What is the Ability Program?

Ability Program is an initiative set up in 2018 that is anchored in collecting data on how accessible African buildings and streets are for everyone to use, but especially people with disabilities. We work to ‘MOVE’ – mainstream accessibility with organisations and volunteers that desire equitable mobility for all.

What Are We Trying To Solve?

We know that 15% of the world’s population identify with, or experience some kind of disability and 80% of these individuals live in lower and middle income countries (LMIC’s). The cost of poor accessibility in The built environment alone is estimated at between €474bn and €672bn per annum across all LMICs.

Volunteers of the Ability Program having a discussion during a mapping exercise
Volunteers of the Ability Program during a mapping exercise in Nairobi

Equitable mobility directly impacts all spheres of life, particularly for people with disabilities who’s independence, safety, dignity and inclusion rely on the design and construction of built environment features, the formulation of social policies, and the way we plan and deliver mobility services. 

A trainer of the Ability Program speaking to volunteers
Volunteer training at the Open Institute

With there being approximately 80 million people with disabilities in Africa, opportunities for effective inclusion – from the way we engage disabled people in design processes and decision-making, to the actual design and delivery of mobility infrastructure and services, and the way we train staff responsible for delivering transport services – are frequently missed.

Our Mission

Ability works to map out African cities, audit their buildings and streets and use this accessibility data to influence policy change, empower the disabled and educate the non-disabled on the importance of equitable mobility that makes it easier for people who experience different forms of disabilities to travel around – thereby affording them greater access to the same opportunities and experiences enjoyed by non-disabled people.

Close up of a printed map

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