In Pakistan, estimates of the number of persons living with disabilities vary between 3.3m and 27m, depending on whether they are based on government statistics (the last census which measured the prevalence rates was taken in 1998) or whether they come from other agencies. Pakistan did, in fact, make early attempts at including persons with disabilities in the 1980s with the introduction of education and employment policies, setting up special schools for persons with disabilities, for example, and mandating businesses to employ persons with disabilities through a quota-based system and levies. But although these were celebrated achievements in the early years, they proved to be ineffective in including persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities still have difficulty exercising their civil and political rights, attending quality schools and finding gainful employment, among other activities.
STEP has launched a resource centre titled “Center for Research on Inclusive Development” (CRID) in 2019. CRID will prepare transformative disability policy researchers and will serve as a collaborative “think tank” on disability policy through a wide range of activities including independent researches, round table dialogues and research led academic courses on disability inclusive development in collaboration with public and private universities. Information will be shared in the form of reports, thematic publications and a periodic journal. At the same time, it will be a source of information for the persons with disabilities and their families about the services they are entitled and about the available facilities to live a life in the mainstream of the society.