On Tuesday 19 July, during the Pacific Update Conference in Suva, Mr Setareki Macanawai, CEO of the Pacific Disability Forum, presented a new PRIF research report on improving accessibility in transport infrastructure for people with disabilities - Improving Accessibility in Transport Infrastructure projects in the Pacific Islands'.
In many Pacific countries, footpaths do not offer a comprehensive network and they are generally built without reference to recognised standards for accessibility. Furthermore, trees, parked vehicles, lamp posts, rubbish bins and other street furniture can obstruct footpaths, making it difficult for people with disabilities to move around in the community.
Consequently, people with disabilities tend to stay at home and are rarely seen outside. The report covers all modes of transport - aviation, road and maritime - and includes assessment of the current situation; technical guidelines and screening tools for assessing and auditing accessibility features; recommendations for adoption by policy-makers and project managers, planners, engineers and contractors who need to understand technical issues related to design and construction of accessible infrastructure.
The report is available here for download, and the screening tools are available separately as excel worksheets, on request, by sending an email to [email protected]