November 12, 2019

Tangail Students Receive Reasonable Accommodations

A young female little person sits in a customized desk in the front row of a tin-walled classroom and listens to a bearded man with physical disability while other students and teachers look on.
Shahidul Islam (R), Executive Director of Tangail DPOD, speaks with Shahida Akter (L) while Shahida's teachers and headmaster look on.

On November 11, 2019, the right to reasonable accommodations in the classroom of two students in Tangail was fulfilled. Shahida Akter, an eighth grade student, and Habibur Rahman, a sixth grade student, received customized desks tailored to their physical disabilities and were seated in the front row of their classrooms so that they can more actively engage in lessons. The failure to receive accommodations as required by the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act, 2013 (DRPA) was first reported to Tangail DPOD during its July 27, 2019 legal aid camp. Following Tangail DPOD's referral, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust's (BLAST) Tangail Unit Office issued a legal notice to the students' school alerting them to the students' right under DRPA Section 16(1)(Da). Thereafter, not only did the school agree to provide customized desks, but also to install two ramps and to add a commode toilet in the bathroom, so that students using wheelchairs will have opportunities to enjoy their right to education on an equal basis with non-disabled students.

May 1, 2019

First Full Meeting of the Tangail District Committee

Tangail’s Additional Deputy Commissioner chairs a joint meeting organized by Tangail DPOD on April 30, 2019 where DRPA district committee members, including government representatives the Deputy Director of Social Welfare, Disability Officer of the Protibondhi Seba o Shahajjo Kendro (PSOSK), District Women and Children Affairs Officer, District Education Officer, Deputy Civil Surgeon, alongside civil society representatives Md. Abdul Aziz, Md. Ruhul Amin Sirajee

On April 30, 2019, Tangail DPOD organized the first known full meeting of Tangail's district DRPA committee. Many of the committee members were unaware of their responsibilities as committee members. The Additional Deputy Commissioner, who chaired the meeting on behalf of the District Commissioner, an ex officio district DRPA committee member, remarked:

“You should arrange such sharing meetings with the officers frequently so that they can learn about the law. For example, today you have invited me and thus I came to know about the law for the first time. Now I have learned about our duties and powers under Section 36 and from now I will be able to call meetings and decide any complaints under Section 36 of the Act.”

Tangail DPOD’s meeting underscores one of several examples of how DPOs through both USAID’s EPD program and beyond can promote effective implementation of the DRPA at the local level.