opportunity, to thank the following key stakeholders in realising our R&D objectives:
- The South African Departments of Communications and Science and Technology.
- The Independent Living Centre (ILC), an NGO, operating as an integrated Resource Centre for Persons with Disabilities.
- The SA National Council for the Blind (SANCB), an NGO striving to meet the needs of all blind and partially sighted people of South Africa.
- The Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA), an NGO which co-ordinates and facilitates services to the South African Deaf and hard of hearing communities.
- The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA (NCPPDSA), an NGO promoting the maximum level of independence and integration of persons with physical disabilities into the community and the prevention of the occurrence of physical disablement.
- The QuadPara Association (QASA), established to assist quadriplegics by providing a range of highly specialised support services that are designed to promote and encourage their rehabilitation, community integration and independence.
- The South African Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH), a non-profit organisation, which aims to act as a dynamic national movement, which serves as an effective resource to empower people to attain optimal mental health and quality of life in a just society, through its various services and programmes.
- And lastly, the CSIR Meraka Institute NAP team.
Hina Patel NAP Initiative Lead
Hina Patel (NAP initiative leader)
CSIR Meraka Institute
P.O. Box 395, Pretoria 0001
E-mail: feedback (at) napsa.org.za