“Barrier-free urban environment is the key to observing the rights of people with disabilities, as well as comfortable and high-quality life for all citizens. However, Baranavichi is not suited at all for a decent life of people with disabilities,” says one of the initiative leaders, MFF regional coordinator Yuri Kazakevich.
The MFF regional coordinator notes that the city makes some effort to alleviate this problem — for example, ramps are being made, but they don’t guarantee a barrier-free access to buildings.
The map is available here
“A person in a wheelchair needs to reach it, but the absence of pavement access ramps and off-ramps, high edges curbs, and uneven road surface make it impossible. When constructing a ramp the designers must take into account its width, slope, the availability of double railings, and fencing border height,” says Kazakevich.
Local MFF activists together with Tarcha (‘Shield’) Centre activists are now creating a barrier-free access map of Baranavichi — there are 352 objects on the map as of March 11. All the objects are divided into two types: ‘acceptable condition’ (indicated by green colour) and ‘bad condition’ (red). Selecting an object shows a description — for example, whether there is a ramp with handrails, how far a bus stop is located, etc.
“Based on the previous surveys of building carried out by activists, I have an impression that everything is being done just to check the box,” says MFF Baranavichi coordinator Uladzimir Hundar.
He called on all concerned citizens to join in the making of the map. The main objective is improving the lives of people with disabilities.