There are a lot of problems with the 2018 Act for People with Disabilities – Helen Tavola

There are a lot of problems with the 2018 Act for People with Disabilities – Helen Tavola

By Abigail Sorovi
Wednesday 06/09/2023
Social Development Consultant Helen Tavola

There are a lot of problems with the 2018 Act for Persons with Disabilities as it is not fully compliant with the convention and it needs to be reviewed.

This has been highlighted by Social Development Consultant, Helen Tavola while speaking at the validation workshop for Persons with Disability on the current transport infrastructure accessibility in Fiji.

Tavola says many people refer to the 2018 Rights of People with Disabilities Act is a good start however for accessibility it refers to reasonable and equal access for outdoor and indoor places.

She says there should be a legislation review across all the sectors that could iron out all the issues for People with Disabilities.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Roads Authority and Land Transport Authority who attended the workshop also gave their views on what their sectors will be doing.

FRA says they are and will be using NZ standards for road design, signage design and line marking.

FRA says they will have ramps for pedestrian crossings and will try to incorporate guidelines for the ramps and also have disability car park space, which they will try and monitor for the development of the buildings and applications that come to the subdivision.

FRA adds the challenges they are currently facing have to do with budget, sometimes they want to include a lot of things but if it's outside of a certain budget, there are some areas where they need to remove them.

LTA says one of the issues they are aware of is the priority for Persons with Disabilities when boarding public transport.

The Authority says drivers must not refuse to carry a person with disability and the public sector must take reasonable steps to assist a person with disabilities.

LTA says vessel operators are encouraged to include facilities that are accessible for the disabled community and are in consultations with stakeholders.

LTA further says one of the questions that was raised by stakeholders, is the access to the data.

They say the data will let LTA know the numbers maybe the location and the mode of transport that they use, so that they can probably come up with policies and also go back to their stakeholders and discuss how best they can accommodate this moving forward.

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