APD was founded as an NGO in Karnataka in 1959, working for equality, dignity and justice for People with Disability (PWD). Founded by a visionary, a polio afflicted lady, late Ms. N. S. Hema’s aim was to empower persons with disability to become active, contributing members of society.
In the Early Intervention Program, APD’s pioneering work for Children with Special Needs (CWSN) in the age group 0 to 8 yrs has been accredited as the best replicable model. APD’s Inclusive Education’s model for CWSN’s was assessed by the Education Department of the Government of Karnataka, based on the “Inclusive Education Assessment Format” for Children With Special Needs and recommended for use in all government schools in the state. Community Mental Health Program (CMHP) initiated as far back as 2004, based on the CBR model, covered 19041 persons with mental illness (PWMIs). Spinal Cord Injury Program (SCIR) is the only program with an Institutional and Community based delivery model along with a transdisciplinary social model that reached 3300 beneficiaries. APD’s work on for Youth with Disability (YwD) is commendable.
APD has collaborated with Central Government to run Rehabilitation Council of India and Tata Institute of Social Sciences certified courses to address the acute shortage of skilled, certified manpower for the disability sector through its Institute of Disability for Rehabilitation and Research (IDRR).
In 2018-19, APD served 65,000 beneficiaries in the disability ecosystem in 14 districts of Karnataka.