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Water Engineering and Development Centre. ‘Access for All’ Study: Designing water & sanitation to improve accessibility for disabled people & other vulnerable groups. Terms of Reference. Objectives

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Water Engineering and Development Centre

‘Access for All’ Study: Designing water & sanitation to improve accessibility for disabled people & other vulnerable groups

terms of reference
Terms of Reference


  • To identify ways to ensure that access needs of disabled people are considered in domestic water and sanitation (WATSAN) provision in tsunami-affected areas in Sri Lanka.
  • To explore opportunities for collaboration between local agencies in Sri Lanka in promoting accessible domestic WATSAN provision.
terms of reference3
Terms of Reference
  • Understand the situation regarding access to domestic WATSAN for disabled people, particularly in tsunami-affected areas.
  • Advise on ways to ensure that domestic WATSAN provision considers access for disabled people.
  • Discuss opportunities for future collaboration to promote improved access to domestic WATSAN for disabled people.
  • Meetings with key stakeholders, including relevant government agencies, NGOs, in both WATSAN & disability sectors;
  • Field-visit to tsunami-affected area (Batticaloa) to meet implementing agencies, disabled people, observe current conditions;
  • Feedback & discussion on findings and recommendations;
  • Produce a report for ‘Access for All’ Consortium.
accessibility why bother
Accessibility – why bother?
  • Help achieve poverty reduction targets – MDGs
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Inclusive facilities benefit the whole community
  • Disability is a gender issue
  • Water is a human rights issue
main findings
Main findings
  • Social stigma, overprotection by families, lack of physical accessibility, lack of rights opportunities, information  disabled people not visible
  • Few disabled people in camps –
    • Staying with relatives
    • Left camps because toilets & bathing facilities inaccessible
    • Lost mobility aids
  • Disabled & elderly people need a lot of support to use toilets & water facilities
  • Negative impact on whole family – increased workload, especially for women
  • WATSAN agencies have paid little attention to disability – lack of information, training, experience, never thought of it…
on the positive side
On the positive side…
  • WATSAN sector agencies interested, responsive, recognise need;
  • Many focus on ‘socially vulnerable’ groups - some specifically mention disabled people;
  • Examples of designs adapted in consultation with women – could be built on to include disabled & elderly issues.
what needs to be done
What needs to be done…

Long-term reconstruction:

  • Toilets, bathrooms, water points in public facilities, e.g. schools, clinics, hospitals, etc.
    • incorporate accessibility at planning & design stage (minimal extra cost)
  • Accessibility Guidelines available (international standards).
what needs to be done 2
What needs to be done…(2)

Long-term reconstruction: Permanent housing

  • Ideal – incorporate accessibility in all housing at planning & design stage (minimal extra cost);
  • Identify families with disabled/elderly members - consult on individual needs;
  • Share information on possible accessibility options (WEDC publication).
what needs to be done 3
What needs to be done…(3)

Short-term - transitional camps:

  • Prioritise families with disabled/elderly members – locate near to toilets, water & bathing facilities;
  • Make one toilet in a block accessible
  • Share information on individual aids and options for adaptations.
Minimise difference in levels

Level platform in front of door

internal dimensions
Space for

wheelchair to enter & turn,

user + helper

to move a seat to one side

Internal dimensions
support rails
Support rails
  • Fixed to wall (wall must be strong enough)
internal water source29
Internal water source
  • Gravity fed water supply
suggestions for starting points watsan sector
Suggestions for starting points - WATSAN sector
  • Appoint a focus person on accessibility/ inclusion issues;
  • Make contact with disability agencies, to:
    • exchange information and views;
    • consult on project design, technology options, staff training…;
    • accessibility ‘audit’ of a project or facility;
    • pilot technology options;
    • develop local resources, booklets, training materials, guidelines.
suggestions for starting points disability sector
Suggestions for starting points - disability sector
  • Form alliances, e.g. with agencies working with the elderly, children, women, etc.
  • Disseminate information, provide technical advice for WATSAN implementing agencies;
  • Collaborate with WATSAN sector to develop pilot/ action-research projects;
  • Develop examples of good practice to show what is possible.
further information
Further information
  • Access for All Consortium – Accessibility Guidelines.
  • WEDC – Designing water & sanitation for disabled people and other vulnerable groups - resource book – due out shortly. projects/auwsfpdp