UNAPD hired consultants and spear headed a consultative two-year process involving architects, engineers, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Gender, Ministry of Health, and Disabled Peoples Organizations. UNAPD is for people with physical disability but the Standards were made to cater for all the needs of other disabilities namely the deaf and the blind in regard to the physical environment.
The Standards were launched in 2010 by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and since then, UNAPD embarked on a rigorous campaign to sensitize architects, engineers, constructors, policy makers and property developers about the Standards and their applicability.
Because of UNAPD’s advocacy, Parliament has enacted the Building Control Act, that requires all buildings to be constructed following the Accessibility Standards, establishment and representation of PWDs in all urban, municipal, and city building committees.
The need for the development of Accessibility Standards was borne after realization that most of the buildings in Uganda did not have facilities such as ramps and lifts while many of the existing accessibility facilities were not designed according to the required standards. As a result, persons with disabilities fail or face difficulties in accessing the buildings.
It is in these buildings where services crucial to human survival are provided and therefore non-accessibility to this infrastructure is a source of denial of rights to services enjoyed by other people. This contributes a lot towards unemployment, injustice, discrimination, low levels of literacy, exclusion, isolation, inadequate involvement in community activities by persons with disability.