When APD started, its mission was to meet the diverse needs of the disabled over their lifetime. The organization evolved to meet unaddressed needs. From slum outreach, inclusive schools, livelihoods, rehabilitation for mental health and spinal cord patients. Established by NS Hema, a 17-year-old afflicted with polio who wanted to integrate the differently-abled into mainstream society. Because of her lived experience, a unit to manufacture customized devices was started. Five decades before the WHO CBR Matrix was defined, she implemented the concept of community-based rehabilitation. In 1988, her pioneering work received a National Award from the President of India  

Vision: A world where Equity, Dignity, and Justice are assured for People with disabilities.

Activities of the Organisation

  • Early Intervention and Early Education for 0-8 years of age
  • Inclusive Education for 03-18 years of age 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation & Livelihood training for 18-35 years of age
  • Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation and Research across all ages
  • Multi-Disciplinary Disability Rehabilitation programs addressing all disabilities
  • Assistive and Adaptive technology unit –Orthotics, Prosthesis, Wheelchair, accessibility etc
  • Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research
  • Community Mental Health
  • Policy Advocacy, Government interface and strategic partner management
  • AAT Innovation lab - research and innovative projects with startups and academic institutions
  • COVID 19 response

Wheelchair Basketball: What is Wings for Wheels? 

"Wings for Wheels" is an adaptive sports project to create more competitive sports professionals among wheelchair users from the rural community. Sports-based interventions are more appealing due to their health benefits and lead to the inclusion of people with disabilities into society.  Sports opportunities are usually limited to the urban communities; however, this project will focus more on identifying and training dynamic and young wheelchair users from socioeconomically poor rural dwellers, into adaptive sports. Adaptive sports are highly regarded for their contagious motivational benefits that are often sustainable. Moreover, sports-based activities would gather the spotlight on Persons with disabilities and encourage the general public to take up the social responsibilities.

APD is more proud of introducing such opportunities for people with disabilities. Our initiative has identified more than 30 vibrant and inspiring PwD's interested in competitive sports. We tried to keep up the spirit despite the crisis. Our team was conducting virtual sessions during the COVID pandemic to sustain the enthusiasm and to provide basic cognitive skills on wheelchair basketball.

In addition, we have a field expert, Indian Women's wheelchair basketball Coach Mr. Lee Simon extending his invaluable support to empower our superheroes. Virtual training sessions were initiated due to the imposed Covid restrictions to orient the players with basic skills. The time has arrived to make virtual enthusiasm into a live physical experience. Identified 30 superheroes underwent physical fitness test and the shortlisted 16 PwD's are being trained for wheelchair basketball. 

APD Champions Trophy 2021 for PwD's . The organization has decided to initiate an annual event to provide opportunities for the youngsters to exhibit their skills in wheelchair basketball. APD trophy will be a rolling trophy, where the team that secures two consecutive victories can possess the trophy.


"As a coach, I do not try to see the disability, instead I see the possibilities of the trainees. I always work with that spirit that some of my trainees might become a para-olympian one day. I am excited about the future of wheelchair basketball in India and I am thrilled to be training passionate youngsters. I LOVE WHAT I DO" - Coach Lee Roy Simon
You must find a place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.....says.... Pallavi, 27yr old. And home is where our dream begins ...  she adds about APD......


This ardent girl hails from Chitradurga, though from a rural agricultural family she had a blissful life till the age of 3. Unfortunate was the incident that she was stuck under an unloading tractor while playing with her siblings, leaving her permanently disabled for the rest of her life. The life tried to defeat her with pressure ulcers initially and later with deformities in her body, but her determinations defeated the fate by exploring for destiny through sports. This little girl underwent rehabilitation at APD rehabilitation Centre and started training her with wheelchair basketball and badminton. Her undefeatable determination to participate in sports has led her to travel alone from  Davangere to Bangalore. 

I hope that my team will win the APD Champions trophy … says Pallavi

What are some of the challenges faced by the organization?

  • Lack of rehabilitation facilities skilled in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation to create physically fit individuals
  •  Breaking the Self -perceived limitations about their ability and sports as a wish and not a need
  • Poor socioeconomic status, Lack of adequate nutrition, and unachieved basic needs/  skills
  • The stigma related to disability among the general public, 
  • Lack accessible Coaching centers and trained  coaches
  • Unaffordable sports wheelchairs   
  • Lack of funding support for the infrastructure and sports

What next with the initiative? 

  • APD Champions Trophy will eventually become a State/National level event for the PwD’s . Beginning with wheelchair basketball, the project will include coaching camps for para tennis, badminton, and Cricket in the upcoming years. The project will aim in creating at least 100 skilled para-sports professionals by 2023. 
  • The project will also focus on collaborating with state and national level stakeholders to increase the awareness of adaptive sports.

Related tags :