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All Under One Roof

1.0 Introduction
2.0 Mainstreaming disability inclusion in the shelter and settlements programme cycle
3.0 Design Recommendations and material support
4.0 Considerations based on mode of delivery and forms of tenure
Annex 1 Guiding Frameworks
Annex 2 Terms and definitions
Annex 3 Acronyms and abbreviations
Case study library

3.6 Accessibility of collective centres

Persons with disabilities who seek shelter in collective centres will experience barriers similar to those that appear in other types of settlements, but also specific barriers and challenges described here.

Collective centres should be considered a last resort when securing shelter for displaced populations, but can be a temporary option if well managed. Ensuring basic accessibility will be more achievable in predesignated collective centres or evacuation centres. Linked to this is also the importance of ensuring accessibility of early warning systems and evacuation measures.

3.6.1 Shelter in collective centres often involves high levels of stress and conflict, especially when the facilities are unsuited for the purpose or poorly managed. The period of stay should be as short as possible – especially for persons with disabilities. People experiencing psychosocial or cognitive disabilities should be prioritised for alternative shelter options.
3.6.2 Conduct accessibility audits of any structures that will be used as collective/ evacuation centres, including the paths to reach the centres. If this can be done in the preparedness stage it will save time during the response.
3.6.3 The entrance on the ground floor must be accessible from main roads and provided with a ramp. A wider ramp (at least 150 cm) is recommended for collective shelters compared to private shelters.


! A site that is easy to reach for persons with disabilities is also likely to be more accessible for emergency vehicles and the distribution of relief items.
3.6.4 Make registration more accessible by lowering desks, ensuring opportunities for rest and by providing staff and volunteers with disability training.
3.6.5 Ensure all information and any complaint and feedback mechanisms regarding the centre are accessible in multiple different formats (eg oral, print, easy to ready, braille maps).
3.6.6 Coordinate with other sectors, especially CCCM and Protection, to send trained staff and volunteers to visit collective centres on a daily basis to provide information to persons with disabilities, identify protection issues or barriers that need to be addressed.
3.6.7 Address physical barriers to circulation on the ground floor by adding ramps or removing thresholds, levelling surfaces and making sure openings are wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through. Persons with reduced mobility and wheelchair users should be offered shelter on the ground floor.
3.6.8 Keep circulation routes free of rubbish and clutter to improve accessibility and fire safety. Consider/ include persons with disabilities when designing emergency evacuation plans and alarm systems.
3.6.9 Make sure that all public areas and dark corridors are illuminated, that windows and lamps are kept clean in order to maximise available light and that blown light bulbs are swiftly replaced.
3.6.10 In consultation with persons with disabilities, identify priority assistance to make daily activities more accessible. Introduce a system for waste management that includes all shelter residents.
3.6.11 If persons with disabilities are sheltered in the collective centre, promote participation in communal activities and representation in building committees. Building committees should receive training on disability issues.
3.6.12 Make sure that persons with disabilities can use sanitary facilities such as water taps, toilets and bath areas. Provide signs that indicate facilities that are accessible/reserved.
! Contrasting colour and artificial lighting also make entrances and staircases more accessible for persons with visual impairments and/or reduced mobility.