AIIMS, PNB admit gaps in disability access

Asia-Pacific, March 3 2017

NEW DELHI: After ordering a review of its inclusive accessibility program, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has found that “certain areas such as the administrative block, teaching block, JLN Auditorium and biotechnology block are not accessible to persons with disabilities”.

AIIMS Hospital AIIMS initiated the review after The Hindu report ‘Vigyan Bhawan, AIIMS, Feroz Shah Kotla can’t go anywhere’ (February 28, 2017), highlighted shortcomings regarding accessibility in certain areas.

The institution added that there are a few places on its premises where there are no toilets for wheelchair user patients. “These will be retrofitted to make them wheelchair accessible. A few toilets have been modified to give make them more accessible for persons with disabilities. The old buildings of AIIMS needs significant modifications and efforts are being made to make them more barrier free. The elevators here have an operator to guide the patients with special needs. Signages and announcement systems are also in place,” said V. Srinivas, deputy director of AIIMS.

Mr. Srinivas added that several departments of AIIMS will be working on accessibility issues in the institution.

The statement issued by AIIMS noted that the efforts would be led by professor U. Singh, head of department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in consultation with the Departments of Engineering and Hospital Administration.

“AIIMS has implemented the Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan to make it a more patient-friendly hospital for those with disabilities. A panel has been set up and nodal officers have been appointed. Our experts have inspected the institute and suggested modifications. All the new buildings coming up in AIIMS are compliant with universal access,” noted AIIMS.

Meanwhile, referring to another report published in The Hindu ‘A city off limits for the differently-abled’ (February 28, 2017) regarding the inaccessibility of a Punjab National Bank ATM on the IGNOU campus, the bank tweeted: “Feedback has been shared with concerned team.

Source: Hindu

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