Hill Country Disability Group

Accessibility at all state buildings in three years

An awareness raising programme for technical and other allied officers of the Urban Development Authority, concerning accessibility facilities for persons with disabilities was held at the Development Authority Auditorium on the 3rd of August 2007 headed by Mrs. V. Jegarasasingam, the Secretary of Ministry to the Social Services and Social Welfare.

Speaking at length at the seminar, Mrs. V. Jegarasasingam stated that in accordance with the directives under the terms of sections 23 and 25 introduced to the Protection of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities Act, on the 6th of August 2007 by the Minister in charge, all the state buildings and common places needed to be completed with providing accessibility facilities to the disabled in the next three years. Failure to comply with providing these facilities would jeopardise the State with legal battles, she added.

The provision of accessibility facilities to persons with disabilities needed to be in accordance with the gazette notification published, she pointed out. Speaking further, the Ministry Secretary stated that provision of accessibility facilities to Persons with Disabilities will be a main feature and compulsory requirement in the future developmental activities of the country.

The provision of accessibility facilities is also a right of the disabled, as they would be increasingly made stakeholders in the development activates in the future. As such all the technical officers of Urban Development Authority needed to be fully aware of this right of the disabled and act responsibly towards protecting the rights of a section of our society who very much deserve such attention.

Mrs. Jegarasasingam also said that in future many work shops of similar line would be held by her Ministry for awareness raising of chairmen of local government bodies, including political leaderships. The Secretary did not lose sight to mention that persons with disabilities are endowed with special skills that could be conveniently harnessed for developmental activities of our country.

Source: Ministry of Social Services & Social Welfare

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