ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

New laws to help disabled

By Chandani Kirinde

Parliament is set to pass new regulations on Tuesday that will make it mandatory for all existing public buildings and public places to be made accessible to persons with disabilities within the next three years.

These regulations cited as the Disabled Persons (Accessibility) Regulations were gazetted last September by the Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare and once approved will pave the way for many facilities for disabled persons in the country.

The new regulations set out specifications as well as designs to be followed when any future constructions, re-construction or renovations take place of new public buildings and failure to adhere to them would deny them the certificates of conformity that should be issued by the local authorities or other relevant officials.

The new regulations will make it mandatory for five per cent of houses in housing schemes to have a minimum of twenty units built according to the design requirements while the state will provide a minimum of ten per cent of public transport accessible to people who have disabilities.

The areas where the design requirements apply will include parking areas, pavements, public roads and pedestrian crossings, steps and stairs, ramps, lifts and elevators, toilets, parks, zoos and other places of recreation as well as bus stops and railway stations.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.