Accessibility is a key issue for persons with disabilities’ autonomy and participation.
Four levels of accessibility must be considered when designing and building any public facility, site or individual shelter:
- How to reach the area, site or shelter: Ensure easy access of persons with disabilities between the different sites, shelters or public spaces in the settlement. Choose a flat site, clear from rubble;
- How to enter the site or shelter: The path from the street to the shelter or public services needs special attention. Providing ramps and handrails, and entrances that are wide enough for wheelchair users to pass through are other examples of building accessible;
- How to use the site, shelter or facility: Consideration should be given to providing security and privacy. To organise the use of space it is important to look at different aspects of daily life, taking into consideration women and girls perspectives. So do not hesitate to consult persons with disabilities about how to open doors and windows, additional needs such as mattresses or blankets, design of latrines or cooking spaces as well as hygiene facilities, etc;
- Making instructions and information understandable for everyone. Building access requires as well to ensure information and instructions can be understood by everyone. Proper signage and symbols facilitate people to enter easily and get around inside. A tactile floor map helps persons with difficulties seeing to orient themselves in the building. Instructions for repair of shelters should be provided also in an oral way, or made easier with symbols for persons who are deaf or illiterate.
CBM. Inclusive Post-Disaster Reconstruction. 16 minimum requirements for accessible shelters. 2015.