A Sightsavers toolkit that offers guidance to governments, healthcare providers and development organisations on developing accessibility standards and assessing health infrastructure has won an innovation award.
The Zero Project award recognises innovative policies and practices that improve the lives and support the rights of people with disabilities. This year’s theme was accessibility, and Sightsavers was one of 76 winners to be shortlisted from 381 nominations.
Since its launch in 2018, Sightsavers has used the accessibility standards and audit toolkit to train more than 200 members of organisations of people with disabilities, governments and the private sector, conduct accessibility audits in 50 hospitals across eight countries, and complete priority accessibility renovations in 16 health facilities.
Andrea Pregel, Sightsavers’ global technical lead for inclusive health, who coordinated the project, said: “We are incredibly excited and humbled to receive this award. It’s the result of a collective effort within the organisation, as many people dedicated their time and energy to the development of the toolkit, and many more are working tirelessly every day to use it in the field alongside our fantastic partners.
“We believe good ideas are worth sharing, and that’s why the accessibility standards and audit pack is freely available online. More than 1,000 people have already downloaded it, and we know it has already been used across many countries. Our hope is that the toolkit will enable the development community – from small community-based organisations to large multilateral donors – to incorporate accessibility into their work, and promote equitable access to healthcare for people with disabilities around the world.”
The toolkit has also been adapted to assess the accessibility of the wider build environment beyond healthcare facilities. The Sightsavers-supported Inclusive Futures initiative has produced practical guidance to help leaders, HR executives and property managers foster inclusive workspaces.
The Zero Project 2022 winners will receive their awards at the Zero Project Conference, due to be held at the United Nations office in Vienna in February. You can watch the event online from 12-25 February 2022 on the Zero Project website.