Côte d'Ivoire - "Adequate" facilities in an accessible environment for people with disabilities
Abidjan, 02 Oct 2021 - Pierre Kassi Aboigny is an administrative agent at (CMP) college in Plateau, Abidjan.
As a person with reduced mobility, he moves around in a wheelchair, using public transport not suited to his condition. To get to his place of work, he is carried up the stairs by students for lack of ramps. There are no "adequate" facilities available that would enable people with disabilities to work, go to school, play sports like everyone else, have access to a quality of life, autonomy, safety and respect for human dignity.
The family of a 1st-grade student at a High School in Port-Bouet have been in contact with the Directorate for the Advancement of Persons with Disabilities (DAPH) and the school board to provide their daughter, with reduced mobility, some means to attend classes in a room on the ground floor. According to Konan Agathe, the deputy Director in charge, if the school cannot build access ramps, it must get the classes to the ground floor, to allow the student to attend and ensure she receives proper education by right. Adequate access to school must be provided by officials to the girl.
Adequate facilities are therefore concrete measures to ensure she does not suffer the negative effects of an already unsuitable environment, for a disabled person in our society.
Often easy to implement and inexpensive, this type of facilities contributes to a fairer society, while improving the quality and attractiveness of goods and services offered to all citizens.
Thus, offering the specific needs of a person with a disability, to enable him or her to work, train, play sports and live on an equal footing with others and to participate in activities or to move around as independently as possible.
Finally, these facilities ensure security and respect for the dignity of individuals.
For Woï Anne Marie, Secretary-General of the National Union of Disabled Women of Côte d'Ivoire who is a specialised aid at the Abidjan Lycee Classique, she had to "fight" to have access to her workplace.
"My first office was upstairs, I managed to be at work but in the long run, it was untenable, so I asked to be assigned a lower office, on the ground floor. It was a bit of a struggle to get it. It is not always easy to get these arrangements, because things are already built, so it is a bit difficult. It is not easy," she laments.
Fairness is assessed on the basis of cost, frequency and time, the impact on the organisation, on the disabled person, on the environment and the absence of equivalent alternatives. Anne Maria Woï reported that she had a (disabled) acquaintance, a teacher, who had to contribute financially to building a ramp to allow him to access the classrooms in the school where he teaches.
" My whole existence depends on the students I am offering my advice to. Even having access to the shower room, is difficult. There must be bathrooms for people with disabilities. Whether you are within the school, it is problematic to have access to these places," says Pierre Kassi.
The document "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by, for and with People with Disabilities" reports that, in eight countries surveyed, an average of 32% of people with disabilities reported that their workplace is an obstacle or is not accessible.
A concept not yet well perceived but taken into account by the authorities.
With the new Directorate for the Promotion of Persons with Disabilities (DPPH) formed by decree in October 2011, the Ivorian government intends to work towards the training and integration of persons with disabilities into the social fabric, particularly in the workplace.
Article 13 of the Orientation Law for the Disabled, adopted by the National Assembly in 1998, states that architectural provisions and facilities for housing and school, university and training facilities must be accessible to people with disabilities.