The Roles of NGOs for Creating a Network among Disabled People in Iran

After enactment of ‘Comprehensive Law to Support Disabled People’s Rights’ (Qanun-e Jame’-e Hemayat az Hoquq-e Ma’alulin 2004:1383), many local NGOs for / of disabled people openly discuss the lives of disabled people, especially problems of limited accessibility to social resources such as mobility in living environments, transportation, job opportunities, education, leisure and information. They use their websites and other Internet media (e.g. youtube) effectively, to show what kinds of social barriers exist in Iranian society. Through blogs and e-mails, they provide information for disabled people and create networks among disabled people. Moreover, some of the NGOs, which offer direct services for disabled people, prepare opportunities for meeting people with the same kind of impairments. These might encourage disabled people to have collective actions for their Rights. However, many disabled people living in Iran have less accessibility to the Internet due to their impairments, poor economical situation or restrictions by family members. Therefore, it could be presumed that disabled people in Iran are less privileged in the society which enjoys the development in communication technology and transportation systems. This paper focuses on local NGOs for / of disabled people, and examines the roles of NGOs through their means of information provision and communications. A field research, including interviews with core members of related NGOs and disabled people in Tehran and Karaj, will be conducted in 2013. Additionally, websites of local NGOs for / of disabled people will be analyzed, as well as their programs such as face-to-face meetings, seminars and home visits, in terms of creating a network among disabled people.