HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Survey of buildings for access by the disabled
The Ministry of internal Affairs and Cook Islands National Disability Council are currently in the process of conducting the Cook Islands building accessibility survey to address the issues of access by the disabled to public buildings, government ministries and community buildings.
A number of ministries so far have taken part in the survey including the hospital, the dental clinic, and community health clinic in Tupapa. Information and data is still being collected.” Unfortunate to say the buildings that we have surveyed so far, while they have disability access some major improvements are needed to take place,” Ministry of Internal Affairs Disability officer Noo Numanga advised the Herald on Tuesday.
The United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, which the Cook Islands has ratified, focuses on enabling persons with disabilities to live independently. The Cook Islands also has a building compliance code that requires all public buildings to include disability access. However currently in the Cook Islands a number of government ministry buildings such as MFEM and the Ministry of Justice building remain inaccessible to mobility impaired persons.
Numanga suggests that while there is a possibility of including lift services, this is not always feasible. Access to buildings through ramps should also be considered. -Maria Tanner

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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