Accessibility1 to sites, facilities and buildings is one of the most important prerequisites for the inclusion of both children and adults with disabilities. To a great extent, it determines the opportunity that all children, particularly those with disabilities need to be able to fulfil their right to education, health and community participation. It is also an area where tangible progress and results can be demonstrated. While a fundamental precursor for inclusion, it is critical that UNICEF programmes go beyond physical accessibility to ensure the inclusion of children with disabilities through provision of assistive devices, addressing attitudinal barriers and strengthening disability inclusion in both policy and practice. Likewise, UNICEF will progressively adopt and promote accessibility and universal design2 in all UNICEF premises. In 2014, UNICEF’s Supply Division launched a global survey on accessible construction to understand the extent to which UNICEF country offices (COs) were including accessible components in UNICEF premises (new construction or rehabilitation) and in facilities delivered under programmatic or emergency settings. The result highlighted that 59 per cent of offices included some of these design elements in their construction projects. However, all COs highlighted the need for technical support from HQ in relation to the specific components needed to construct accessible facilities.

Author Unisef