People with disabilities face a multitude of obstacles in their physical environment, particularly in developing countries. These barriers can prevent them from attending school, working, accessing services like healthcare, and participating in community activities.
Creating a barrier-free environment is key to including people with disabilities as equal members of society. When steps are taken to remove physical barriers, society as a whole—including children, older people, those with chronic diseases, or even parents pushing strollers—can benefit.
Handicap International incorporates accessibility into all of its programs, and runs several projects wholly devoted to improving physical accessibility. In development settings, as well as during periods of post-crisis or -disaster reconstruction (in Haiti, for example) Handicap International works with development stakeholders, local communities, and governments to reduce barriers for people with disabilities. This might entail making schools and health centers physically accessible, building accessible homes for people with disabilities following natural disasters, or developing physically accessible public transportation.