On the 21st of October 2018, the members of the DRD’s program “scholarship and mentoring”organised a visit trip and accessibility audit at Landmark 81 building, 208 Nguyen Huu Canh road, Binh Thanh district, Ho Chi Minh city. The trip was to create opportunities to practice their soft-skills and conduct an accessibility audit. There were 26 participants including awarded students with disabilities and ten volunteers.
The participants were divided into four small groups. Each group was in charge of auditing a floor. After an hour, the groups collected data they need and add their comments to the survey. The received data would be evidence to make adjustment recommendations. Generally, the building is quite friendly with people with disabilities. The entrance is designed with ramps, and accessible toilets are available with handrails on each floor. The lifts have handrails and control system installed appropriately. However, some items are not convenient for people with disabilities. For example, restrooms’ doors are heavy and do not have the key lock inside; the discharge knob is too high. The lifts have no Braille and sound that inform users with visual impairment; the doors are closing too quickly makes difficult and unsafe for wheelchair-users. Consequently, people with disabilities met many challenges to visit and enjoy at Landmark 81 due to some difficulties above.
After the audit, they started to share their thinking of the day and enjoyed the joyful games.
Son, an awarded student with a disability, said “The accessibility audit is very helpful. I can apply what I learned to the reality. Through the activity, we can attract public attention and change their attitude and mind. Although I am usually busy on Sundays, I still arranged my time to join such activities”.
“If we don’t go out, the public will not know what we need. Then, there won’t be positive changes. We need to show them our availability”, said a leader.
Through the activities, students with disabilities would like to send a message that: People with disabilities also have the needs as people without disabilities. The construction of public buildings that met accessibility criteria will contribute to the promotion of the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Phương Hạ và Tuyết Nhung