New Standards for reducing barriers for those living with physical disabilities

7 Dec, 2020

By Decree # 732 of December 4, the Government of Georgia approved the “National Accessibility Standards”, which means that there can be no building or infrastructure, except for private houses, that does not meet the requirements of persons of all physical capacity categories. The technical regulations will come into force on March 1 and will affect the construction permits issued after this period.

This is one of the most significant recent advocacy achievements of the Foundation, which will be equally reflected on all persons with disabilities, improving their quality of life and making it impossible for them to participate fully and independently in all areas.

The Open Society Foundation has been working intensively for a year on developing these standards together with Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia. To prepare a comprehensive document, our public health program has arranged dozens of meetings to hear the experiences of people with disabilities and to accurately reflect these needs in the “Technical Regulations of Building Safety”.

At the initiative of the Foundation,  ICC A117.1-2017 International Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities that includes the concept of universal use of public buildings, recreational spaces, streets and ancillary facilities and addresses the diverse needs of different categories of persons with disabilities, was translated and adapted to the Georgia realities.

This is the case when the regulations address the needs of all categories of persons with disabilities.

MP Rati Ionatamishvili, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, persons with disabilities and organizations  representing them, experts  in building safety and accessibility standards and UNDP staff were constantly and intensively involved in the one-year work process.