The Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has sought input from the public for the newly released draft guidelines on “Accessible Sports Complex and Residential Facilities for Sports Persons with Disabilities.” It ranges from defining terms used for accessible urban planning to illustrations of accessibility standards to ensure that the facilities and services provided can be used by people of all ages, genders and disabilities. The guidelines come as a new ray of hope for sportspersons with disabilities like visual impairments, physical disabilities, and other mobility impairments.
From ramps to tactile guiding pavers, the guidelines are a step in the right direction seeking to implement the concept of Universal Design. Such a design means “products and environments are usable by all people to the greatest extent possible without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” The guidelines are adapted from national and international access regulations and guidelines, like the National Building Code 2016 and harmonized guidelines and space standards for persons with disabilities and the elderly 2016, among many others.
Apart from providing accessible infrastructure, the guidelines also ensure that the staff is trained in Indian sign language interpretation or is readily available on call, assistive technology like a loop induction system, audio orientation tools, interpretative videos with sign language captions, accessible wheelchairs, etc., are also envisaged to be made available.