Wheelchair Accessibility Should be the Stander Never and Option.

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Since 2015 Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) has been advocating to be accessible for every public building for wheelchair ramps and lifts this comes after a long time suffer and barriers that people with disability have been discriminating because of their wheelchair, Early 2015 Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) started a new initiative campaign called open The Door in local language known as Albaab Iga Fur and its hashtag is #AlbaabIgaFur.

Last week one of SODEN milestone was when a Premier Bank instilled their entry gate a new wheelchair ramp which is very comfort and convenience ramp after three months back that SODEN administration met with them and requested them to do wheelchair-friendly space to their Bank.

Mr. Ali Yusuf one of Premier Bank administration said, “Our main duty and responsibility is to take care and make our business inclusive for everyone either wheelchair users or non-wheelchair users so that its must to install this ramps even though SODEN reminded us to do it but its obligatory since Somalia signed UNCRPD”

One of the disabled people who used this new ramp said. “I am happy currently and I can access inside and outside the Bank and access the service smoothly without lifting me up by other people I am using the ramp alone and freedom without assisting”.

Also, Hamar Jajab Primary and Secondary School was built new disability-friendly bathrooms and ramps in their classes after SODEN and Turkish Red Crescent collaborated, it’s the first formal school did this phenomenon.

Wheelchair ramps or #AlbaabkaIgaFur enable physically disabled people as well as elderly people to enjoy comfort complete freedom, as they allow users to move in and around the buildings safely and freely. It is a cost-effective and practical solution to enhance mobility access. By installing a ramp, scooter and wheelchair users can access steps, doorways, sliding glass doors, showers or even raised landings easily.

According to the World Health Organization, 15% of the world’s population is composed of disabled people, but it is unknown how many Somali are affected as reliable data is difficult to compile due to decades of conflict and chaos. A 2011 report titled ‘Disability Rights in Somalia’ released by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) confirms that the number of disabilities in Somalia increases by 20 people daily, and suggests 12-15% of the population are disabled even though there is no real statistics in Somalia. n

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