Policy & Advocacy

Policy & Advocacy Program for Disability

The Policy & Advocacy team plays a key role across all the verticals at The Association of People with Disability (APD). It is responsible for urban and rural advocacy on disability issues, rights and entitlements as well as effective lobbying, growing Community Based Organizations (CBO) and sensitizing stakeholders.
A recent highlight is the team’s collaboration with UNICEF and the Women and Child Development Department (and NGOs, special schools and RSO partners) to develop an institutional policy for children with disability (CwD). APD also collaborated with ADI and UNESCO to influence the education policy of Karnataka.
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MNREGA workshop for district officers | APD India

Program Objective

Develop leadership and self-advocacy skills among PwDs. Enable social change by empowering key players in the sector. Influence policy and legislation that promotes inclusion.

APD’s Approach

The policy & Advocacy team works with districts in Karnataka to:

  • Encourage PwDs to connect with their communities and extended social groups; develop leadership and self-advocacy skills.
  • Create mass awareness on disability issues and rights; build a positive view of disability, especially in non-urban areas.
  • Support innovative groups and federations at the grassroot level, so community organizations can drive social change
  • Provide strategic direction, develop resources and documentation for advocacy.
  • Help people claim rightful benefits under the law in education, livelihood and mobility assistance, transport concessions and housing schemes.
Assessment camp program | APD India

APD’s Urban Advocacy works in Bengaluru and municipalities of Kolar, Bagalkot, Chikkaballapur and Bidar:

  • Helps people claim rightful benefits under the law in education, livelihood and mobility assistance, transport concessions and housing schemes.
  • Sensitizes BBMP and municipal commissioners and other government officials on disability issues through persistent information dissemination.
  • Pushes for delivery of disability rights through joint rallies, media participation and representation of PwD.
  • Lobbies with policymakers and administrative bodies for compliance with the Disability Act.
  • Partners with Janarogya Andolan and Samajik Parivartan Janandolan for the cause of PwDs.


Survey and assessment camp | APD India

The team works to develop systems within APD to access government grants for sustainability and growth of programs. We also share the learning with our RSO partners and other NGOs to enable access to government funding. In the process, APD has built credibility and rapport with the government and become a “watchdog” to advocate change at the policy level.
APD closely interfaces and networks with the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment under which the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability and Senior Citizens, Ministry of Health and Family, Ministry of Primary and Higher (Public Instruction) Education, Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship as well as 7 other major development corporations.


In partnership with the National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), APD initiated the Disability Law Unit-South in June 2020. The body supports and guides persons with disability (PwD) in accessing government resources and legal support in case of the violation of rights under the provisions of the RPwD Act 2016.

APD supports PwD in approaching the Disability Commissioner and district authorities based on the type of intervention required. In case, the case requires the Supreme Court of India’s intervention, NCPEDP has appointed an advocate to support PwDs.

APD is a member of the National Disability Network, UNCRPD coalition, and the Commonwealth Disability Forum.
So far, 350 PwDs have been facilitated to access MNREGA, self-employment, assistive devices, pensions, UDI card, and education, as per the NCPEDP format. Twelve legal issues have also been addressed.

NOTE: APD does not file a case either in the Disability Commissioner’s office or any court in India on behalf of PwDs. It is the responsibility of the person to attend any district or state offices or courts in person.
Get in touch with APD for assistance.

  • Got the Government Order passed for 3% reservation of funds for disability in the Karnataka budget, in accordance with the Disability Act.
  • Influenced 53 new NGOs and DPOs of North Karnataka to expand disability sector and build ecosystems for PwDs to access rights and entitlements.
  • Engaged with 6 RSO partners and collaborated with disability directorate, National Trust Act (NTA) to ensure DISHA program for Karnataka.
  • Conducted 79 capacity building and sensitization sessions for 28,160 beneficiaries.
  • Expanded Early Intervention work in 3 taluks of Bagalkot and Vijayapura. Also built the capacity of 150 Panchayath development officers, 300 VRWs, and staff of 11 NGOs in 4 districts.
  • Influenced PwD commissioner to conduct access audit in 6 districts (25 schools access audit conducted).
  • Built capacity and engaged with 1,578 local NGO staff, DPO leaders, educational institutions (students), elected representatives, and local government department representatives in 19 CMCs survey process.
  • Totally 12,117 PwDs identified, 4,843 participated in need assessment camps among which 3,293 PwDs required further support related to assistive devices (1,597), education rehabilitation (339) and livelihood and other (1,357).
  • Ensured 380 lakhs to PwDs to access medical education rehabilitation and livelihood opportunities.
  • Mobilized 21 gas connections, 146 retrofitted vehicles, 63 hearing aids, 40 wheelchairs, 36 home level accessibilities, 16 MR kits, 223 SCI medical kits worth 17.84 lakhs, and 19 self-employment schemes.
  • Initiated and completed research to understand the impact of 3% budget on PwDs in the context of urban poverty alleviation and provide inputs to the Disability Directorate.
  • Influenced Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.