Accessibility of Public Buildings in Khulna, Bangladesh, for Wheelchair Users

Fawzia Farzana

Abstract


Purpose: Physical accessibility is one of the fundamental rights of wheelchair users in order to ensure their integration into society. After Bangladesh ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on November 30, 2007, there has been a paradigm shift in the government’s approach to ensure the welfare and rights of persons with disabilities through legislative and policy actions. This study assesses how accommodative the public buildings are for wheelchair users in Khulna, Bangladesh.

Method: All the public buildings in Khulna city - including government offices, public schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, libraries, post offices and court buildings -  were visited to assess the presence and suitability of facilities for wheelchair users, such as accessible parking, ramps, elevators, doors, and essential interior facilities like water closets and drinking-water fountains.  Bangladesh has no specific accessibility guidelines document, but accessibility requirements have been included in the Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC) 2008. The study made its assessment using an abridged form of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and BNBC 2008.

Results: Only 6.7% (5) of the 75 public buildings were found suitable for wheelchair users. There is scope for modifications to be made in 28% (21) of the buildings which are currently unsuitable for wheelchair users.  

Conclusion: The study revealed that public buildings are, in general, not very accommodative of wheelchair users. There is a need for modifications in infrastructure to ensure inclusive development of these individuals.


Keywords


Wheelchair users; public buildings; accessible parking

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ali Z (2014). Economic costs of disability in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Development Studies; 37(4): 57-74

Bennett S, Kirby RL, Macdonald B (2009). Wheelchair accessibility: Descriptive survey of curb ramps in an urban area. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology; 4: 17-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483100802542603. PMid:19172477

Cardinal BJ, Spazini MD (2003). ADA compliance and accessibility of physical fitness facilities in Western Oregon. Am J Health Promot; 17: 197-201. https://doi.org/10.4278/0890-1171-17.3.197. PMid:12545588

Colin B (2011). Understanding disability and the importance of Design for All. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All; 1(1): 55-80.

Cosmos Y, Evans YK, Ashigbi, Emmanuel KN (2017). Wheel chair accessibility to public buildings in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana. African Journal of Disability; 6:341

Department of Communities and Local Government (2003). Planning and access for disabled people: a good practice guide, London, UK

Evlic AN (2009). Wheelchair accessibility to public buildings in Istanbul. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology; 4(2): 76-85. https://doi.org/10.1080/17483100802543247. PMid:19191062

Fischer DR (2004). Wheelchair accessibility of public buildings in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Disability and Rehabilitation; 26(19): 1150-1157. https://doi.org/10.1080/096382804100017214843. PMid:15371028

Government of Bangladesh - GoB (2008). Bangladesh National Building Code (BNBC), Bangladesh Government Press, Dhaka. 1(1): Part.3.

Government of Bangladesh - GoB (2010). The constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: Article 17 (Free and compulsory education). Available from: www.bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd [Accessed on 2 May 2017].

Government of Bangladesh - GoB (2013). Rights and Protection of Persons with Disabilities Act 2013, Ministry of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

Hamzat TK, Dada OO (2005). Wheelchair accessibility of public buildings in Ibadan, Nigeria. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal; 16: 115-124

Housing Executive (2005). Wheelchair - User - Housing Study - An evaluation of users' experience and the evolution of design standards, the Regional Strategic Housing Authority

Khan AHMN, Anisuzzaman M (2011). The status of un-served children in education: children with disability in Bangladesh. A Situation Analysis; Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), Dhaka.

Martin LM (1987). Wheelchair accessibility of public buildings in Utica, New York. American Journal of Occupational Therapy; 41(4): 217-21. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.41.4.217. PMid:3688133

McClain L (2000). Shopping centre wheelchair accessibility: ongoing advocacy to implement the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. Public Health Nurs; 17:178-186. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1446.2000.00178.x. PMid:10840287

McClain L, Todd C (1990). Food store accessibility. American Journal of Occupational Therapy; 44:487-491. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.44.6.487. PMid:2141236

McClain L, Baringer D, Kuhnert H, Priest J, Wilkes E, Wilkinson S, Wyrick L (1993). Restaurant wheelchair accessibility. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 47: 619-623. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.47.7.619. PMid:8322882

Moniruzzaman M, Zaman MM, Mashreky SR, Fazlur Rahman AKM (2016). Prevalence of disability in Manikganj district of Bangladesh: Results from a large-scale cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open; 6: e010207. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010207. PMid:27431897. PMCid:PMC4964198

National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled -NFOWD, HI, Government of Bangladesh - GoB (2007). Towards a barrier free society: Asian and Pacific decade of disabled person 2003-2012- Bangladesh. NFWOD, HI and Government of Bangladesh (GoB), Dhaka.

National Grassroots and Disabilities Organisation -NGDO, National Council for Women with Disabilities –NCDW, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust - BLAST (2015). Current status of rights of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh: Legal and Grassroots Perspectives, country report, Bangladesh

Niels-Hugo B, Maitreyi BD (2014). Changing norms about gender inequality in education: Evidence from Bangladesh. Demographic Research; 32(6): 183-218

Pierce LL (1998). Barriers to access: frustrations of people who use a wheelchair for full-time mobility. Rehabil Nurs; 23(3): 120-5. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2048-7940.1998.tb01763.x. PMid:9697582

Rimmer JH, Riley B, Wang E, Rauworth A (2005). Accessibility of health clubs for people with mobility disabilities and visual impairments. Am J Public Health; 95(11): 2022-8. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2004.051870. PMid:16254234. PMCid:PMC1449478

Sapey B, Stewart J, Donaldson G (2004). The social implications of increases in wheelchair use. Lancaster University, ISBN 1-86220-153-6

Tareque MI, Begum S, Saito Y (2014). Inequality in disability in Bangladesh. PLoS ONE; 9(7): e103681. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0103681. PMid:25075513 PMCid:PMC4116223

Useh U, Moyo AM, Munyonga E (2001). Wheelchair accessibility in the central business district of Harare, Zimbabwe. Disability and Rehabilitation; 23(11): 490-496. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638280010008924

Velho R (2018). Transport accessibility for wheelchair users: A qualitative analysis of inclusion and health. International Journal of Transportation Science and Technology, In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijtst.2018.04.005

Velho R, Holloway C, Symonds A, Balmer B (2016). The effect of transport accessibility on the social inclusion of wheelchair users: A mixed method analysis. Social Inclusion; 4(3): 24-35. https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v4i3.484




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/dcid.v29i4.785



Copyright (c) 2019 Fawzia Farzana

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Supported by:

netherlandsleprosyrelief_logo_rgb_-_new_logo_2014_120CBMlightfortheworld_logo_rgb_-_new_logo_2014_120     

© Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development