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Original Research: Wheelchair-related topics for less-resourced environments (LREs)

Wheelchair accessibility to public buildings in the Kumasi metropolis, Ghana

Cosmos Yarfi, Evans Y.K. Ashigbi, Emmanuel K. Nakua

African Journal of Disability; Vol 6 (2017), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ajod.v6i0.341

Submitted: 12 November 2016
Published:  28 September 2017

Abstract

Background: Accessibility implies making public places accessible to every individual, irrespective of his or her disability or special need, ensuring the integration of the wheelchair user into the society and thereby granting them the capability of participating in activities of daily living and ensuring equality in daily life.
Objective: This study was carried out to assess the accessibility of the physical infrastructures (public buildings) in the Kumasi metropolis to wheelchairs after the passage of the Ghanaian Disability Law (Act 716, 2006).
Methods: Eighty-four public buildings housing education facilities, health facilities, ministries, departments and agencies, sports and recreation, religious groups and banks were assessed. The routes, entrances, height of steps, grade of ramps, sinks, entrance to washrooms, toilets, urinals, automated teller machines and tellers’ counters were measured and computed.
Results: Out of a total of 84 buildings assessed, only 34 (40.5%) of the buildings, 52.3% of the entrances and 87.4% of the routes of the buildings were accessible to wheelchair users. A total of 25% (13 out of 52) of the public buildings with more than one floor were fitted with elevators to connect the different levels of floors.
Conclusion: The results of this study show that public buildings in the Kumasi metropolis are not wheelchair accessible. An important observation made during this study was that there is an intention to improve accessibility when buildings are being constructed or renovated, but there are no laid down guidelines as how to make the buildings accessible for wheelchair users.

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Author affiliations

Cosmos Yarfi, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana
Evans Y.K. Ashigbi, Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Allied Health Sciences, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana
Emmanuel K. Nakua, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Keywords

wheelchair; accessibility; public buildings; Kumasi

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ISSN: 2223-9170 (print) | ISSN: 2226-7220 (online)

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