Most of public buildings do not have access ways for persons with special needs, NGO

Over 90% of the public buildings in the Republic of Moldova do not have access ways for persons with special needs. Representatives of nongovernmental organizations that carried out relevant assessments said that only when all the buildings have ramps, the persons with disabilities will have their rights to education, medical services, culture and other rights respected, IPN reports.

Victor Koroli, executive director of “INFONET” Alliance, whose mission is to build an information society in the country, said the national program for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities (for 2017-2022) obliges the authorities to ensure the accessibility of 2% of the buildings annually. The central and local public authorities could not give an exact response as to how many buildings have access ways for persons with special needs. There is no relevant methodology based of which the buildings could be assessed. “The national standard says the width of the door should be of 90 cm, but the entrance door can be 90 cm wide, while the toilet door is only 50 cm or 60 cm wide and the access of persons with special needs is thus not ensured,” stated Victor Koroli.

He also said that only when all the public institutions have access ways for persons with special needs, the rights of these persons will be realized. “If there is no ramp at a lyceum, there is no accessible toilet for persons in wheelchairs, the students in a wheelchair cannot study at that lyceum and do not have equal rights compared with other children,” stated Victor Koroli. Not only persons with disabilities need ramps. They also ease access for older persons, pregnant women and parents with children in baby carriages.

The executive director of “INFONET” Alliance noted that the situation can be changed by implementing a national program to assess all the buildings and to approve a national methodology for ensuring access for all the persons with special needs. Also, the students of the faculties of architecture should be taught that any designed building in Moldova must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

According to the study “Analysis of conditions of accessibility in police stations in the Republic of Moldova”, which was carried out by “INFONET” Alliance in 2020, only nine buildings  were declared accessible, 25 – partially accessible, 24 – inaccessible, while in two stations the stairs were being built or repaired.

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