Office for Rights of People with Disabilities criticizes barrier-free environment at Hockey Championship facilities
Volunteers of the Office for the Rights of People with Disabilities have monitored 47 facilities. Among them, the sports objects of Minsk-Arena and Čyžouka-Arena, the central railway stations and the national airport Minsk, hostels and hotels, department stores and other places.
As the NGO told BelaPAN, only four venues are accessible to people with disabilities.
The central stations, the national airport Minsk and the tow arenas are more equipped with accessibility means, even though the objects are not fully accessible.
The experts mainly emphasize the absence on the website of the Championship’s official tour operator, RUE “TsentrKurort”, of specific information on accommodation, tickets and tours offered to persons with special needs.
The airport’s website has a special section for passengers with disabilities, but there are no sound informants for the visually impaired, as well as information in Braille at information points, specialized toilets, transfers (taxi) to the city to carry passengers with disabilities.
The central stations do not have adequate access to trains and buses. Also, there are no specialized informants for the blind, printed leaflets, including in Braille. In addition, the experts note that the ticket offices are too high.
Due to the fact that people with disabilities cannot use the underground passage, they cannot come to Minsk-Arena by public transport.
In Čyžouka-Arena, places for fans in wheelchairs are equipped with a ramp having an invalid angle with insufficient width to maneuver a wheelchair and with not enough handrails of restrictive security, the report said.
“Both arenas definitely lack information support for visually impaired fans, there are no scrolling text devices for hearing impaired. Accessibility conditions in the arenas are incomplete for people with different types of disabilities: the sports complexes have better accessibility means for individuals with physical disabilities, while individuals who have sensory impairments face the worst conditions,” notes the organization. At the same time, the arenas recruited volunteers who provide the necessary assistance to the fans with special needs.