Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority launches consultation on draft accessibility code

Europe, News, December 22 2014

MALTA: The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) launched a consultation process on a draft standard it has developed entitled “Accessibility for all in the Built Environment”.

The draft standard is based on the existing “Access for All Design Guidelines” (AADG) which Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Diżabilità (KNPD) published for the first time in 2000. Once this draft standard becomes a Maltese Standard, the aim of KNPD is to make it enforceable by law.

The draft standard was prepared by a technical committee of representatives from KNPD, MCCAA, the Kamra tal-Periti (Chamber of Architects & Civil Engineers), the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and Equal Partners Foundation which met 24 times over a period of two years.

Where there is no access, there is lack of opportunity for personal fulfillment. Therefore, the importance of these new standards lie in the fact that they will give further legal protection to those who depend on accessibility to reach their aims of life circumstances or whether one has a temporary or permanent disability.

The AADG are currently used by KNPD in the vetting process of all public buildings and places open to the public. The KNPD accessibility audit team draws up an access audit based on the plans submitted to MEPA for each application referred to KNPD by MEPA. KNPD then gives its recommendation to MEPA based on the access audit.

Legal protection to persons with disability is also given by the Equal Opportunities Act (Cap 413) which stipulates that it is illegal to discriminate against persons with disability in general and specifically in the areas of education, employment, physical accessibility, access to goods, services and facilities, housing and insurance.

The consultation process is open until Friday 6 February, 2015, comments will be considered by the abovementioned Technical Committee.

The Draft Standard may be modified before being issued as a Maltese Standard.

The document is available from Standards and Metrology Institute of the MCCAA. It can be downloaded free of charge from MCCAA website http://www.mccaa.org.mt/en/news.

Comments are to submitted preferably by email on standards@mccaa.org.mt or by post to the Standardisation Directorate, ‘Mizzi House,’ Triq Nazzjonali, Blata l-Bajda HMR 9010.

Source: Malta Today

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