ROUND TABLE 1 Accesibility and Reasonable Accommodation Ana Peláez Narváez UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities -States Parties obligations are based on a new concept of disability based on a social model. -This new pespective implies: Respect for diversity: equality and nondiscrimination The unfavorable effects of disability may be compensated respecting or re-establishing the access and full use of rights The Convention establishes general guiding principles such as ACCESSIBILITY: Article 9. Accessibility “1. To enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life, States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures, which shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility.” When these “appropiate measures” are denied, discrimination takes place RECOMMENDATIONS TO STATES PARTIES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACCESSIBILITY PRINCIPLE Having into account that States Parties should take appropriate measures to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. We recommend: To take legislative and other measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas according to paragraphs b) to h) of the Convention; To audit the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility; To develop national accessibility plans established with concrete targets and deadlines; To establish standards and guidelines for accessibility; To develop auditing on level of compliance and sanctions for noncompliance; To apply resources obtained by means of money sanctions to encourage accessibility actions; To develop the use of public procurement and provision and other measures that establish compulsory accessibility requirements; ACCESSIBILITY AS A CROSSCUTTING ISSUE IN THE CRPD Article 19 Living independently and being included in the community To make community services and facilities for the general population accessible. Article 20 - Personal mobility Measures to facilitate the personal mobility of persons with disabilities, in the manner and the time of their choice, as well as their access to forms of assistance (human or animal), assistive technologies, aids and devices at an affordable cost; Measures to ensure that the technologies are high quality; Measures to encourage entities that produce mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies to take into account all aspects of mobility for persons with disabilities. Article 21 Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information Legislative and other measures to ensure that information provided to the general public is accessible to persons with disabilities in a timely manner an without additional cost; Legislative and other measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can use their preferred means of communication and access to information such as sign languages, Braille, augmentative and alternative communication, and all other accessible means, in all forms of official interaction; Measures to urge private entities and mass media to provide their information and services in an accessible form for persons with disabilities; To audit the degree of accessibility of mass media and percentage of accessibility standard incorporated; To develop legislative and other measures linked to the official recognition of sign language(s). Article 24 Education Legislative and other measures that ensure that schools and materials are accessible and that individualized reasonable accommodation and support required by persons with disabilities is provided to ensure effective education and full inclusion; Availability of specific skills training services for children, adults or teachers who so require in Braille, sign languages, augmentative and alternative communication, mobility and other areas; measures taken for the promotion of the linguistic identity of deaf persons; Measures taken to ensure education is delivered in the most appropriate languages, modes, means of communication, and environments for the individual; Reasonable accommodation provision and other measures to ensure access to lifelong learning education. Article 25 Health Legislative and other measures to ensure that health services and technology are accessible for persons with disabilities (hospitals, technical means, communication, comprehensible messages…) Article 26 Habilitation and Rehabilitation Measures for the promotion of the availability, knowledge and use of assistive devices and technologies, designed for persons with disabilities, as they relate to habilitation and rehabilitation. Article 27 – Work and employment Availability of technical and financial assistance for the provision of reasonable accommodations; Article 28 - Adequate standard of living and social protection The availability of programmes that cover disability related extra financial costs. Article 29 - Participation in political and public life Measures to ensure the right to vote of persons with disabilities on their own or to be accompanied by a person of their choice; Measures to ensure the full accessibility of the voting procedures, facilities and materials; Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport Measures to ensure that cultural, leisure, tourism and sporting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities, having into account children with disabilities; Measures to ensure that intellectual property laws do not become a barrier for persons with disabilities in the access to cultural materials; Measures to ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation, leisure and sporting facilities, including those made within the school system. Reasonable accommodation should be implemented without reducing the level of commitment the Convention sets up for States Parties regarding the Accesibility principle. All these measures should be taken with the constructive participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations during all the implementation processs. International Co-operation could be a fundamental tool to enhance the implementation of the accessibility principle in countries where there is a lack of resources.