Ukraine To Implement New Barrier Free Regulations to Help People With Disabilities
The new standards will bring Ukraine closer to other countries that have such rules in place for many years.
Photo Flickr/Shawn Campbell
New state regulations for buildings regarding the mandatory creation of barrier-free spaces in Ukraine come into effect starting April 1, 2019, Deputy Minister for Regional Development Lev Partskhaladze announced at the Forum of the Association of Ukrainian Cities on the Sustainable Development of Territorial Communities on March 21.
“For the Ministry of Regional Development, the creation of a barrier-free space is one of the main priorities. And this is something that should be necessary for Ukraine as a state that aspires for a real European future. We need to pay more attention to the problems of people with disabilities and people with limited mobility, to create a comfortable space that is accessible to everyone, and do it according to modern requirements, not just for the check in the box,” Partskhaladze said.
The new State Regulation for Buildings “Inclusiveness of Buildings and Structures” contains about 100 qualitative changes for the safety and comfort of everyone, especially people with locomotor, eyesight, hearing, mental disorders, and other groups of people with limited mobility: the elderly, parents with small children and pregnant women.
Partskhaladze stressed that the new standards not only enhance the obligatory inclusion of barrier-free design but also provide all the technical characteristics and specific illustrative examples of such implementation, taking into account the existing foreign experience. In particular, regarding the design of:
- ramps, special lifts and other means of accessibility for people with locomotor disorders
- tactile and visual elements of accessibility: tactile floor tiles, braille script lettering on informational spots and marks, audio markers for people with visual impairment
- other visual information, duplication of important sound information texts, an organization of finger-speech translation, use of sound amplification systems for people with hearing impairments and other important changes
According to the State Statistics Service, there are about 3 million people with disabilities in Ukraine. According to the World Health Organization, people with disabilities comprise about 10% of the total population in Ukraine. 80% of these people are capable of working and active persons. However, the realization of their rights is impossible, until an actual barrier-free space is created in Ukraine.
“Right now almost 90% of the ramps are built improperly, given the absence of tactile tiles. Most people do not even realize what it is needed for,” Partskhaladze said.
He stressed that now Ukraine is moving to the most important stage – the implementation of new standards, and those who will design, build and introduce new objects into operation will be fully responsible in accordance with the new regulation.
“Recall all designers, architects, builders that all projects that are in progress of being developed or designed must comply with the current requirements,” Lev Partskhaladze said.