[Action for Ability Development and Inclusion]
Accessible Polling Booths

About AADI

Knowing More about AADI

AADI Documents

AADI Videos

Useful links

Our Journey

Early Years

1978: Realizing that there was an extreme shortage of services for children with neuromuscular disorders like cerebral palsy, a few young women in New Delhi came together to form a small special school. Since people with cerebral palsy were called “spastics”, we called the organization the Spastics Society of Northern India (SSNI).

1980: The School (called CSE – Centre for Special Education) could cater to only a limited number of children. As awareness grew and the word spread around about the establishment of SSNI, the numbers of families coming to us increased. Parents were tired of the waiting list and the desperation increased. The demand was for more people and more services. We heard the need and set up Home Management to help parents, families and other care givers to look after the needs of people with disability.

1981: We realized what we were doing was not enough. The need in the rural areas was high and the resources meagre. We linked with the primary health centre of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Ballabgarh, Haryana, and started the rural wing of SSNI. Here we worked not just with Cerebral Palsy, but across disabilities – which led to the entire organisation eventually making this shift. It was the first Community Based Rehabilitation Programme in the Northern Region of India.

1984: The constant realisation that there were not enough people with skills to work in the field prompted us to start the School of Rehabilitation Sciences. We train special educators and therapists to work in the field of disability. The courses leading to Post Graduate diploma are recognized by the Rehabilitation Council of India and in 2002-03 received affiliation to University of Delhi.

1982: The Outstation Programme was started to try to provide services for families in the Northern States who would not otherwise be able to access specialized services.

1985: The young adolescents of CSE were firm in their thinking that they will not sit at home after finishing school. But there was nothing else available in the society. They demanded opportunities for training and education. We started the Vishwakarma Adult Training Programme to equip adults with disability to find the right employment opportunities and also cope with other changing needs.

A decade later

The reaction of many of the people we had worked with was that growing up in a secluded environment did not equip them to face life in a larger society. So, we realized we had to make our services more relevant and inclusive.

Other dimensions were added to our work. – Integration of children and young adults into schools, colleges, vocational training institutes and open or self employment opportunities. We also began advocating for policy changes.

1994-1995: The organisation has always believed in creating awareness and trying to change legislation and policies. SSNI played a major role in coordinating with hundreds of NGOs and lobbying with the government to enact the Persons with Disability Act.

The group was instrumental in including people with disability in the Census 2001.

Renewed beginnings, SSNI becomes AADI.

Our work became more outward focused. Empowerment, Inclusion, Sustainability, Rights, Disability as a development issue were dimensions that were new and challenging. We underwent a transformation process. The first strategy plan, “Promoting Access” (2000-2005) was based on this new understanding.

We wanted to reduce the use of the word “spastic”. The organisation also realized the need to move away from being a special school. Worldwide the movement in the disability field was towards inclusion. After a lot of introspection, AADI, as we are now called, was formerly registered in 2002. The word is from Sanskrit, meaning ‘The Beginning’. We see the beginnings of a new direction for ourselves. The acronym `AADI’ – Action for Ability Development and Inclusion – also reflects our approach to work. Our fresh endevours grow on the foundations of our past, gaining strength and sustenance from our traditions and values. Our logo of the dancing individual, symbolizing joy and independence, does not change.

2001: Trainings and services for Mental Health were initiated.

2002-2003: Affiliation of the Post Graduate Diploma courses to Delhi University.

2003 onwards: Opportunities to work in Inclusive settings were explored and initiated especially in Education, Employment and Training.

2005: Review of the last strategy plan and preparation for the next strategy plan was focused upon.

The Road Ahead

Strategic Direction for 2007- 2012

Our Vision is of a world in which people with disability are an integral part of society, participating in the community and living life to the fullest, with equitable access to opportunities and services.

Our Mission: The focus of our work will be to facilitate enabling environments in the best interest of the child and the adult thus ensuring equitable, accessible, quality assured services using a life span approach. We will be informed and guided by the needs of people with disability who are further marginalized by poverty and gender inequalities.

Through our work we will…