Photo Credit: University of the Witwatersrand Rural Campus, Kate Otten Architects, Johannesburg.
Dear SAIA Members
As Human Rights Day approaches, it is vital for us to think about people with physical disabilities. As an Institute our Mission is to be: "A Collective Voice Serving the Interests of Architects in Pursuit of Excellence and Responsible Design." As our mission suggests, architects are committed to providing solutions to give equitable opportunity for people with disabilities by designing buildings founded on sound universal access principals. Thus, I encourage you to read the contents of this Newsflash and reconsider the ways you approach universal accessibility in your designs.
QASA "EISH" CAMPAIGN 2017
Taking Action when Disability Discrimination Occurs
QASA launches a creative "EISH"* campaign by using the wheelchair Lego man in various environments identifying problems and issues experienced by persons with physical disabilities.
*used in South African English and Afrikaans to express exasperation or disbelief. The word was first transliterated from the Xhosa language to Afrikaans, and then into South African English. (Urban Dictionary) *used to express surprise, annoyance, pain, etc (Oxford Living Dictionary)
QASA manages a contact number for members to lodge a complaint, discuss an issue, seek advice and be heard.
0860ROLLING (0860765546) is manned by QASA staff from Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm.
QASA will take note of each and every call which will allow the organisation to interrogate the issue, provide a solution, have a call to action and respond to the caller.
Visit our website www.qasa.co.za if you want to become a member/ learn more.
The key issues and themes are:
The Equality Act (PROMOTION OF EQUALITY AND PREVENTION OF UNFAIR. DISCRIMINATION ACT 4 OF 2000.) is a very powerful piece of legislation which should provide the opportunity for people with disabilities to be able to exist in a barrier-free environment, free of infrastructure barriers, free of any limitations and discrimination.
# Chapter 2 Section 6. Neither the State nor any person may unfairly discriminate against any person.
Section 9. Subject to Section 6, no person may unfairly discriminate against any person on the ground of disability, including:
Denying or removing from any person who has a disability, any supporting or enabling facility necessary for their functioning in society;
Contravening the code of practice or regulations of the SABS that govern environmental accessibility;
Failing to eliminate obstacles that unfairly limit or restrict persons with disabilities from enjoying equal opportunities or failing to take steps to reasonably accommodate the needs of such persons.
Access to Legal support, Policing agencies, the Judicial system, Human Rights commission's & Correctional services are essential for the success and implementation of the Equality Act for people with disabilities.
If you have an EISH moment / experience in the Justice environment communicate this to QASA and QASA will investigate and follow up.
The White Paper on the Rights of People with Disabilities (WPRPD 2015)- Pillar1 refers to removing barriers to access and participation of which inaccessible Transport is identified as a barrier.
Article 20 of the UNCPRD (Ratified by SA in 1997) on Personal Mobility recognises personal mobility as an important element of access and states that measures must be taken to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy personal mobility with the greatest possible independence in the manner and at the time of their choice, and at affordable cost.
Access to Transport is a human right and inaccessible transport in South Africa is the biggest barrier facing people with physical disabilities especially wheelchair users.
If you have an EISH moment / experience with inaccessible Transport communicate this to QASA and QASA will investigate and follow up.
The White Paper on the Rights of People with Disabilities (WPRPD 2015)- Pillar1 refers to "access to the built environment" and "universal design and access" by removing barriers in the built environment.
"The new South Africa should be accessible and open to everyone. We must see that we remove all obstacles... only then will the rights of disabled persons to equal opportunities become a reality" Nelson Mandela (1995)
Article 9 of the UNCPRD (Ratified by SA in 1997) on Accessibility recognises that State parties have legal obligations to ensure accessibility to persons with disabilities. In this vein the development and implementation of National laws and policies that advance and are tailored to the needs of Persons with Disabilities must be promoted.
The National Building Regulations and Building Standards: Act No 103 of 1977 (NBRs) as amended 1 October 2008 in "Part S facilities for Persons with Disabilities" give guidance to the minimum requirements in terms of access into and out of buildings.
Universal Design and Accessible environments are a human right and inaccessible buildings and infrastructure in South Africa are some of the major barriers facing people with physical disabilities, especially wheelchair users.
If you have an EISH moment / experience with inaccessible Buildings & Infrastructures, communicate this to QASA and QASA will investigate and follow up.
The National Road Traffic Act (1996), (Act 93 of 1996) in regulation 305 sub regulation (7) states the following: "No person other than a disabled person or a driver of a vehicle conveying disabled persons, which motor vehicle is issued with a sticker for conveying disabled persons shall park on a parking bay reserved for disabled persons". .
QASA believes that wheelchair parking facilities, designed 3500mm wide, are for the use of wheelchair users only. This is to ensure that a wheelchair user has the required width in order to get in or out of a vehicle safely.
QASA has a campaign whereby, in the event of a non-wheelchair user misusing a wheelchair demarcated bay, the public are encouraged to take a photo (ensuring the vehicle registration is clear & wheelchair parking sign is visible) and WhatsApp it to 073 853 9675 including the location, date and time and QASA will kindly sensitise the offender.
If you have an EISH moment / experience with wheelchair parking not being provided, available or being abused, communicate this to QASA and QASA will investigate and follow up.