Accessibility a prerequisite to achieve an inclusive society – Danesh Kanagaraj
Our guest columnist this week is the founder of Navi Mumbai-based NCO Aclude Foundation. A motivational speaker and skill trainer Danesh Kanagaraj has muscular dystrophy and is a wheelchair user. Through his NGO he aims to build a society that is sensitive and inclusive towards disabled people.
The right to access the built environment is fundamental to ensure the full and equal participation of people with disabilities in society. Accessibility should be a primary component while visualising any built environment. The provision of access in the built environment can deliver social and business benefits, and enable providers to keep pace with the ever-increasing demands of society. Limited or restricted access to the built environment is one of the greatest barriers to equal participation in society.
Accessible environment key to enabling disabled
I am a person with locomotor impairment and use a wheelchair. Often wherever I go, I have to be lifted along with the wheelchair to reach the stage or auditorium. Usually, there are four to five stairs before the reception area or elevator.
15% of the global population faces some kind of disability issue. No matter how rich or poor one may be, there is always a segment of people who suffer from accessibility issues on an everyday basis. The issue of inaccessibility can be resolved by incorporating barrier-free infrastructure. The primary challenge is lack of awareness about the barrier-free environment, especially disability needs.
Building partnerships first step to accessibility for disabled
For further sensitisation, to allow the implementation of a barrier-free environment, Aclude Foundation is joining hands with stakeholders working in infrastructure projects. We are also collaborating with architectural institutes to involve students. Our idea is to shift the conventional pattern and create change by engaging key stakeholders to incorporate barrier-free design in their vision and its implementation.
We invite everyone in joining hands to create an inclusive society.