Safe learning facilities

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Key considerations for disability inclusion in safe learning facilities:

  • Select safe school sites and incorporate the principles of universal design while designing and constructing learning facilities for ensuring accessibility for everyone, including children, adolescents and caregivers with disabilities.
  • Use the rehabilitation or rebuilding of damaged school buildings as an opportunity to improve accessibility for people who have limited mobility or have physical disabilities.
  • Ask children with disabilities to identify ways in which learning facilities were not previously accessible, and the changes they would like to see. For example, move through the environment and facilities with children with different types of disabilities to identify obstacles and elicit their suggestions for improvements.
  • Ask Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) to share their experiences of developing accessible buildings in the local environment or with limited resources.
  • If schools are planned as temporary community shelters, incorporate accessibility measures considering specific needs of children and adults with diverse disabilities.
  • Ensure that access to schools is free from physical risks and barriers (e.g. pedestrian paths, road and river crossings).
  • Make sure that play areas are accessible and safe (in terms of minimising both physical hazards and child protection risks). 
  • Inside buildings, maximise natural light and flow of air. Classroom walls that are painted white can help all children to see better.
  • Ensure that water and sanitation facilities are accessible and adapted to potential risks (rain-fed and lined latrines). Toilets should be accessible, safe, clean, private and separated for girls and boys, and safe drinking water should be easily accessible to all students and teachers.
  • Accessibility should be built around the RECU principle: persons with any type of disability can Reach, Enter, Circulate and Use facilities in a continuous movement (e.g., without facing barriers).