Are all newly constructed buildings, to which there is public access, required by law to be accessible to all persons with disabilities?
Accessibility should be based on widely known and respected sets of criteria. This ensures both that it meets the interest of all persons with disabilities, and that it conforms to the highest standards. And it refers not only to the built environment itself but also to signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms. Buildings to which there is public access include not only municipal buildings, but also, for example, cinemas, supermarkets, banks, schools, shops, sport and leisure facilities (e.g. museums) etc. What remedies exists if the law is contravened? If there is no legislation, is it planned?
Relates to Convention Article:
- No.9, Accessibility
Article 9 of CRPD prescribes that in order “to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment… and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas”. The Convention further calls for appropriate “measures to develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public”; “to ensure that private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities and to provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms”.
This question addresses the relatively simple and inexpensive measure of requiring newly constructed buildings to feature universal accessibility. All the particular requirements as stated on article 9 have been specifically included in the additional remarks on the question. An additional definition of universal accessibility, and the absence of barriers, was given by stating that “accessibility should be based on widely known and respected sets of criteria. This ensures both that it meets the interest of all persons with disabilities, and that it conforms to the highest standards.” And, in absence of current legislation, the question also asks for future plans to include the obligation on legally binding instruments.
The situation regarding newly constructed buildings in developed countries and less developed ones is very similar: by looking at the map it is possible to see that legal systems are in place in most of the countries (only 25 of 130 countries answered with a red light) and only the least developed ones are lagging behind.
It can be clearly shows that Central & Eastern Europe are doing quite well in the accessibility of newly constructed buildings.