‘Make inclusive design compulsory’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
INCLUSIVE design standards should be made compulsory in the design of new buildings to make them accessible for persons with disabilities.
Nor Alizulrainee Ali Yusop said this on the sidelines of a talk organised by the Chevening Scholars Alumni.
The previous recipient of the Chevening scholarship was giving a talk titled ‘Overcoming Adversity’ at The Core, Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
He said that accessibility for persons with disabilities should be the norm rather than the after-thought when it comes to designing buildings meant for public use.
“My impression is that here in Brunei when people make buildings designed for public use, they only think about having an inclusive design after it is built,” he said.
“That is just not going to work for everyone, especially persons with disabilities. It has to be thought about at the design stage and not in the midst of the implementation stage of constructing the building,” he said.
Nor Alizulrainee is visually-impaired, having lost his eyesight as a result of meningitis.
He believes that implementing inclusive designs which allows accessibility for all in buildings would be a more cost-effective option in the long-run.
“I remember a particular case when a building was erected in Australia with access for persons with disabilities only through the rear entrance and they were ordered to tear down the front entrance and rebuild it to cater for persons with accessibility difficulties,” he said.
“Besides being cheaper for developers, making it a must for all buildings to cater to those who have accessibility problems would also be the right thing to do,” he said.
In 2011, it was reported that a legislation was in the pipelines to protect persons with disabilities and ensure better accessibility and facilities to those with mobility issues or disabilities in public buildings.
The legislation has yet to be enacted despite it being reported that it was “in the final stages of being drafted” by mid-2012.
The Brunei Times