The Disability Association of Tavana is a non-governmental organization in Iran. The DAT was established in 1995 with the efforts of a small group of persons with disabilities in Qazvin province. One of the fundamental principles of Tavana is empowering persons with disabilities and consequently, preserving their dignity. Instead of charity resources, Tavana is an active economic unit which participates to national development by creating innovative job opportunities for persons with disabilities. The Association presently has 5000 members, 3,900 of them with disability and 1100 volunteers without any disability.
Lack of awareness about disability combined with cultural factors in developing countries has marginalized and ostracized people with disabilities. Most countries do not adequate statistics on their disabled and the disabled do not usually impose any pressure on them. That is why the governments are not sufficiently familiar with the relevant rules and regulations and the rights of the people with disabilities are not observed in these countries. Therefore, collection, classification and dissemination of local and international rules and regulations regarding them, and making them aware of their rights as well as pursuing the government to fulfill its obligations before them is one of the most important objectives of Tavana for empowerment and awareness raising.
Since 2008, Tavana publishes “Peyk Tavana”, the first specialized monthly newsletter on disability. It is distributed all over the country, including the ministry of education, healthcare administration, and welfare organization. It receives no state financial aid and is published and operated by DAT members. It also participates in all the international and domestic journalism exhibit annually.
One of the successful Tavana programs is its annual festival to encourage involvement by top elementary school students. Tavana believes that children are the most important target of awareness raising. Many outstanding students have been encouraged by Tavana through the two decades, however, a large group of this elite graduates are cooperating with Tavana, and are in close interaction with this center.