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The Enabling Unit, Equal Opportunity Cell is based at University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Delhi. It ensures affirmative action’s concerning persons with disabilities including students, nonteaching staff, faculty as well as patients at University College of Medical Sciences. It is first such unit for students with disabilities in any medical institution in India.
The Enabling Unit is the first such unit in any medical college in India and was created as per the University Grants Commission (India) guidelines and disability policy of University of Delhi. Dr Satendra Singh was appointed the Coordinator in 2011 who constituted an 'Equality and Diversity Committee' to include the disability perspective. All the members of this committee are persons with disabilities in line with the motto ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’ and recommendations of the World report on disability. The composition is also in conjunction with theme of United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2011- “Together for a better world for all: Including Persons with Disabilities in Development.”
Initiatives of the Enabling Unit
Accessibility of all the medical institutions in India
On the petition of Coordinator, Dr Satendra Singh, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India instructed Medical Council of India to make all medical institutions in India accessible to persons with disabilities and submit a compliance report.
Disabled friendly voting system
Dr Singh highlighted the problems faced by disabled voters in Delhi legislative assembly elections, 2013  and wrote to Election Commission of Delhi to rectify the problems. He showed the lack of preparedness of Election Commission towards electors with disabilities through Right to Information. A month before the general elections in Delhi, he was invited by Chief Electoral Office to make the elections inclusive for disabled voters. He sensitized the election officers and helped in keeping the data of voters with disability in Delhi.
Accessible Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s)
Both the Bank of Baroda ATM and the Canara Bank ATM at University College of Medical Sciences and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital were inaccessible to persons with disabilities. After a lengthy advocacy by Enabling Unit and directives from Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, both the respective Banks constructed ramps to make the ATM's accessible to wheelchair users.
Inccessible Post Offices in New Delhi
India Postal Services (trading as India Post) in New Delhi was found to be inaccessible when information under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) by the Coordinator of Enabling Unit, Dr Satendra Singh, revealed that a majority of post offices in India's capital city are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
Plea to simplify process of getting assistive devices from Indian Red Cross Society
Coordinator, Dr Singh, highlighted the complex procedure for availing free assistive devices from Indian Red Cross Society, Haryana Branch. The Indian Red Cross Society, Haryana State branch acknowledged the lacuna and vowed to simplify the procedure without accounting system.
Accessibility of hospital campus The unit was instrumental in making the hospital campus accessible to students with disabilities. New ramps were constructed outside college foyer, emergency gate, boy's hostel, girl's hostel, resident hostel, outside cafetaria and post office and bank entrance. A dedicated accessible parking is earmarked just outside college entrance.
Clearing air on World Polio Day commemorated to celebrate Salk's birthday
Coordinator of Enabling Unit challenged the erroneous correlation of Jonas Salk's birthday with World Polio Day. His publication in the journal 'Vaccine' clears the air with appropriate references and contributes to correction of literature.
Identification of posts by Union Public Service Commission
Dr Singh brought into open the discrimination by Union Public Service Commission which disallowed doctors with disabilities to apply for various posts. He himself was rejected in 2011 but fought and was later allowed with other disabled doctors to appear for the interview. In 2013, his application was again rejected when he highlighted that same discrimination is also there for the other posts. He requested health ministry to allow all eligible doctors with disabilities to apply for these posts. He was allowed to apply in a quick intervention.
Promotion of active International Symbol of Access (ISA)
As part of its accessibility advocacy, the unit is promoting active ISA as it portrays dynamism and focuses on person rather disability. The traditional ISA shows a static image with wheelchair as focus rather than the person. The revised ISA not only focuses on an active and engaged image but also stressed on the person involved and in a way fosters People-first language. The unit has sent representation to apex body to incorporate new ISA in India.
Dr Satendra Singh, the man behind the Enabling Unit received the NCPEDP MphasiS Universal Design Awards 2013, as a recognition of his work in the field of promoting Accessibility and Universal Design and thus ensuring life of equality and dignity for disabled people.
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- "Discrimination of PWD in getting assistive devices".
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- "They innovate to e-nable". The Times of India. 15 Aug 2013.