NCPD develops Standard on Accessibility Designs

Africa, Built Environment, September 22 2016

GHANA: The National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) has developed the draft Ghana Standard on Accessibility Designs (GSAD) to guide developers, designers and other persons involved in the built environment process.

Addressing the media in Accra, yesterday, Mr Kwamena Dadzie-Dennis, Executive Secretary, NCPD, said GSAD, if gazetted into law by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), would be incorporated into Ghana’s Building Regulations for the approving authorities to make accessibility designs part of the criteria for acceptance of plans for construction in the built environment.

Mr Dadzie-Dennis said GSAD would provide a tool for the measurement or auditing of universal accessibility and increase awareness on accessibility standards, and the need for barrier-free designs in the built environment.

In a welcome address, Madam Lilian Bruce-Lyle, Acting Chairperson, NCPD, stressed the need to provide an accessible built environment for Persons with Disabilities even as the 10-year moratorium provided for in the Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) which states that “the owner or occupier of an existing building to which the public has access shall, within 10 years of the commencement of this Act, make that building accessible to and available for use by a person with disability” had ended in August 2016.

Madam Bruce-Lyle gave the assurance that NCPD would continue to collaborate with MDAs, civil society and the private sector to roll out more programmes that would address the concerns of persons with disabilities.

Section 6 of Act 715 and Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) require that buildings, roads, indoor and outdoor facilities, including schools buildings, medical facilities and all workplaces, are made accessible to persons with disabilities.

It is, therefore, in compliance with this requirement that the NCPD, with funding from Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) and in collaboration with the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD), Ghana Blind Union (GBU), Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled, Ghana National Association for the Deaf (GNAD), Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and GSA, developed the draft Ghana Standard on Accessibility Designs (GSAD).

The Standard was developed after extensive consultations with a wide range of stakeholders as well as literature in the field of accessibility and disability.

The Standard is expected to serve as a useful tool for those involved in the design, implementation, supervision and decision-making on various programmes where accessibility is a component.

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