Document Sample
					                        THE REPORT OF THE SEMINAR


                         FREE ENVIRONMENT “

                          HELD ON 24TH MARCH 2007


“Planning of the seminar and arriving at this topic for awareness “

      During the first week of February, we the CCRC batch students

gathered at the college canteen to think over the seminar we had to

conduct as a part of our course.

       Initial attempt was to choose the topic and the target group. One

of us mentioned of focusing on the architect students and town planners,

making them aware of their part in creating an accessible society for all.

Majority of the group was in favor of this proposal since it is a significant

issue to be addressed in this scenario where persons with disabilities are

in a disabling environment, that hinders growth in their lives and

basically, it is the violation of human rights.

       The PWD Act,1995 has provided guidance and instruction to the

state authorities and the institutions to make the environment accessible

to the disabled but little has been done on the implementation front for

this provision.

       In addition to the Government and certain organizations we

believe that it is the responsibility of every individual to be a part of this

endeavor – to create a barrier free environment for all. So we boiled down

to this topic on creating awareness about barrier free environment for all.

      Our target group was the architects - the reason to target this

group was that they are the tomorrow, the ones who are going to design

the plans for a residential complex, the ones who are going to provide the

designs for malls and corporate parks. So targeting the architects would

be aiming at reaching the roots of creating a barrier free environment.

      The key to creating a barrier free tomorrow would be targeting the

architects first , sensitizing them about the disabled and explaining to

them their role in preventing a disability from transiting to a handicap .

      Once the subject was decided we divided ourselves into four

groups. Each one of us volunteered to be part of a respective group

according to our interests and capability. When we discussed the matter

with Dr. Sandhya Limaye, our course teacher, we were asked to go for an

alternative topic and target group as well, in case the opted one does

not work out. Contingencies like not getting architecture students ,

getting resource persons were thought of and so we began brainstorming

for another relevant issue pertaining to disability. Various topics were

suggested and as a group we selected the topic-„Integration of the

person with disability into the mainstream”. We planned to target the

principals of the regular schools and the parents of the able and disabled

children. Why integration? We felt that in the current society integration

is given great importance, yet the society as a whole has not come into

terms with this aspect due to misconceptions and wrong notions existing

in the minds of the „able-bodied‟. This was our back up topic of


      So then the ball was set rolling and we started working on the first

topic and doing our market research started collecting data on the

issue. Some of us interacted with the architectures and town planners

and their response to this was very encouraging. We decided to move

ahead with this issue with a final approval from our course teacher who

was a constant guide in the making of this seminar.

      We sat together to decide the Title of the seminar which

definitely took a lot of patience and brainstorming and we then decided

to go through a few books in the library to get some ideas about what

could be the possible title for the seminar . After 2- 3 days of long

research we narrowed down to one title which was “Disabling barriers

and enabling environment‟. We all agreed to it but after concerning

with our course teacher we realized that this title was a little puzzling

when a reader reads it for the first time. It doesn‟t give the idea across

immediately. So taking it as learning we moved on to identifying another

title for the seminar. We then identified that our main objective with this

seminar was to provide them with practical approaches towards creating

a barrier free environment which itself was comprehensive to be a title.

So we then decided on “Practical Approaches to creating barrier free

environment” which was agreed by al including our course teacher.

     Once the seminar title was decided we then moved on to preparing

the project proposal which was to be submitted to Dr. Neela Dabir.

Sandhya Ma‟am guided us so as to clearly project our aim, objectives,

plan and budget .

           The Objectives we decided on for the Seminar were as


               1. Giving an insight into the access issues faced by

                    the persons with disability and to make architecture

                    students aware of their role in the field of disability.

               2. To facilitate the disabled to function independently

                    in mainstream society by providing tangible solutions

                    to remove mobility barriers.

               3. To arrive at       easy   implementation       methods       of

                    creating disabled friendly infrastructure

               4. To facilitate clear access rights for the disabled.

               5. To create opportunities for an objective discussion

                    on the removal of barriers between the architectural

                    professionals and the disabled persons.

     We decided on our objectives , plan budget and submitted it to our

course teacher , we then learnt the mistakes we had made while creating

the proposal , that is we didn‟t have a very detailed rationale . Our

proposal didn‟t clearly state our program schedule in detailed description

       So we learnt from our mistakes and made the changes required.

       Once the proposal was ready we decide to submit our proposal to

Dr. Neela Dabir. Once the funds were received we started working in our

groups : we had divided the class into four teams taking care of different

activities .

       The four groups were as follows :

              Proposal making and finance team

              Food and administration team

              Creative team

              Marketing team

              Proposal making and finance team: this group was in

               charge of finalizing the proposal nitty gritty ties and handling

               the finance and budget allocation . This team was headed

               by : Shailee , Shweta and Rani – The first person in charge

               in this team was Shailee, who was responsible to complete

               and submit the work.

                  Food and administration team           : This team was in

                   charge of making the food related decisions for the

                   seminar and also for other administration permissions

                   like   room   allocation,   laptop   permission   and   other

                   administration requirements .The team was headed by :

       Shailendra , Diya , Neela , Madhulika and Prakash . The

       first person in charge of this team was Shailendra.

      Creative team : This team was in charge of creating

       audio visuals for the seminar, certificates, posters and

       brochures to be sent to the colleges . This team was

       headed by Sonam , Rachna and Trupti and the first

       person in charge in this team was Sonam .

