Over the past 20 years UCT has made significant progress in making its facilities accessible to people with disabilities and many institutions around the country envy the facilities and resources available to disabled staff and students at UCT. Reinette Popplestone, director of Disability Services at UCT, said people are usually ready to recognise the needs of disabled people. But for many it's still hard to distinguish between what is considered benign and voluntary granting of concessions to people with disabilities, from their rights.
The extent to which accessibility provisions for disabled people enhance the safety for all users of campuses is not well understood, says Popplestone. Clearly demarcated stairs, correctly placed hand rails, adequate lighting of hazardous areas and clearly legible signage improve the quality of life for everyone. Much has been achieved in improving certain aspects of accessibility, but much more remains to be done, adds Popplestone.
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