Guidelines and toolkits to promote fully accessible schools
- Samarthyam - National Centre for Accessible Environments
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- South Asia
- First published
“Schools should be for All: Leave No One Behind in Education and Learning.” Mr. Debabrata CHAKRAVARTI, Director & Adaptive Design Unit Access Consultant
Despite initiatives by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, over the last decade the enrolment of children with disabilities has been less than 1% of all school-aged children in India. Further, girls with disabilities are less likely than boys with disabilities to attend and complete school, particularly in rural settings, due to the absence of accessible toilets on school grounds and because the considerable distance to school makes them more vulnerable to abuse.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The guidelines and toolkit are prepared to promote access, equity, safety, and gender-neutral learning environments. The information provided is based on research, school access audits (both in rural and urban settings), trainings, and user group inputs. The documents highlight common barriers experienced by children in terms of the physical infrastructure of schools, and they provide cost-effective solutions to overcome them. Essential and non-negotiable universal design elements are provided to help facilitate site-specific solutions.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The accessibility guidelines and toolkit are used for preparing the Toolkit on Accessibility and Universal Design, an advocacy tool that will guide UNICEF and government staff on raising awareness on disability, on the human rights approaches to disability, and on enforcing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Hence, these tools have a global reach, and these accessibility standards can be easily adopted in cost-effective ways by using indigenous materials – primarily in low and middle income countries, during emergency responses, and in long-term development contexts Photo (simulation exercise 3) Staff members participate in a simulation exercise on what it means to be visually impaired.