Study: Only 25% of public spaces disabled-friendly

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 25% of public spaces and buildings in the country are disabled-friendly.

A study conducted in 16 locations nationwide found that only four were between “moderate” to “satisfactory” in terms of accessibility for disabled persons.

“We found the other 12 locations were not designed to cater for the disabled,” International Islamic University Malaysia deputy dean (postgraduate, research and consultancy) Prof Dr Asiah Abdul Rahim said after the “Accessibility of Disabled Persons to Buildings and Public Amenities” seminar yesterday.

Dr Asiah said the 2009 study looked at commercial buildings, museums, waterfronts and other public spaces.

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Senator Datuk Heng Seai Kie, who opened the seminar, said much more was needed to be done to improve accessibility for disabled persons.

“At least 15% of the community consists of disabled persons. They are not a minority,” she said.

Welfare advisor to the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Dr Zaliha Omar said the development of disabled-friendly facilities was hampered by poor coordination between related authorities.

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