Innovative Policy 2018 on Accessibility

Binding and effective laws for the construction of accessible school buildings

In 2010 the Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD), a non-profit organization, developed and launched the Accessibility Standards in line with Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In an effort to promote the effective implementation of the standards at the local level, the local government of Nabbale, a sub-county in the Mukono district of Uganda, has developed the By-Law on Accessibility. Since its passing in 2016, seven newly constructed schools have been built in line with the accessibility needs of children with disabilities.

About the policy at a glance
Laws and regulations involved:By-Laws on Accessibility in Nabbale sub-county
Responsible Body:Uganda National Action on Physical Disability (UNAPD)
Country
of Implementation
Uganda

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Since 2016, six newly constructed primary schools and one secondary school have been built in line with the accessibility needs of children with disabilities.
  • Currently, two existing schools and one health centre are being modified to be in line with the Accessibility Standards.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Despite the fact that Uganda is among the few countries in Africa with the most disability-friendly legal frameworks, such as the National Policy on Disability (2006), the Accessibility Standards (2010), and the Building Control Act (2013), accessibility standards at the local level are still not always implemented accordingly by the relevant stakeholders in the construction industry.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The Accessibility Improvement Project was initiated by the UNAPD to support persons with disabilities at the local level in the Nabbale sub-county of Uganda’s Mukono district. By working closely with the respective local government officials, the organization was able to ensure an accessible environment for all, including children with disabilities in schools. It translated national laws into local binding laws, which were subsequently developed into the By-Law on Accessibility. The law obliges the construction industry of the designated area to construct accessible buildings/facilities based on the Accessibility Standards.

Focusing on the high drop-out rates of children with disabilities, implementation of the By-Law started with primary schools in the area. Since the passing of the law, six newly constructed primary schools and one secondary school are now in line with the Accessibility Standards, thus meeting the needs of all persons – including children – with disabilities. In addition, two existing schools and one health centre are currently undergoing crucial modifications to comply with the standards. Since 2016, 249 children with disabilities have been enrolled and retained in the six new primary schools.
All these actions have also led to increased awareness regarding accessibility rights and needs among service providers and the construction industry in Nabbale.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

The policy is the first of its kind among the eight sub-counties forming the Mukono district. Since each sub-county can develop and pass its own By-Law, the policy is expected to be replicated in other sub-counties in the future.

The consultative process of developing the By-Law on Accessibility and its passing and approval by the Nabbale Council was financed by the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund and the local government. The budget for the implementation was US$ 60,000 in 2016.

CONTACT
FACTSHEET

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