With only three more branches to go, NOWPDP’s Disability Consulting Project, yaqeeen has completed focus group discussions at 27 of the 30 designated branches of HBL across Pakistan. These discussions have been carried out at 15 branches in Karachi, 6 in Islamabad and 6 in Lahore with around 300 HBL employees.
The purpose of the discussions was to gauge employee’s knowledge of, attitude toward and experience with disability and disability specific issues. The research findings will be used to specifically design and create sensitization training sessions for the entire staff at these branches.
The aim of this training is to raise disability awareness and inform employees about the disability etiquette and to remove any attitudinal barriers that employees with disabilities may face at the workplace. Simultaneously, to measure impact of disability sensitization trainings, a total of 369 pre-training surveys were also administered at the branches covered thus far.
Accessibility audits were also carried out by representatives of the Institute of Architects, Pakistan (IAP), at these 27 branches. The purpose of these is to review HBL’s infrastructural capacity to accommodate people with disabilities. The findings will highlight the infrastructural changes (in accordance with International Accessibility Standards) deemed necessary to ensure accessibility at HBL. This will ensure the creation of a work environment where employees with disabilities do not feel disadvantaged and are provided with facilities that may aid them in performing their jobs..