      Marketing team : This team was in charge of identifying

       colleges, inviting students, allocating 2 people to go to

       each college to deliver the poster and other publicity

       material and create awareness about this seminar . This

       team was headed by Krishnaveni , Greeshma , Anamika

       and Jack . The first person in charge in this team was

       Krishnaveni .

       Once the groups were decided with everybody‟s consent

we prioritized the work and each group began working on their

respective aspects.    While working our course teacher got an

invitation letter from Fellowship of the Physically Handicapped

where they were organizing a seminar on Removal of Barriers –

Providing Tangible Solutions at FPH centre in Worli, dated

February 17, 2007.

               As our topics were related and dealing with environmental

         barriers, we felt encouraged to go and attend the seminar. We

         wanted to make a note of the programme schedule and the flow

         of sessions. Shailee, Shweta and Trupti attended the seminar

         and got a jist of the details involved.

               Through attending this seminar we could arrange for the

         Resource persons. One of the Keynote speakers for Module I –

         Design & Architecture was Mr. Harshad Bhatia. He being an

         Urban Planner had great knowledge and different ideas, which

         he tactfully presented to the audience. His presentation was so

         impressing that we decided to contact him for our seminar. So

         that we could also help in sensitizing the target audience with

         an orator like him.

      There was also a Presentation by the students of Sir J.J. College of

Architecture which was so well detailed and had a great presentation

format which definitely gave the message across in a very touching and

effective manner . They were young budding architects themselves, who

had made this presentation. We decided to contact them as our second

resource person, as a youth can best sensitize another youth .We had a

brief discussion with them and they agreed to participate in our seminar.

      As this was being organized at FPH, many people with disabilities

had attended the seminar. So this was a great opportunity for making a

contact with one of them who could take a session. With this thought we

got ourselves introduced to Mr. Arun Swamy who by profession was a

lawyer and we requested him to come for the seminar and thereby we got

a third resource person.

       All their contact details were collected so we could discuss and

confirm our steps with the rest of the class and go ahead with

coordinating with them. In all, the FPH seminar was a great learning as

well as a great starting place of contacts for us .

       Once we returned from the seminar we had a good starting point

as we had a brief practical experience of the seminar and learnt from

their strengths and weaknesses :

Strengths were as follows:

             Very good resource persons

             Excellent content of each resource person

             Good folders with complete details and notepad given on the


             Food and hospitality was very well arranged

Weaknesses :

      Too many speakers, less time, very little justice to each speaker .

      Content of each speaker was excellent but the delivery of content

       was merely lecture format so it was monotonous.

      The program lacked in terms of time management.

We learnt that we need to have good speakers but also different delivery

formats like activities and participatory learning and we need to start

and end on time so as to respect the time of our target audience as well

as our resource persons and we also took each of their strengths and

decided to incorporate them into our seminar so as to make it successful

in attaining the desired objectives.

Once we analyzed each of these strengths and weakness each of the

groups discussed the problems they faced:

Food and administration team:          was facing difficulties in identifying

the right price range for the lunch and tea. We had a class meeting and

with everybody‟s consent we decided the dinning hall lunch and tea , due

to proximity conveniences and the food was tried and tested . The room

and laptop was also arranged for.

Creative team: placed their research work done till now , what was the

content of the poster and the certificate . The content idea was “to make

India accessible- the power is in your hands” which was aimed at the

architects. The power to maw our country was purely in your hands and

that we were here to guide them. The color combinations and picture

content was agreed upon and then the creative team was set for the final

making and printing.

Proposal and finance team: was well in place and did the budget

allocation in the most precise manner possible and collected bills of each

and every activity spent on.

Marketing team: by now had identified the list of colleges and made one

call to the principals. The feedback from the principals was that the

event needs to be before April as the architecture students had their

exams .So we had to prepone the seminar in the last week of March so

the date was now the 24th of March. This preponing did bring a bit of

friction as now everything was needed to be done faster than planned

and now at this point in time our field work placements were decided

and the 15 of us were placed in different geographical areas so meeting

was difficult , but we were determined in achieving our set objectives .

               So we prioritized our work that the posters needed to be

ready first along with the letters which need to be given to the principals

and the final list of colleges along with who will be going to which college.

              Within the next week, the creative team was ready with the

final design of the poster it was approved by all and our course teacher

and was then printed by the creative team. We printed 7 posters. 6 for

different colleges and 1 for Tata Institute of Social Sciences (copy of

poster enclosed in appendix) and also letters to be given to each college

along with the poster stating the details of the seminar (copy enclosed in

appendix )

             Once the posters were printed and ready then we had a

meeting so as to divide the colleges on proximity and convenience basis,

so as to achieve effective results. The whole class was divided into small

groups of two to three people and we short-listed six colleges to invite.

We set a deadline of 3 days within which each one of us had to visit our

respective colleges and then we would meet back in college to decide the

further course of action. Details of which are given below:

                  Experiences of inviting different colleges-

        Anamika and Shweta had to invite Indian Educational Society,

Bandra Reclamation. They took prior appointment to meet the principal

of the college. They personally went to invite the students and the

principle assured to send 5-10 students from the institute for the


        Rachana and Shailendra decided to invite Bhausaheb Hirey

College, Bandra. They also took prior appointment to meet the principal.

Shailendra met the principal and he sounded sure to send 20

participants but they didn‟t give any names on confirmation, so

Shailendra and Rachna visited again and they got 25 confirm students

from this college

         Neela and Krishnaveni were asked to invite D Y Patil college.

