We are excited to be back after a long silence since we started the Ability Project in 2018. As you will recall, last year, we worked with volunteers to map out Nairobi’s Central Business District, from University way to Haile Selassie Avenue and from Uhuru Highway to Tom Mboya Street. The idea behind the mapping was to establish which streets, buildings and offices were accessible. This year the Ability Project is back to take forward the work that we started last year. We have started with plans to build upon and improve the process to be more efficient and of course, more impactful by:

  • Adding more locations to the map to include residential areas, universities, malls etc.
  • Getting volunteers of all ages and abilities (including persons with disabilities) to more accurately reflect our society.
  • Present our findings and short documentary at a sensitisation event that we will organise and invite stakeholders, beneficiaries the general public and media to take part in.

We started preparing for the project within the organisation as we commemorated World Glaucoma Week, spreading awareness about the disease which causes blindness in many people globally. I have glaucoma myself and so the team connected even more with the cause. We had a #BlindfoldChallenge in which every member of the team agreed to be blindfolded for half of the work day and go around their normal business. This experiential activity drove home some of the biggest issues surrounding how important it is to have an accessible office space, an accessible parking lot (including the path that gets you there and back) to the office, and supportive people around you who are ready to assist and truly accept you as a valuable part of the team with or without a disability and so much more.

Calling for Volunteers

This year we shall be mapping more areas in Nairobi with your help. We have resolved to map all streets and buildings in the Upperhill area, Westlands area, Nyayo Estate (a residential neighbourhood), 7 university campuses around Nairobi and 6 malls. We shall also be mapping some of the high-traffic government offices like the Huduma Centre in downtown Nairobi, the Ministry of Lands banking hall, Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters at Times Towers and more.

If you would like to be a part of the project, simply email us at ability@openinstitute.com and we shall be happy to have you.