Disability Commission organises workshop on Universal Design for engineers
‘Opening minds to Universal Design’ – a two-day technical training workshop for engineers of various government departments was organised by the Office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities in association with Design Bridge Diversity and Inclusion Foundation, Pune recently. The purpose was to introduce engineers to Universal Design, which is designing for ‘ALL’.
The training was conducted at the Goa Rajya Kar Bhavan, Altinho – Panaji with the assistance of Principal Trainers Dr. Kavita Murugkar, Access Auditor empanelled with the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt of India, Abhijit Murugkar, Design Bridge Diversity & Inclusion Foundation and Architect Arundati Gupta.
“The main goal of the workshop was to sensitise and train the field engineers in the area of accessibility so that all of the projects they worked on would be handled with empathy for persons with disabilities. Once attitudinal barriers are removed, inclusion and accessibility can be readily realised in all areas of public infrastructures”, said Guruprasad Pawaskar, the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.
The topics such as Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, Harmonised guidelines for built-in structures, the National Building Code and the significance of Universal Design were covered during the workshop. In addition, various simulation activities were held for the non disabled participants to mirror the experience of navigating life with disabilities.
On the second day of the session, Vishant Nagvekar, a person with physical disability Patrick D’Souza, a person with physical disability and Mahadev Sawant, a person with low vision representing the disability community, addressed the challenges that people with disabilities encounter while accessing public infrastructures. The participants also conducted an access audit of Rajya Kar Bhavan.
The workshop was attended by engineers from a number of government agencies, including the Department of Archaeology, Goa Housing Board, Mapusa Municipal Council, Public Works Department, South Goa Planning & Development Authority, North Goa Planning & Development Authority, Smart City, Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited and Margao Municipal.