They spoke to the principal over telephone regarding the workshop along

with the invitation for the students. But the principal did not entertain

much as the institute exams were scheduled at that time. Jack followed

up with the same college but nothing was confirmed from the institute. It

was quite a disappointment for us as we thought we had chosen a wrong

time as most of the institutes were having their exams. But we didn‟t lose


         Trupti and Greeshma were given responsibility to invite Rachana

College, Bandra. The principal was very enthusiastic to send students

and he even made sure that the information is rightly passed to the

students. But unfortunately there were no response from the students

and both of them decided to visit the college once again. They even spoke

to the 1st and 2nd year students of the college; however they did not

show any interest and did not respond positively. Shailee and Sonam

corresponded with the principal again he then gave us one confirmation

who would be their representative .

        Shailee and Sonam visited Rizvi College after an appointment

with a lady from the Administrative Department. Unfortunately, the

principal wasn‟t available at the college but they got the opportunity to

speak with the students of the final year personally. Students were quite

excited and enthusiastic about the topic of the Seminar, but expressed

anxiety as the date of the Seminar clashed with the date of their final

submissions. Sonam and Shailee explained the concept in detail and put

up the poster at the main notice board before leaving the college. Sonam

contacted the college again so as to meet the principal , after a long wait

we did get to speak to the vice principal but he was very keen but again

couldn‟t pressurize the students as their project submissions were on .

        Rani, Madhulika and Diya were asked to invite Sir J.J College of

architecture. They took prior permission from the college and met the

principal. The principal promised to send his students for the seminar

and even asked one of the students to speak to us about the program.

They also promised to us that his students were ready to present their

presentation in the seminar. The students put the posters on their notice

board and invited them to come.

      When we met in the next week we realized In all the responses

were not overwhelming as the timing was a problem but we did have a

confirmation of 48 students in all after that 13 students of Sir J.J School

registered themselves , 25 students of Bahusaheb voluntarily gave their

names to participate and Indian Educational Society around 5- 10 . So

once the audience of above 40 was confirmed we then moved on to

finalizing the remaining requirements.

      The food price and type of food was finalized from the dining hall,

the certificate sample was brought by the creative team and approved by

the entire class. Common room was booked for 24th march along with the

other technical booking that needed to be done.

      Then in this meeting we delegated the work of stationery

purchases and banner for the seminar. We also sat together and chalked

out the programme schedule and divided it into three modules. (Copy of

program schedule enclosed in appendix)

      The plan was decided and then decided the various activities we

wanted to include;

      As it was decided, we did not want our seminar to be mere lecture

sessions, with the Speakers talking and very less interaction between the

participants. To avoid this kind of situation, we decided to arrange for a

lot of interactive activities. This would give great opportunities to break

the ice among the participants.

      We thought of activities like “feel it yourself” which would give the

participants to have a first hand experience of what its like to be

disabled. As we had ourselves had these sessions in the class, it was very

easy to relate and decide. We decided on having 4 different activities to

cover 4 different disabilities. We divided ourselves into 4 groups in order

to brainstorm and come up with unique activities. But on the day before

the seminar we had a mock rehearsal and realized that due to time

constraints we could have three activities the          Flower   activity,

Wheelchair activity and the Participatory learning activity.

      The objective of the flower activity was basically to know their

perceptions of disability, and then give them a feeling of disability by

giving them alive stimulation of a life on a wheelchair, where we would

have participants from the audience to take one round on the wheelchair

in the class and express what they felt being on the wheelchair and the

barrier they came across.

      The participatory activity that we had planned was to divide them

into 5 groups and give them different “infrastructural settings” and how

would they want to make changes in their settings. Materials to be

provided were chart papers, pencils, scale, transparency sheets, marker

pens etc that could help them to present their ideas in front of the

remaining class. The five settings were:

                     Hospital

                     Hotel

                     Public transport

                     Public places

                     Home

      Objective of this activity: the objective of this activity was

participatory   learning       for   the   students    to    participate   and   have

experiential learning so they would be able to design the architectural

changes in these settings. This would stimulate their minds on this

aspect as also there would be a brainstorming session on various ideas

that are possible .

The activities were finalised and the programme schedule was in place.

Various resource persons were approached from the seminar we

attended at FPH and then decided to speak to Mr. Bhatia (urban planner)

and lawyer Arun Swamy. At the last moment Bhatia expressed his

inability to participate in the seminar; and he gave reference to

another   architect      Ms.     Radhika        Toshniwal,    who    presented    his

presentation and she was an excellent orator. She was a young budding

architect so we thought she would be able to provoke the audience

regarding the various architectural barriers.

         Then we had the last meeting one day before the final day , where

we all delegated work on the basis of our expertise which was as follows :

10.15 am Welcome speech by Krishnaveni followed by bouquets to
Mr.Arun swamy by Rachna and to Ms. Radhika by Diya.

