Barriers: is a general term used to describe events, circumstances, conditions, attitudes that hinder a person with disabilities to participate fully and effectively on an equal basis. There are two main types of barriers: social (such as attitudes, support from family and/or community, available services) and physical. The most common types of physical barriers to accessibility are: – Lack of paved roads and pathways with ideal width (ex: roads with mud, rocks and narrow pathways..etc.). – Lack of ideal dimensions for rooms, toilets, and kitchen .etc). – Lack of communication means like signage. Universal Design (often called Inclusive Design) is a design approach which designs products, environments, programs, and services to be usable by all persons, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design, while promoting self-reliance, independence and ease of living for persons with disabilities, older people and people without disabilities. As such, a barrier–free environment allows everybody, irrespective of age, gender or physical ability, to access and make use of the built environment. This includes everything from hospitals, schools, mosques, public water facilities to private homes. By designing and implementing accessibility of public facilities and spaces and public / private constructions we can make an environment barrier free thus allowing independent, safe and easy access for everyone. In an emergency context, ensuring access to the built environment is a crucial element in reducing the vulnerability and isolation of people with disabilities: architectural accessibility facilitates, amongst other areas of inclusion, people’s chances to reach services and facilities.

 

Author HANDICUP

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