Saturday, July 31, 2010

Organization says India hasn't made itself accessible for disabled athletes attending Commonwealth Games

From Press Trust Of India:

NEW DELHI, India --With nearly 4,000 disabled athletes expected to arrive for the Commonwealth Games, a leading NGO on July 30 alleged that government has not provided accessible facilities for such sportsmen anywhere beyond the venues.

"Accessibility is not about just making sports stadiums disable-friendly. There are transport services, information technology, aids, appliances and services which are to be made accessible to disabled athletes," said Javed Abidi, Director of National Centre for Promotion of Employment of Disabled People (NCPEDP).

Most of the civic agencies and organisations do not even have a policy for the disabled, Abidi charged.

"When countries like Thailand, Australia, Sri Lanka and China can develop public constructions disabled-friendly, why can't our government do that," he said.

By this time, government should have developed accommodation that is specially created to cater to the needs of disabled athletes, he told reporters.

"How are we going to provide accessibility for them? Putting up disabled-friendly signboards or construction of disabled friendly toilets is just not enough," he said.

NCPEDP, in association with AccessAbility and BarrierBreak Technologies, also announced the awardees of the 'NCPEDP-MphasiS Universal Design Awards' instituted to honour those who have been doing extraordinary work towards the cause of accessibility.

"Even as we speak here, there is no other award in India on accessibility or universal design. These awards are meant to spread awareness on the concept of Universal Design and would be given away on the 15th of August," Abidi said.

He said the concept is about a design that could be utilised by anyone regardless of gender, age, ability or situation.