1.Introduction to disability by Rani
2.Activity of Flower by sonam
3.activity by trupti and sonam
3.Sir J.J. college students‟ presentation
4.Participatory learning Activity by Anamika and Greeshma
5.Lunch- arranged by Jack, Neela and Prakash, Shailendra
6.Presentation of Participatory learning activity outcome.
7.Introduction to Ms. Radhika
8.Presentation by Ms. Radhika
9.Session by Mr.Arun swamy
10.Discussion and Q&A
11.Few words by Sandhya ma‟m
12.Token to Mr.Swamy
13.Certificate to Sir J.J students by Mr.Swamy
14.Vote of thanks by Shailee Majithia

         Once the delegation was completed we then went on to practicing

our parts in front of the class so as to know our errors and also check

the continuity of the program. Each one of us gave our inputs to each


        We then arranged the folders for the participants with the

programme schedule, notepad, pen, Questionnaire and a handout on

disability and ability (copy enclosed) for them to take back with them.

This folder was to be given to each student at the registration.

      Then we decided on where would the registration desk be put and

who would get the cloth for the table and flowers for the guest. The cloth

was brought by Rachna from her house and Madhulika was in charge of

the flowers for the resource persons.

      We also arranged for a trophy for the Sir J.J College Of

Architecture students and a Laminated Certificate to be given to the

students for presenting at the seminar.

      The badges were arranged for 15 of us so as to be easily

recognizable. We then decided on the dress code, which was formals in

black and blue as that was available with each one of us and was a

standard formal code.

      Once all the arrangements were made and final talk with the

helper staff and the technical in charge was done, we closed for the day,

after deciding that we would all assemble at the institute at 8.00 am so

as to make the arrangements .

             ON THE DAY OF SEMINAR „24th March 2007

                         TISS – COMMON ROOM


Ultimately the most awaited day had come. The day begun with a lot of

excitement and anxiety as all the organizers were organizing a seminar

for the first time and were really looking forward for its actualization. As

decided in the last meeting, all the students gathered at the institute by

8.00 am .

As the time rolled, each one got involved into their own responsibilities as

assigned, some busy with desk arrangements, some trying to fix the

audio system, a few of them arranging the folders to be handed over to

the participants and so on. But at some corner of each one‟s mind was

an urge to accomplish the goal of -“A Successful Seminar”. By 9.00am

everything was set, the tea table was arranged, the desk in the hall was

decorated, the Microphones were tested and ready, students at the

reception were seated and were waiting for the guests to flow in. And in

no time did the first guest, our chief speaker, Mr.Arun Swamy walked in.

It was indeed a boost for all the organizers to see people coming on time.

And “All that begins well, shall end well”, this is what all of them thought

in their minds and got started.

As people came, they were offered coffee and tea and were guided to their

seats in the hall. Within no time the hall was nearly occupied and the

programme began. According to the schedule, the programme had three

modules, two in the morning session and one in the afternoon session.

The first module began with a welcome speech by Krishnaveni followed

by an introduction to disability by Theresa Rani. The introduction was

about how disability is not only a phenomenon that occurs to those who

are so called “marginalized in the society” but can happen to anyone of

us and its not just the physical attribute of it but the entire social and

emotional aspects attached therewith. It briefs out on how socially

disabled are we, the “Able bodied”, with all sort of crimes and corruption

in our society. Rani also elaborated on the actual definition of disability

and the 7 categories under the PWD Act which are widely accepted as

disabilities. This was followed by an informal introduction of each

participant, briefing their names, which college they belong to and what

are they looking forward to from this seminar. This indeed acted as an

icebreaker, as all the organizers and the participants were a bit tensed.

First Activity and its Objective:

This was followed by a small activity designed to understand the basic

feelings of the participants regarding the word “DISABILITY”.

Process: A flower with five petals was drawn and the central part of it

had the word disability written in it by Sonam, who conducted the

activity. Five volunteers from the audience were requested to come upon

the dais and write the very first word that comes to their mind on

hearing the word “DISABILITY”. It was amazing to see the spirit with

which people came forward and expressed themselves.

Outcome: the five volunteers wrote the following in the petals

      pity,

      challenging,

      support

      sympathy

      Incapability.

These words depicted the various shades of emotions and feelings

associated with the word Disability. Following this was a brief discussion

/ feedback from the participants justifying their feelings.

Conclusion of this activity : It was found that all these expressions had

their origin from various incidents, situations and people they saw in

disabling conditions or heard of. So, it was concluded that some bore a

positive meaning and some had a negative connotation attached with

them. Therefore the activity proved that disability was not a physical lack

but a social disadvantage where the disabled were pitied, needed

support, had challenges to face, were incapable and were sympathized.

This activity was followed by another activity that was hosted by Trupti,

Sonam and Jack.

2nd Activity and Objective:

This activity was aimed at giving the audience a feel of disability by using

a wheel chair thereby understanding the various barriers faced by the


Process: In this a few participants came forward and were asked to

propel the wheel chair, take a short ride around the hall and get back to

the starting position by crossing the various hurdles placed in their way.

Outcome: The participants were really excited and gave their feedback,

some feeling terrible and dependant, others feeling emotionally moved by

imagining the plight of the disabled people and other felt very

uncomfortable as it involved a lot of muscular effort and were left with

aching hands and arms.

Conclusion of this activity :At the end, all of them including the

organizers, agreed to the fact that apart from the physical disability, the

society with its architectural barriers is all the more disabling their


After this activity there was clip shown which was an audio visual

clipping of a day in the life a of a person with malformed limbs, Mr.Nick.

It was indeed a very moving video. All the participants really appreciated

the movie and were completed surprised with the courage and motivation

he had to fight all the barriers and obstacles and try his best to live a

“Normal” life . After the movie, Jack concluded the movie with a few

words about Nick and his life and where he had reached today after this

we declared a 10 minutes break for the participants to easy out as

module 1 was completed.      On the conclusion of the brief break, we

continued with the second module.

