International Seminar on Independent Living and Assistive Technologies held on 18th April, 2014 at COMSATS University, Islamabad

An international seminar was conducted by Saaya Association and Comsats University in Islamabad where students were sensitized of the disability issues and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Mr. Asim Zafar President Saaya Association delivered lecture on disability where he provoked students to think what disability is and what independent living is. He described the history of independent living movement and its contribution in the lives of persons with disabilities and how this concept changed the plight of persons with disabilities in the world. Ms. Saima Aslam a woman with disability from Saaya Association related his life history with disability, she described how independent living has changed his life and with learning self-management skills she is living an independent life, self-management skills and mobility devices can make it happen and we can lean an independent life without being burden on others. She performs her daily living chores using personal assistant and with her electric wheelchair she can move freely in society and contribute as productive part.

Mr. Sho Saito in his lecture on mobility presented history of wheelchair manufacturing in Saito Kobo Japan. He said that mobility is the basic issue for persons with disabilities, if their mobility is ensured the half of the work is done as mobility is the first step towards independence.

He presented the latest wheelchair manufactured in his factory that is a piece of excellence concerning its functions for severe persons with disabilities. Mr. Habib Rehman in his lecture described the importance of inclusion of persons with disabilities in society, he emphasized that we have to make persons with disabilities mobile so that they can be a respectable part of the society and it can be achieved through provision of assistive devices like wheelchairs, white canes and hearing add etc. He briefed the students about the Sakura Wheelchair Company that how is it ensuring the mobility and independence of persons with disabilities with provision of manual and electric wheelchairs and we have to make efforts for the creation of barrier free, right based and inclusive society for all.