Improving accessibilities for persons with disabilities integrated “Accessible Design Competition”

Recently, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam collaborated with RMIT University in Vietnam officially commenced the Accessibility Design Competition 2020. The Opening Ceremony welcomed prestigious partners, mentors and judges of the competition, along with nearly 100 RMIT students.

At the launching ceremony. Photo: Habitat Vietnam

A recent statistics based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) framework, known as the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), shows that persons with disability (PWDs) accounted for 15.3 percent of Vietnam’s population -that’s an estimation of 13 million people. The vast majority – 75% – of persons with disabilities live in rural areas. 16.4 percent of the population with disability lives in poverty (85 million people).

They are some of the most vulnerable members of society, facing significant challenges and barriers in their daily lives. There are many programs and projects have been designed towards the goal for disability inclusion, but having an affordable and accessible house which can enable independent living for PWDs remains to have significant gap that either government sectors or organization of PWDs or for PWDs have not been able to address; this is with the primary consideration of the housing intervention being capital intensive. Many PWDs have been discharged after a good rehabilitation process in the rehabilitation centers, but they are unable to easily adapted and be more productive at home due to inaccessible and inadequate housing. Some PWDs realize the needs of improving their house but they are challenged by finding renovators familiar with accessible design issues.

Habitat Vietnam has been working to provide housing solutions for PWDs, including pilot projects that focuses on renovating or modifying houses for people with mobility disability. Through this project, Habitat Vietnam also intends to demonstrate that a less significant housing improvement fund can improve the quality of life of PWDs and help make them more productive members of their households and of the society.

To further their efforts that take the edge off long-lasting challenges encountered by PWDs, both in their daily activities, community engagement and in social mobility, Habitat Vietnam has collaborated with RMIT University in Vietnam to bring about “Accessibility Design Competition 2020“.

Through the work of 60 students and 20 industry partners, the organisers seek innovative, inclusive design and ideas to enable people with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities to access, function and excel in the working environment. 

They believe initiates like this will help change the ongoing public perception about people with disabilities, acknowledging their capabilities and potentials as well as giving them a fair chance to succeed in the workplace.

Tu Pham