The second module began with a presentation by the students of Sir

J.J.School of Architecture. The presentation “Is Mumbai Accessible?”

was very informative and a great attempt to give a clear understanding of

the various architectural barriers present in Mumbai.

Moving ahead with the programme, another activity was introduced by

Anamika and Greeshma.

3rd Activity and Objective: The activity was aimed at creating a

common platform for all the audience, where they as architects could

come up with various ideas to create barrier free environment in given


Process: The entire audience was divided into five groups according to

the numbers mentioned on their folders. Each group was asked to pick

one chit from the desk and sketch a plan for the given situation, which

should be disabled friendly. As they arranged themselves, and chose

their topic, they were given 30 minutes to brainstorm and come up with

solutions using the stationery provided to them. They were supposed to

present their solutions to the rest of the participants after the time was


After 30 – 45 minutes it was lunch time and the lunch was served at the

dining hall and the organizers guided the participants to the dining hall.

Outcome: It was Amazing to see their thoughts and creativity. Each

group presented all possible solutions in designing a barrier free

Architecture. Majority of them stressed on the presence of proper ramps

and having clear signboards written in Braille for the blind. Some also

mentioned about the washroom modifications that were necessary not

only for the disabled but also for the elderly who needed constant

support. They even highlighted about the necessity of the modifications

in the transport system and possible solutions for the shopping malls.

Conclusion: The activity was concluded by a feedback session where all

the groups were given a chance to clarify their doubts and add to the

others‟ part as a suggestion .The active involvement of each participant,

which was the main objective of the activity, was achieved. It was seen

that each individual as a professional and as an efficient team member

worked for a common reason and came up with a few tangible solutions.

The feedback session also helped them and us to analyze the feasibility

of the suggested solutions and their alternatives.

      The seminar then continued with a presentation by Ms. Radhika

Toshniwal, an architect by profession, on Practical Approaches -

Tangible Solutions. She discussed about the problems in designing for

a barrier free environment, wherein she explained in various settings

namely obstructions, signages, accessibility, street furniture, pathways,

curb ramps, pedestrian crossing, parking, building types, etc.. She ended

by giving certain measures to rectify the problems.

      The presentation was followed by a talk, “The Other Side Of

The Story-Meeting The World Halfway” by Mr.N.ArunSwamy, a lawyer

by profession and a Polio affected person. He was very pleased to be at

TISS and attend the seminar. He appreciated the effort made by the

Youth and expressed his gratitude for working towards the betterment of

the Disabled. He, in his speech, highlighted the importance of the

initiative to be taken by the Disabled persons to accept what the world

has for them in store. Until and unless an effort is made on their side, no

changes or modifications in the society can accommodate the persons

with disability. Therefore, they should try to overcome their own

psychological and emotional barriers and come forward to join hands

with the society.

      Thus, he concluded by saying, “what you give to the world is more

important than what the world gives you”. He emphasized that this

should be a universal goal to bring out the best in you. Hence, together

we can provide a better world not only for the disabled but for everyone

else. Only then there can be total integration in the society.

      The experience and thoughts shared by Mr. Swamy were really

enlightening and kindled a new spark of thinking in the audience. It was

our privilege to have him with us on this occasion. Mr. Swamy was

requested to present a momento of appreciation to the students of Sir

J.J. School of architecture for their wonderful contribution.

      This was followed by a short speech by Dr. Sandhya Limaye,

Course teacher of Rehabilitation counseling. She extended her warm

wishes to each and everyone who had attended the seminar and carried

out a feedback session from the audience about their experience of the

seminar. It was pleasing to hear that all of them had a wonderful

learning time and were looking forward for more in this regard.

      The Seminar was ended by a Vote of thanks by Shailee. Post the

vote of   thanks the students were asked to collect their participation

certificates and submit the feedback questionnaire at the exit .

      After the participants left, all the folders, certificates and other

stationery were collected, the technical devices of the college were

returned and then we students assembled together and discussed a

feedback of the seminar where everyone stated how we could have

improved and what our learnings from this seminar were. After the

feedback session the class dispersed.

                 Feedback from Respondents

      At the end of the seminar we collected the feedback forms and

these were the participants‟ feedback.

         1. What are your feelings towards disabled individuals?

         Most of the students‟ answer was support. Only a few differed

         from that and gave varied opinions such as differently abled,

         challenged, some were even proud of persons with disability for

         their courage. They had mentioned that after the workshop

         their perception and feelings towards disability and people with

         disability had changed.

         2. The next question was how did you find the discussion?

      Ninety percent of the students felt that the discussion was

excellent the rest felt that the discussion was good.

         3. Which modules were detailed and comprehensive?

      Out of the twenty four students ten students said that they felt the

third module: practical approaches and solutions were detailed and


      Four students felt the second module: disability and barriers was

detailed and comprehensive. Four students felt that the first module was

detailed and comprehensive. The other six students felt that all three

modules were equally detailed and comprehensive.

      4)What according to you was the impact of the interactive


      Most of the students felt that the interactive activities led to active

participation and also increased their knowledge. They also felt that the

activities were very informative as they shared their views and ideas.

They also came to know the real problems faced by the people with

disability. It also improved their understanding capacity and some felt

that the session was very benefiting. The first hand experience of sitting

on a wheelchair had made a big impact on the challenges faced by

persons with disability.

      5)Would you like to comment on the life of Nick?

      All of them felt that Nick lived a better life than most of the normal

people. Some felt that Nick‟s life was very good because of modern

technologies. Some felt that Nick‟s life was very inspiring as he had

overcome his disability and they also will strive to be more positive and

productive. They also understood to which extent people with disabilities

are disabled due to architectural barriers.

      6)What other issues pertaining to PWDs do you think need to be

      focused on?

      Most of them felt that apart from architectural barriers people

must take into consideration other important issues such as education,

employment making them financially and socially independent.

      Making people sensitive towards disabled people and their issues,

people must also take into consideration what people with disabilities

think, feel and need. Accept them as normal people and treat them with


      These were the feedbacks of the respondents. In all they learnt a

lot and many of the students even asked us to continue such seminars

at various different colleges.

                   Feedback of the organizers:

We decided to that each one of us would write our individual

expectations from the seminar and the outcomes which are as follows:


The seminar was the brainchild of all 15 of us, the CCRC batch 2006-07.

It helped us to learn more about organizing workshops and how to deal

with practical difficulties. It was the result of hard work of all the

students   which   brought    out   such   a   successful   workshop.   The

methodology was very good and everything was very systematic. The best

part of the program was that it was not a tall mere lecture but a

participatory workshop involving not only all the hosts but the guests as

well. It seemed that the participants thoroughly enjoyed the activity and

it was a kind of eye opener for them.

Sonam :


Expectation from this seminar was as follows:

      To attain practical Learning experience to create a seminar right

       from idea generation to the final day of implementation.

      to learn how to sensitize youth on a crucial subject where they can

       bring a change .Once the subject of the seminar was decided my

     expectation reached a higher leap as I desired to bring a change in

     the mindset of the youth on this subject as it was very important

     to my knowledge to do so. So I did expect this seminar to bring at

     least a sense of change in the minds of the participants.

Outcome :

               The outcome of the seminar to my knowledge was a great

                success in the learning experience as well bringing a

                change in the minds of budding architects.

               The most important outcome was that I learnt how to

                organize a seminar right from brainstorming of a topic

                till the implementation of the seminar. It was complete

                practical learning; it was so different from what we

                perceived a seminar to be. We usually perceive a seminar

                to be simple to organize but in reality it takes a lot of time

                and effort but the results definitely pay off for the hard

                work put into a creating a seminar.

               I was in charge of the creative team which definitely gave

                me a great learning because to make a poster that would

                speak our objectives, took me time to picture what would

                be the right graphics and content on a poster. I needed

                the poster to look and bring about the importance of

                subject, which I successfully learnt how to in the most

                effective manner.

               Learnt   how   to   make   a   seminar   participatory   and

                informative so as for the information to seep in , the

                manner that there is retention among the youth .

The overall seminar was a great source of experiential learning, we learnt

all difficulties encountered , team work issues , delegation issues and

various other but all in all it was an experience unforgettable , albeit a

long way to go as we practice more in this area we would be perfect in

creating seminars for a better tomorrow.


Well the seminar was a good experience for me. It made me teach how to

be organized and it takes a lot of energy to actually plan a seminar. It

was a result of all the students and i am really happy with the outcome.

The best thing is that it was not just a lecture but was interactive and a

good knowledge based.



We, as CCRC batch students deal with the impact of disability on

different aspects of human development and its implications. Whether

s/he is going to school, or to work, or to use recreational facilities, the

ability of the person with disability to move around is critical to make

him/her feel like a valued and an effective member of the community.

However, most of the community facilities in the world have been

designed for and cater to able-bodied individuals. Hence, our motive was

to educate able-bodied members of the general public on the importance

of these measures who are professionals and have the potential to bring

about a difference. Hence, we as Rehabilitation Counseling students,

aimed at creating awareness among architectural professionals to

improve access to public services by making the environment disabled-

friendly and providing facilities for the people with disabilities. The

rationale behind organizing this seminar with architecture students was

that they are the future of town planning in India and hence sensitizing

them on this issue is the stepping-stone towards the creation of a barrier

free environment.


The Seminar, and more so the process of planning the seminar was a

tremendous learning experience. We were all satisfied with the flow of the

seminar, the timings, the interactive sessions and the main presentation

regarding providing tangible solutions. The participants were particularly

happy with the interactive activities where they got to get the first hand

feeling of how a PWD feels in a wheelchair and what barriers he faces.

Also, because of the interactive atmosphere, the students got to share

each other's experiences and there was a free-wheeling of thoughts and

ideas. We were hardly expecting that the students would be so aware

about this field. It was very satisfying to find that the target group was a

good choice, a very fruitful one indeed. Also, the words from a PWD

speaker gave the students an insight into various issues and concerns

faced by them. We did wish we could have arranged for a bench of

Architecture professors and professionals to answer the array of

questions that the participants had. Overall it was a fruitful and

stimulating experience.



As this was the first time I was involved in a process of this kind, it was

very   exciting   as   well   as   challenging.    I   expected that   the

seminar/workshop would be a tough thing to handle as there are many

key points to be taken care of like the budget, guests, food etc. The most

important thing that I was worried was the teamwork as all of us were

placed at different locations for our field work and coming together was

an issue keeping in mind the travel.


