Marta esteves de almeida Gil

Ashoka Fellow
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Fellow Since 1989


This profile was prepared when Marta esteves de almeida Gil was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1989.
The New Idea
Marta plans to create an information system that will provide the disabled with both needed services and hard-to-access specialized information. It will also help Brazil develop the knowledge necessary to understand the extent and nature of the handicaps afflicting so many of its citizens -- knowledge important both to form sensible policies and, hopefully, to challenge long-standing attitudes towards the handicapped.
The Documentation and Information System on Handicaps (SDID) plans to circulate information about schools for the handicapped, specialized institutions and publications, legal matters, professional training, work and leisure opportunities, and medical diagnosis and care. Marta plans to make use of all possible sources of information, including the press, universities, technological institutions, and individuals. If a blind person in Sao Paulo wants swimming lessons, he or she (or a social worker) could seek such opportunities out in a flash. Or they could find out about a factory under construction in the state of Minas Gerais which integrates handicapped workers at all stages of production. They might also be able to access step-by-step therapy or exercise instructions.
Although Marta will focus initially on a few of the most urgently and broadly needed areas, she ultimately hopes to gather and make available as much relevant information as possible. In addition to being a valuable service for the disabled, drawing all the many disparate providers and users together in one network will probably encourage a good many collaborations that might not otherwise occur. It will also bring about a greater level of organization among these long-ignored people.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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