Group laments lack of facilities for disabled in FCT

An audit report has exposed lack of basic infrastructure in public offices for people living with disabilities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The report titled, “Accessibility Audit Report of Public Infrastructure in Federal Capital Territory,” showed the level of exclusion persons with disabilities face in accessing public infrastructure on an equal basis with others.

The accessibility audit which was carried out by the Nigerian Association of the Blind, Chapter (NAB) FCT also showed that none of the facilities audited had accessible parking spaces reserved for persons with disabilities and only two out of the ten facilities had an accessible pathway.

Giving the breakdown of the report on Tuesday, during an advocacy visit on the Development Control office, FCT, the Chairman NAB, Mr Obinna Ekujeronye said the entrances leading to most of the facilities had slippery stairs without an alternative accessible entrance/route of travel.

According to him, “the stairs and floor surfaces next to entrance, internal doors, ramps, stairs and other unavoidable permanent fixtures in the circulation route such as pillars and lobby centre pieces had no colour contrast from the rest of the surrounding areas, making it difficult distinguish between features especially for persons with visual impairment.

“External and internal environment of all the schools audited are not accessible to person lbs with disabilities. This portrays the extent to which person with disabilities are excluded form programmes and opportunities that will benefit them,” he said.

He maintained that all the restrooms in the audited facilities were not accessible to persons with disabilities including the doors and door way of the restrooms were too narrow for persons using wheelchair to pass through the lavatory door.

The stressed that the most important universal design innovation is the low-floor transit vehicle which is adopted for train and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, providing almost level access from curbs and short ramp access from street level.

He therefore, called on the government to implement and domesticate national and international laws that will have a tangible impact to lives of persons with disabilities.

Responding, the director development control, FCT, Mukhtar Galadima  pledged that his office will ensure to do everything possible to accommodate the concerns of people with living with disabilities, saying that it will ensure to make Abuja inclusive for everyone.

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