The outcome according to me was good .As everything requires to refine

itself , we too could improve but being the first attempt it was a good

learning experience. Our main motto of trying to come up with tangible

solutions was achieved to an extent but the most important aspect is

that this seminar could kindle some serious thinking in the minds of the

young architects as well as the counsellors in the sense of making apt

changes in the architecture of public utilities as well as giving a clear

information    to   the   counsellors   the   practical   problems   faced   by

the architects in actually making everything absolutely accessible to all.

Hence the counsellors will now be in a better situation to motivate efforts

on behalf of the Persons with disabilities to cherish the modifications

that are feasible in their own way.



* To bring awareness among the architecture students about the physical

barriers existing in the society, and their role in creating a barrier free

environment for the disabled.

* A platform to share their ideas and also to encounter the students of

the other architect colleges.

Outcome: * the activities we conducted gave them a first hand experience

of the feelings, problems and the needs of the persons with disabilities.

The group work was also gave them an opportunity to understand that

they can and have to do a great deal in the society. The presentation of

the J.J College was great eye opener to the rest of the students. There

was no disruption during the seminar and everything was just flowing as

it was decided. I believe that we have achieved the goal we have set while

planning this seminar.

Greeshma :

To begin with the workshop was a great learning experience. We did face

a few practical difficulties while organizing the seminar. When we went to

Rachna Sansad Academy‟s college of Architecture and spoke to the

principal, we felt that the students would register that day itself and at

least 10 to 15 students would come. But nothing of that sort happened

instead continuous phone calls to the college authorities and the

principal also did not help. The only student who came for the seminar

was the one who was doing a research on this subject and that too late.

It was a bit disheartening as the response that we got from the students

and the principal on our first visit to the institution was very promising. I

also expected that more than 50 students would come as we had

approached a lot of colleges and all of us had put in a lot of effort but

when only half the number of students came I was a bit disappointed.

Otherwise the seminar was a great success and I liked the presentation

by Roshni Toshniwal that was very informative. The session where the

students had to think of various methods of accessibility for the people

with dis-ability in different settings was also very interesting as I did not

know much about the various ways in which you could make them

accessible. The seminar was a learning experience from its conception to

the final outcome.

Madhulika :

My learning... Organizing this seminar was a wonderful experience, I

have learnt a lot from this activity of our curriculum. I realized my own

potentials and shortcomings, I learnt working in a group, sharing

responsibilities, problems and working out the solutions together. I also

learnt from the experience of this seminar that being organized is very

important, and that we really need to workout in this area. We should

have been more organized, professional and well prepared before hand

for all the planned as well as unplanned issues that came up without

notice. Anyways, all kinds of experiences have something to teach and i

have      learnt        well,     my        part    from      this       one.


The whole process of planning-executing-implication was stressful but a

great learning experience. Lot of hard work was involved, so we were

having great expectations from the seminar. As there was lot of pre-

planning and coordination among all of us. So it was a great experience

with     how       to    adjust   and       coordinate     with      everyone.

As all of us were busy with the field work, balancing Seminar work and

field work together was a tough task. One of the learning was Time

management, which was very important. Keeping the seminar as more

interactive was an excellent idea otherwise the participants would have

not been as enthusiastic as they were at the end of the day. The activities

was one of the best things that we added otherwise it would have been

really difficult to make those participants interact among themselves. It

taught us how to be professionals and control our reactions to the last

minute changes. It also taught us a very important thing, how much ever

we plan; things can go wrong at the last moment. (Expected students

from            all           the            different           colleges)

Its was a great feeling when the architect students, while leaving, said

that they were so happy to attend this seminar. Getting appreciated at

the end of the day was the best thing!


Expectations from the seminar-I don't expect from the architect students

that they will apply the knowledge they gained in the seminar while

working; but at least sensitize and will put forward the problems faced by

disabled persons while accessing to public places; to their higher

authority. It may not happen in near future but in the long run definitely

there may be some impact on the architect professionals.


Expectation: The number of students for participation expected was


Outcomes: The participants who attended was too less than expected.

But the active participation of the students was very much encouraging.


Expectation: I expected that at least some of the students from the

number that the principal had told of the college I went would come. The

students coming to the seminar was from first year so they would have

less knowledge about barrier free environment for people with disability.

As per the planned schedule I thought we may finish of our program by

the given time or may be before it.

 Outcomes: The number of participants was not bad, and they were very

enthusiastic and eager about the seminar, their eagerness gave us

encouragement. The students were from first year so but they had a good

sense of barrier free environment for people with disability. I liked to hear

the speaker Mr. Arun Swamy‟s experiences and wanted to hear him more

about his life but the time was a constraint.


Three of my batch-mates and myself were in the Food and Permission

Committee while organizing the Seminar on "Barrier Free environment

for the Disabled". We were entrusted the job of taking the permission for

the room where the seminar was to be conducted, permission for

certificates etc. and so also to arrange lunch, tea and snacks for the


Initially I had taken the permission for the Room No 3 on April 14, 2007.

But then it was decided unanimously to advance the program and hence

the initial booking got cancelled.

Jack and I were assigned to go to D. Y. Patil college of Architecture, Navi

Mumbai But the Principal of the college Mr Chaudari did not wish to

send his students for the Seminar as they had their Semester exams and

moreover they had their assignments to be submitted by March 25th. I

had also taken the permission for the maintenance boy from the STP


Subsequently on the day of the seminar due to the hard work and

dedication on part of all our team mates everything went off very

smoothly and it was a total success. It was a great learning experience

and I thoroughly enjoyed working together as a part of the team. This

interaction amongst us was a different feeling altogether and I realized

the benefit of working as a team than as individuals. The best which

came out from all us made the program a total success and that we had

successfully conveyed the appropriate message to the right group of

people in our society.



1. It would be something new for the students of architecture and they

would be more enthusiastic to participate.

2. Substantial awareness and sensitization would take place on their



1. Though the students were having substantial knowledge about the

field of disability and its aspects, it could be seen that it was a very new

experience for them to have a feel of disability and were really exhibiting

a high amount of enthusiasm.

2. It leaded them to brainstorm about what was their actual role as

future town planners.

3. Sensitization could indeed take place.

Prakash :

Gained knowledge about how to organize a seminar and what are the

practical difficulties to deal within our seminar the target group and the

time of organizing that was inappropriate due to which we lost our

valuable time in our block field work.

         Appendix enclosures :
Copy of the poster which was put up at all colleges

    Certificate which was given to all the participants

                    Programme schedule:
     The programme was scheduled on 24th march 2007. We divided

the programme into three modules which was as follows:


Registration &Tea                                        10.00 to 10.30

Welcome & Introduction To Seminar                        10.30 to 10.45

Module 1 ( 60 minutes)

Introduction To Disability                               10.45 to 11.00

Feel of the Disabilities through Activities              11.00 to11.45

A Day in the life of a PWD(Audio visual)                 11.45 to 12.00

Module 2 ( 60 minutes)

Disability and Barriers

Is Mumbai Accessible?- By J.J school of Architecture

                                                         12.00 to 12.30

Activity on Your Perception on Barriers                  12.30 to 1.00

Lunch break                                              1.00 to 2.00

Module 3 ( 2hours)

Activity presentation by participants                     2.00 to 3.00

Practical Approaches and Solutions - By Ms. Radhika
                                                          3.30 to 4.00

The Other side of the story-meeting the world half way-
By Mr. N.Arun Swamy
                                                          4.00 to 4.30

Certificate distribution by Mr. N.Arun Swamy
                                                          4.30 to 4.45

Vote of thanks                                            4.45 to 4.55

                                Copy of Feedback Form

                                     Seminar on
Practical Approaches towards Creating A Barrier Free Environment For The Persons With

 1) What is your feeling towards a disabled individual now?

 a)   Sympathy
 b)   Support
 c)   Embarrassment
 d)   Disgust
 e)   Any other

 2) How did you find the discussions?

 a) Excellent
 b) Good
 c) Average

 3) Which modules were detailed and comprehensive?

 a) Module 1 : Introduction To Disability
 b) Module 2 : Disability and Barriers
 c) Module 3 : Practical Approaches and Solutions

 4) What according to you was the impact of the interactive activities?

 5) Would you like to comment on the life of John?

 6) What other issues pertaining to the PWDs do you think need to be focused on?


Copy of Handout given to participants as a reference too after the


                         Dis-Ability To Ability
We are all born to be free; to live life with self- esteem and dignity, even those of
us who are ‘abled’ differently.

Disability is not a phenomenon that affects others only, but a phase that we all
pass through in the cycle of time.

The meaning of disability includes not only people with physical impairment, but
also the temporarily infirm, senior citizen, pregnant women and people
carrying children or luggage, etc.

Accessibility is a matter of right for all of us. Our built environment, unfortunately
has innumerable barriers disallowing many of us from carrying out even our basic
daily routines.

Just as designers world over have been designing the environments for the
‘normal’ adult, similarly the playgrounds are designed for the ‘normal’ child.
Unfortunately, the child who is physically handicapped does not see the world in
the same way as a normal individual does.

Making provisions for the disabled child would ensure of fuller and more normal
base for academic growth and self - appreciation.

The concept of ‘normalization’ points towards designing of pedestrian spaces
such that wheel chair users and the visually impaired can use them easily.

For a person using wheel chair or crutches, the impediments are in the form of
slippery floors , change or level, steep slopes, steps and stairs, hand space rails,
width of doorways and corridors, door swings and accessories, counter height,
as well as a range of control panels.

People with visual impairment face further impediments. Their barriers include
absence of poor intimation of the path ahead, lack of Braille or tactile signage,
inadequate illumination, or unchecked protruding objects in the way.

Persons with hearing impairment are most ignored and face various adverse
conditions as they are not visibly distinguishable. Inadequate visual warning
signs and audio controls are some popular difficulties they face. Not only home
and work places, but also civic, religious and recreational facilities ought to be
accessible to all. It is achievable and affordable only if integrated right from the
conceptualization and planning stage of any space or building.

Public parks like the Garden of Five Senses in Delhi and shopping streets such
as Dilli Haat are made effectively accessible, resulting into are truly democratic
and socially interactive civic space. A busy traffic junction at Vastrapur,
Ahmedabad is supported by audio signals for the persons with visual impairment.

Barrier free mass transit systems such as The Delhi Metro, ensure mobility to
persons    with   multiple   disability,   translating   into   economic   and   social
independence. Lowering the transaction counters in banks or ATMs goes a long
way in ensuring that these basic utilities are accessible.

For the world to be accessible to all , it requires the will and commitment on the
part of authorities to vigilantly enforce the provision of universal design.

Professionals have to responsibly integrate these as inherent features of
architectural designs; Society has to accept and include all its members as equal;
and Citizens have to demand for their rights;-

The Right to Dignify

The Right to Freedom of Being.


Shared By: