Access to public spaces and amenities for people with disabilities A recent report from the Council of Europe Standing Committee on Social Cohesion reflects on the issue of accessibility to public buildings and infrastructures. This report complements the CoE s 10-year Disability Action Plan that aims to make progress in ensuring equal rights for disabled people. In recent years, Member States have adopted measures to ensure accessibility to public spaces for disabled people, but results have not always met expectations. Regulations and standards are not always applied.
The report points out that the concept of accessibility and the principle of universal design (application of integrative standards and technology to public spaces and amenities to promote more independent living) should be incorporated in spatial planning at all levels (local, regional, national). The report gives recommendations, including the promotion of the United Nations Standard Rules and the Council of Europe s Action Plan, the signature and ratification of relevant legal instruments such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the development of integrated national and regional accessibility policies, the establishment of accessibility mediators at national and local level, financial support for NGOs in the field, a European for sharing good practice on ways of applying the principle of universal design and local and regional accessibility action plans including the setting-up of regional advisory bodies and local-level committees on access to public amenities.
To read the report: the Council of Europe website, https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?Ref=CG(13)41PART2&Language=lanEnglish&Ver=original&Sit