Action on Disability Rights and Development-Nepal (ADRAD) is privileged establishing new partnership collaboration with Open Society Foundation for the project “Inclusive post-Earthquake reconstruction: Public Building safe and accessible for all”. The project has been agreed for 2 years and can be extended further.
The focus has been given to Transitional Justice in post-earthquake reform through advancing accessible reconstruction, Public Accountability through accessibility auditing and follow-up for ensuring accessible public places by the direct engagement of Self-Help Group of Persons With Disabilities in 14 most affected districts including Kathmandu valley.
Due to the Earthquake 2015 in Nepal, there are around 3000 persons acquired disabilities. The prevalence of acquired disabilities has been recorded due to Spinal Cord Injury, Amputation and loss of limbs. The post-Earthquake reconstruction plan should be inclusive and the accessible construction is foremost essential to ensure barrier free environment for all. This is vital for providing transitional justice during post-earthquake reform for the persons with disabilities who are mobility impaired.
A barrier-free environment helps to ensure full and equal participation in society by all, regardless of age, gender or ability, with dignity and with as much independence as possible. Universally designed constructions benefit not only persons with disabilities but other people with reduced mobility, such as elderly people, pregnant women, young children or people who are temporarily impaired. Consequently, they benefit whole families and communities however the concept of universal design has not been applied in the public building and places in Nepal.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) requires that disaster preparedness and response initiatives are inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities. The RANGE of Guideline should thus b explicit reference to accessibility and to persons with disabilities as a vulnerable group during on-going reconstruction phase. The project thus intends to promote accessibility principles into the post-earthquake reform and contribute towards a barrier free environment with accessible public buildings and an inclusive society. A society accessible for persons with disabilities is one accessible to all.