Disability Access In Bangladesh

Accessibility

While in Bangladesh individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Most roads in Bangladesh do not have proper sidewalks and those that do are often in disrepair and not easily accessible by persons with disabilities. Few roads have proper crosswalks for pedestrians and those that do are large flyovers or pedestrian bridges spanning the width of the road. These flyovers are accessible only by climbing stairs and walking across; there are no ramps or elevators to assist those with disabilities. The public transportation system is overcrowded and not easily accessible by those with disabilities. Individuals with wheelchairs will find public transportation virtually impossible to use. Most public places, including buildings, hotels, and restaurants, have little to no accommodation for persons with disabilities. A handful of modern hotels built in the last few years are wheelchair accessible, but virtually no properties have been built with Americans with Disabilities Act standards in mind.

Disabled persons are legally afforded the same access to information rights as their non-disabled peers. The Ministry of Social Welfare, the Department of Social Services, and the National Foundation for the Development of the Disabled are the Bangladesh government agencies responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. Government facilities for treating persons with mental disabilities are largely inadequate. Several private initiatives existfor medical and vocational rehabilitation, as well as for employment of persons with disabilities. Several NGOs, including Handicap International, have programs focusing on helping and raising awareness of the challenges faced by the disabled.

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