Out & About in Islamabad: Accessibility for People with Disabilities
Having lived in Islamabad, Pakistan, for all of my life, I am sharing a list of 4 activities in the city that I hope will be helpful for the readers of the blog. I chose activities where readers can participate with a caregiver, guardian, or parent. I have also outlined how Accessibility-friendly the activities are below their names.
Drum Circle Islamabad
Open to people enabled by any mobility aid (sometimes the venue may be limiting, so do call and check in advance with the organizers), open to people with visual disabilities and neurodivergent individuals. I do not yet identify these activities as friendly for deaf community members or accommodating for people with sensory requirements.
The Drum Circle, as a group, is a band of drummers who have banded together to provide Islamabad some weekly joy. Every week, the Drum Circle group gets together at a specified location—which they share on their social media pages and invites people from all over Islamabad to join them in a drumming/tabla session. The group always has their drums and instruments that they hand over to the guests that come to their event specifically for the session. The venues they choose are almost always on the ground floor. The session's runtime ranges from 40 minutes to nearly an hour and a half. So if you're ready to channel your inner musician, do try out some fun drumming at Drum Circle!
Here are the links for Drum Circle Islamabad's social media accounts.
Contact number: +92 324 8999125.
Drum Circle Islamabad does not have a contact email.
Open to all people with disabilities. For people with visual disabilities, I recommend visiting with a buddy!
Abay Khao is a food truck that resides in sector F-7, Islamabad. It is run by people with disabilities from the deaf community; some talented staff members are also non-speaking. Since it's a food truck, you can drive by with your caregiver, parents, or guardian(s). The Abey Khao fast food chain offers an entertaining menu, while the item names on the menu are also well-thought. On the side of the food truck, the staff has installed a board with all the basics of Sign Language and Fingerspelling letters so that a customer can read and learn the signs to practice while placing a food order. On top of the board, there is a very heartwarming sentence; it reads:
"Let's break the barriers — If we can learn your language, so can you."
Alongside the powerful social impact the food truck carries for accessibility, the food it serves is delicious, and the customer service team is an absolute delight to engage with. The fast food truck opens daily in Islamabad at 4 PM and closes at 11:45 PM. The Google Maps location link for Abey Khao is attached below:
Contact number: +92 307 0509115.
Abey Khao does not have a contact email.
The space is accessible to all people with hearing disabilities and neurodivergent individuals. For people with specific sensory requirements, I recommend visiting in the morning times between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM for quieter hours. Some areas welcome people enabled by a mobility aid, while others don't. For people using mobility or visual aid, I recommend visiting with a caregiver, buddy, or guardian.
The Faisal Masjid (Mosque), sometimes called The Shah Faisal Masjid, is a landmark in Islamabad that most visitors to the city, residents, and tourists cherish due to its significance and value to the capital city of Pakistan. If you enjoy aesthetic architecture, you're sure to enjoy the expansive marble floors and extremely detailed craftwork of the architect and designers of the mosque. The Faisal Mosque is the fifth largest mosque in the world and the largest mosque in South Asia. Around the mosque is a pleasant park where you can sit and leisurely enjoy the cool green shade. It is usually tranquil both outside and inside the mosque. Although it is not wheelchair-friendly, staff members and helpers in the area can help you maneuver around the mosque. The staff is usually very hospitable in supporting all visitors with wayfinding.
The Google Maps location link for Faisal Masjid is attached below:
Faisal Masjid does not have a contact number or email. For specific information regarding the site, one has to contact CDA or go to their office personally.
Pakistan Museum of Natural History
The space is accessible to all people with hearing disabilities and neurodivergent individuals. For people with specific sensory requirements, I recommend visiting in the morning times between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM for quieter hours. The museum has a single floor with ramps all around its vicinity. The only place that does not have a ramp is the ticketing booth, but you can request support at the ticketing counter as the staff is well-trained and compliant with the needs of all visitors. I recommend visiting with a caregiver, buddy, or guardian for people using any visual aid.
The Pakistan Museum of Natural history is a magnificent building in the Shakarparian Hills in Islamabad. The museum itself is a great place to learn about Pakistan's history. It is divided into various sections, each telling a different story of Pakistan's history. This place is for you if you are interested in historic, legacy-rich stories. The Pakistan Museum of Natural History is open all week from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The Google Maps location link for the Pakistan Museum of Natural History is attached below:
Contact number: (051) 9249239.
The Pakistan Museum of Natural History does not have a contact email.
I do dream of a Pakistan where accessibility is openly mentioned at all locations: malls, parks, and any public places really, but as per my experience, many factors can affect an individual experience, so while I am on a learning journey myself, I am happy to share what I already know from my experience. If you have any recommendations for me, do, please share them in the comments below!
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