National Accessibility Portal
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South Africa's National Accessibility Portal (NAP) is a 'one-stop' information, services and communications channel that will support everyone involved in the disability field – persons with disabilities, caregivers, the medical profession, and those offering services in this domain. NAP services will be accessible from anywhere in the country including from home as well as specific and specially equipped service centres and access points located in schools, clinics, hospitals, multi-purpose community centres, etc., linking up where possible with existing government, private sector and Disabled Peoples’ Organisations’ structures. Usage by unskilled people will be facilitated by interpreters and helpers trained in ICT and disabilities (expected to include people with disabilities themselves). NAP has 2 main components, Technology Development and Sustainability.
Origin of the project
Approximately 4 million people in South Africa are disabled and access to information, services and the ability to effectively communicate is a key need.
The project allows government and society to move away from regarding people with disabilities as dependent on welfare and social handouts. The project aims to enable people with disabilities to play an active role in the economy and allow them to improve the quality of their lives. It is importantly a communication medium that will allow people with disabilities to share experiences with each other as well as find information irrespective of their physical location. This is especially important in cases where they are far from metropolitan centres. Sustainability will be addressed through a diverse set of activities ensuring implementation of organisational and business models that effectively support and promote economic empowerment of people with disabilities.
The system has application beyond South Africa and in particular, in the context of NEPAD and the African Decade of Disabled Persons, throughout the rest of the Continent.
The mission of this project is to address the significant need related to the knowledge and information empowerment of people with disabilities in order to ensure their full participation and inclusion at all levels of society.
The National Accessibility Portal will be a one-stop information, services and communications channel that will support everyone involved in the disability field.
Supporting legislation and initiatives
- Integrated National Disability Strategy 1997 & Census 2001,
- Articles 9 & 21 of the UN Conventions on the rights of persons with disabilities,
- Inclusive Education (White Paper No.6),
- National R&D Strategy,
- DOC Medium term strategy map, strategic goal 9 (KFA5) – Contribute to the building of an inclusive information Society globally
- DPO Workshops,
- NEPAD Strategy,
- Africa Decade of persons with Disabilities (1999–2009)
- Employment Equity & Reasonable Accommodation Act
Supporting Disabled People Organisations
- The Office on the Status of Disabled Persons (OSDP)
- The Independent Living Centre (ILC)
- The SA National Council for the Blind
- The Deaf Federation of South Africa
- The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA
- The QuadPara Association
- The South African Federation for Mental Health