A regular meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group to develop a draft National Strategy for Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine chaired by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal took place today. The event was attended by First Lady Olena Zelenska. The discussion was devoted to the final version of the Strategy document before its submission to the Cabinet of Ministers. The Strategy is being developed within the initiative of Olena Zelenska.
At the meeting, Oleksii Chernyshov, Minister for Communities and Territories Development, presented the results of the group's work, namely the draft National Strategy. The participants of the meeting also discussed further steps to ensure the implementation of the planned tasks and measures.
One of the key areas of the National Strategy is physical accessibility, which is currently being actively worked on by experts from the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development. After all, the physical level of accessibility is basic for the Strategy, as the accessibility of public space and transport is a prerequisite for the daily movement of citizens. This applies to everyone: people with disabilities, young parents, the elderly and anyone who wants a comfortable space for themselves and their loved ones.
"We set extremely ambitious goals - the accessibility of all objects of the physical environment, including residential and public buildings, facilities for all social groups, regardless of age, health, disability, property status, gender, location of accommodation or other features. Through the joint efforts of the state, the expert community and the public, we have identified three key blocks of initiatives that can remove physical barriers from everyday life: introduction of a quality system of monitoring and control in the field of accessibility, improving the legislative basis and raising the quality of education for specialists in the field of accessibility", said Oleksii Chernyshov.
In 2021, the Ministry for Communities and Territories Development continues to improve the regulatory framework in construction, in particular, work is underway to develop and amend the SBN "Inclusiveness of buildings and structures", which is planned to be approved this year. In accordance with the specifications, the draft change will concern the adjustment of certain requirements for the inclusiveness of buildings and structures and their harmonization with other regulations. Also for the current year, the Ministry is planning to update a number of relevant building codes taking into account modern requirements for accessibility.
It should be noted that the development of the National Strategy for a Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine is underway in six areas: economic, educational, digital, social, civil and physical accessibility. The heads of key interested executive bodies, respectively the responsible Ministers, are engaged in work on each direction.