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Members of the accesibility audit team inspect a public facility during the exercise. In FAO'S Desk

IDIWA accessibility audit exercise reveals progress and gaps

Integrated Disabled Women’s Activities (IDIWA) has conducted accessibility audit on public facilities in the 16 sub counties of Iganga district to ensure that they are on standard.
The 47-member team conducted the audit exercise last July on public facilities that included Health centres, Hospitals and schools in Igombe, Makuutu, Nakigo, Buyanga, Bulamagi, Nambale, Nawandala, Namungalwe, Nabitende, Ibulanku, Nawaninji, Nakalama, Namalemba sub-counties, central, and Northern Divisions and Busembatia TC.
The accessibility audit was done following access standards developed by Uganda National Union for people with Physical Disability and these took into consideration issues like; Ramps, Latrines, entrance points, doors, pathways / corridors, Handles/Grips, Boreholes, furniture, windows, Notice boards and Bathrooms.
Although Iganga District has an accessibility audit team of only seven members led by Mr. Joseph Opio the Iganga District Rehabilitation Officer, IDIWA adopted more 40 members from different sub counties and trained them in accessibility audits and equipped them with guidelines and all the necessary skills to conduct the accessibility audits.
The audit revealed that although most institutions are not having access facilities making it very difficult for PWDs to access services, the will by institution heads to create friendly environments for PWDs in their institutions is alive but are constrained by funds.
The audit further established that it was hard to do away with old buildings which were not designed using accessibility standards and many heads of institutions expressed lack of knowledge on accessibility guidelines and standards.
At least two institutions had exceptional performance, thus Iganga SSS and Victoria High School, which planned and made most of the facilities accessible to PWDs.
The team recommended that PWDs and other stakeholders to beef up advocacy and sensitizations campaigns on accessibility for PWDs, district should put in place plans to ensure access in all institutions.
The team also want the government to come up with special grants for schools to construct or modify/adjust their non-accessible facilities and recruit more teachers for special education needs.
To the community, the team says must maintain and sustain access ramps put in place and PWDs leaders should fully participate in decision making processes on accessibility issues to demand for access standards.
After the audit, IDIWA held a dialogue with duty bearers in Iganga district and presented the findings. District leaders pledged to address the concerns raised in the report in their planning.
About the project
IDIWA with support from Independent Development Fund is implementing a 15months project entitled; “Disability Policy Implementation Project’ in Iganga District.” The project seeks to address gaps limiting operationalization of the Iganga Disabled People’s Ordinance and Policy and ensure inclusive service delivery to People with Disabilities PWDs.

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