Episode 5 has officially ended our first season of “𝐏𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬” Talkshow. With the slogan “Life is Beautiful”, Mr. Nguyen Van Cu has shared with us meaningful life stories about a community that, although facing many barries, is always optimistic in life. Let’s take a look at some key messages from this final episode.
1. The effects of limited access to facilities, public facilities and workplaces to the lives of People with Disabilities?
Firstly, the lack of access to public facilities and workplaces greatly affects the integration of people with disabilities. Accessibility is the door that opens up opportunities for people with disabilities, so they can learn, work and participate in entertainment or other social activities. if public facilities are not accessible, it will hinder people with disabilities and will render them invisible to our eyes. Furthermore, if workplaces are not accessible, people with disabilities do not have the opportunity to work, contribute, and self-develop. That makes them inevitably become dependent on the family and a burden to the society.
2. The solutions that DRD is implementing to remove barriers to access to public buildings, workplaces and homes to become more Disability-friendly
To be able to break down the barriers that are related to public facilities accessibility, the first issue we need to address is awareness, including the benefits, the importance of access to public facilities, and the right of people with disabilities to access such public facilities. Not to mentioned, the access is not only for people with disabilities but also for all of us: elderly people, pregnant mothers or mothers who push a baby stroller.
Next, we’ll need to have more monitoring and participation of organizations of people with disabilities to ensure these works are approved and built in accordance with the construction standards set by the Ministry of Construction of Vietnam.
Lastly, to ensure enforcement, there needs to be laws and discipline.
DRD has developed an application called D.Map. That has applied digital technology.D.Map, which stands for Disability Map, is a map application that aims to help people with disabilities to search for accessible infrastructures.The database of D.Map contains different types of public infrastructures, such as restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment centers, religious buildings. D.Map stimulates the integration of people with disabilities into the society.
D.Map supports both English and Vietnamese, working on IOS and Android.
DRD also carries out communication campaigns to raise awareness of the public about this issue, as well as implement accessibility projects that promote the rehabilitation of public facilities that have already been built but are not yet accessible and promote new constructions that ensure 100% accessibility for people with disabilities.
3. Why should we care about Designing public buildings and housing that are accessible to all?
DRD implemented a media campaign called “Us or All of us?”. Accessibility to public facilities seem to be beneficial for us – the disabled only, but those are actually for all of us.
Because when we age, our functional impairments are inevitable, or accidents can happen to any of us. All of us run the risk of becoming a person with disabilities. Therefore, we make an investment on accessible public facilities, in the short term, it is beneficial to ”Us“- people with disabilities, but in the long run, it is actually beneficial to ”All of us“- meaning everyone.
Besides, when public facilities like schools and workplaces are accessible, people with disabilities have the opportunity to learn their profession, and have employment opportunities. Those jobs will help them earn an income which gives them independence from their family, and overcome their psychological barriers. They will be more confident. They will find their own values, and they feel they have the ability to contribute back to society, all of this gives them the confidence to integrate into the society.
4. The positive changes and remaining challenges on the accessible public facilities and workplaces for People with Disabilities in Vietnam
In recent years, from 2018, a huge change in public facilities that were built using the state budget ensures access to people with disabilities, DRD also runs campaigns in partnership with Ho Chi Minh City. For example, working with the Department of Transport, particularly the Center for Public Transport to ensure the construction of an accessible bus and the shelter system for the disabled. Ho Chi Minh City is the first city that invests in a bus system that is fully accessible for the disabled and has height-adjustable floors.
Now hotlines are put in place to handle any issues about the accessibility of People with Disability in public transportation. DRD sent a petition to the Metro management team to ensure the Metro system is built accessible to people with disabilities, which is approved by Metro project managers. And in some other provinces, DRD is implementing projects funded 100% by the state budget that ensure accessibility for all.
However, to solve the remaining problems is still a very long process. When it comes to construction, majority of Vietnamese tend to favor massive architecture with many steps, which looks grandiose. In terms of policy, now we can only create impact on public works using state budgets but not yet influence on private projects.
If we both raise awareness and have the legal policy to ensure that both public and private facilities are accessible, then we hope to see more constructions convenient and accessible to more people with disabilities.
5. How to contribute to DRD programs
You can support DRD in many ways, you can contact DRD via the hotline phone number 028 626 79911 or visit DRD website www.drdvietnam.org and/or Fanpage DRD Việt Nam https://www.facebook.com/drdvietnam. All of the organization information, activities and programs are constantly updated on these channels.
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Watch the full 5th episode here: