Labib Works to Include Disabled People in Society
Labib founded the organization InclusionX at the age of 16 years old. InclusionX seeks to give individuals with disabilities a role and voice in society by overcoming society created barriers to participation. Labib wants to ‘break down the invisible wall which is like a glass barrier that exists between children with and without disabilities in Bangladesh due to various societal and family reasons’. While based in Dhaka currently Labib sees InclusionX as an organization that is needed across the whole of Bangladesh.
Labib has always been observant and while growing up saw the need for innovative solutions to the challenged disabled people face. It was seeing the lack of understanding amongst his able bodied friends when they visited a school called Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled (SWID) that made him feel he needed to address this problem. He wanted to close the gap between the able bodied and disabled.
In 2015 he created InclusionX Connecting Circle to help build bridges between people. It was a school visiting program that saw 250 people visit SWID and Autism Welfare Foundation School (AWF). The success of this project led to him starting InclusionX – The Joy of Computing in 2016. This countered the idea that disabled children don’t have the intellectual capacity to do new tasks and gave them computing skills key to many careers. Computers allow independence and can be used by someone who struggles with movement.
Another aspect of what InclusionX is give disabled people an opportunity to communicate and speak about their experience. InclusionX- Outreach works with schools throughout Dhaka that organize painting competitions. These events also include dancing, singing and poetry performances.
Through events such as the InclusionX – Outreach Symposium and InclusionX Day Labib has begun to link the key voices in the field of disability rights and education. He puts learning at the center of the events. Commenting that he learns as much as anyone.
Labib has faced challenges often the biggest is the families of the children. It is not uncommon for the families of children to say they cannot attend. It is also challenging to source resources such as computers. So far they have relied on the generosity of the EMK Center but other organizations have proved reluctant to help. It saddens Labib that the prestigious schools with large computer labs won’t help InclusionX.
Labib believes it is through words one can bring about change. He feels that by continually talking about what they are doing he can make people understand the need for change.
If you or someone you know is, like Labib, making a big or small change in their community, and is between the ages of 12 and 20, then get them to apply for Ashoka’s Youth Venture program. Apply here.
Written - Maesha Rashedin
Edited - Jake Smaje