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The attitudes of responsible local agencies towards disability

Gümüş Çağlayan, Deniz
“New paradigm of disability” relates not only to persons but also to the environment they are living in. Therefore recent studies concentrate on the dynamic interplay of the persons and the environment, rather than rather than studying them as separate entities. This approach has revealed that disabled people become handicapped when they face with barriers restricting or impeding their activities in daily life. Physical, cultural and social barriers have been undertaken by many countries after substantial debate. In the United Kingdom and Japan for instance, disability and accessibility issues have been tackled with reference to disabled people’s demands and long-tem struggles against discriminatory implementations in the past. In these countries, whilst disability issue has been discussed, accessibility legislation including numerous measurements for implementation has been enacted and a considerable progress for removing barriers and providing accessibility in the built environment has been experienced through many institutional instruments. In Turkey, although there are now a lot of legislative measurements for accessibility, little progress is observed in recent years. Barriers in the built environment are still restricting, and even hindering full participation of disabled v people to social life. The problem of inaccessibility is seen related to practice rather than legislation or theoretical frameworks in Turkey. Since they are a part of the bureaucratic system having responsibility on the planning and designing of built environment, local agencies with their administrative and technical staff and organisation gain importance in terms of maintaining accessibility to the disabled. The study aims to provide information about attitudes of local agencies towards disability and accessibility in terms of practitioners rather than users. This study interrogates the knowledge level and outlooks of the related personnel and works of local agencies about disability and accessibility.