The AEC Associates CAD design and drafting services constantly strive to provide the best possible facilities in the public and private buildings they design; however, there is a section of the society that has some special accessibility related needs. According to the available population data, about ten percent of the world population faces disability of one kind or the other; making it mandatory for the CAD design and Drafting Services to take into account their specific needs and requirements while designing buildings and facilities. This is necessary for these people to use the facilities without facing any obstacles or hazards.
Meaning of disability:
Disability is a physical condition that restricts the normal ability of a person. As a matter of fact, most of us may face some kind of disability at some time or the other during our lifetime. A small child, an elderly person with restricted mobility, a person with a fractured limb or an ailing person are some examples where even a normal person may face a disability like situation. Therefore, the design of any building or facility must take into consideration the special needs and requirements of these persons, called persons with disabilities or PWD, to enable them to access the facilities conveniently and lead a normal life.
Responsibility of designers:
Catering to the needs of PWD is a social and moral obligation for CAD design and drafting services, and in fact, several countries, especially the developed countries, have made it legally binding for the designers to provide a minimum set of facilities to the disabled persons. Building and town planning codes are being developed in many countries for this purpose. This is the right of these persons, not a favor anymore, to be able to avail of equal opportunities in the society. It is now acknowledged that there is enormous potential in PWD, rightly called differently abled persons now, and they can contribute equally to the society if given the right opportunities.
Types of disabilities:
In order to cater to the specific needs and requirements of persons with disabilities, the designers need to be aware of the different types of disabilities for their buildings to be accessible to everyone. These categories can be classified broadly as follows:
- Wheel chair users
- People with limited walking abilities- people using crutches or artificial limbs etc
- The sightless
- The partially sighted
- The hearing impaired.
Different requirements for different categories:
Each category of disabled persons has different sets of requirements, therefore, needs different design considerations. While a wheel chair user would need a ramp to move between various floor levels, a person using crutches would find it difficult to negotiate a ramp and need a staircase or an elevator. Similarly, tactile or sound systems are suitable for the sightless while visual signs are required for hearing impaired.
To make the buildings and facilities accessible is the social, moral and also statutory responsibility of the CAD design and drafting services. The designers must do a thorough research before embarking on a building project so that they may be able to provide all the needed amenities and facilities to the disabled persons.