India is one of the signatories in the U.N. CONVENTION on the RIGHTS of PERSONS with DISABILITIES. We are bound to implement the whole charter, but at least if we could implement following universal accessibility standards laid down by United Nations, agreed by India also among several other countries.
When we compare the reality in India with the accessibility standards provided in the charter, our conditions are quiet pathetic, needs immediate series of actions. After 9 years of signing the charter, leave about private concerns and companies, even many of our Govt. Buildings are not accessible by our SAP friends. Let’s see what are these standards and you can compare your nearby area, buildings, parks, public places with these standards. After reading them if you feel we are lacking way behind, please help us raise your voice with Govt. of India and various State Governments!
Article 9 – Accessibility
1. 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, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility, shall apply to, inter alia:
a. Buildings, roads, transportation and other indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools, housing, medical facilities and workplaces; b. Information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.
2. States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:
a. Develop, promulgate and monitor the implementation of minimum standards and guidelines for the accessibility of facilities and services open or provided to the public;
b. 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;
c. Provide training for stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities;
d. Provide in buildings and other facilities open to the public signage in Braille and in easy to read and understand forms;
e. Provide forms of live assistance and intermediaries, including guides, readers and professional sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to buildings and other facilities open to the public;
f. Promote other appropriate forms of assistance and support to persons with disabilities to ensure their access to information;
g. Promote access for persons with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet;
h. Promote the design, development, production and distribution of accessible information and communications technologies and systems at an early stage, so that these technologies and systems become accessible at minimum cost.