Accessibility of Infrastructure
Accessibility is fundamental to the concept of disability rights. Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD, 2006) states that:
To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas (1).
Therefore, Jordan (having ratified the UN CRPD in 2008), has an obligation to bring their policies and programmes in line with the principles of the Convention, including that of accessibility.
This also applies to all UN Agencies working in Jordan.
However, currently, there remains a lack of any systematic implementation. 3 out of 4 of people with disabilities responding to a recent survey conducted by Handicap International (HI) about access to humanitarian services reported inadequate access to basic assistance such as water, shelter, food or health (2).
If an environment is not accessible and people cannot move around their communities due to inaccessible infrastructure, community involvement can be severely limited. Given the precedence of Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Jordan’s Law for Disabled Peoples Rights (Law No. 31, 2007), and the start of a new year of projects and proposals, we take this issue of the Equal Access Monitor to look at the accessibility of infrastructure: its current state, efforts to improve it, and recommendations for what more can be done.