| Azlan Othman |
MINISTER of Development, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar presided over the official launching of the Different Abilities Design Guidelines booklet at the Ministry of Development (MoD) Training Centre yesterday.
The minister said the guidelines provide a list of the objectives and requirements for mosques, government offices, commercial premises and other types of buildings in the country.
“These buildings should be designed with access routes prepared for people with different abilities, including older persons who may have limited movement,” he said. “Facilities for wheelchairs users, such as ramps, should also be planned, using the stipulated gradient in the guidelines.
“The use of Braille and tactile information in signs at strategic locations such as staircases, lift buttons and public toilets, will assist visually impaired persons to be self-sufficient in a building.
“The guidelines also focus on older persons to create a more inclusive community through universal design concepts, as well as requirements for other groups, such as parents with infants. It will ensure that buildings which are frequented by families will be provided with amenities and facilities, such as child-friendly toilets and lactation rooms for nursing mothers.”
The objective within every chapter in the booklet is clearly stated, to aid the understanding of the rationale behind the various requirements. Diagrams are refined and additional illustrations are added, to minimise ambiguities in the interpretation of the requirements.
The Guidelines Review Committee was formed in December 2017 by the Authority for Building Control and Construction Industry (ABCi), with input from the public and private sectors, volunteers and stakeholders, for a broader perspective of the requirements from the Building Control Order of 2014 and the Building Control Regulations of 2014.
The initiative also shows Brunei’s efforts in realising its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified on April 11, 2016.
The move to improve the quality of life for people with different needs is in line with the vision and mission of the MoD, while also supporting the aims of Brunei Vision 2035 by providing a basis for the Quality of Life Goals.