Is there a legal time frame for all existing buildings, to which there is public access, to be made 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. If there is legislation in place, what is the timeframe for all existing buildings to be made accessible to all persons with disabilities? If there is no timeframe set by legislation, is it planned? And if so, when is it expected to enter into law – if at all?

Relates to Convention Article:

  • No.9, Accessibility

In detail

Brief explanation of the question

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 asks whether deadlines exist by which all existing buildings with public access must be made accessible. This question was selected as an extension to question 1 because, without a deadline for existing buildings, it would take decades for general accessibility to be achieved. And, in absence of timeframe, the question also asks for future plans and which will be the date to enter into law.

Summary of results

The results on the map indicate that legally binding time frames for public buildings to make accessible exist only in very few countries. In fact in 88 out of the 130 countries there is not legal time frame for existing buildings having public access to be made accessible. The situation is particularly worrying especially Arab Countries and Africa. In comparison to this, Central America is performing much better.

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