Skip navigation links Sitemap | About us | FAQs

UN Programme on Disability   Working for full participation and equality

Draft Article 19

  • States Parties to this Convention shall take appropriate66 measures to identify and eliminate obstacles, and to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities to the built67 environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies, and to other services,68 in order to ensure the capacity of persons with disabilities to live independently and to participate fully in all aspects of life. The focus of these measures shall include, inter alia:
    • the construction and renovation of public69 buildings, roads and other facilities for public use, including schools, housing, medical facilities, in-door and out-door facilities and publicly owned workplaces;
    • the development and remodelling of public transportation facilities, communications and other services, including electronic services.
  • States Parties shall also take appropriate measures to:
    • provide in public buildings and facilities signage in Braille and easy to read and understand forms;
    • provide other forms of live assistance70 and intermediaries,71 including guides, readers and sign language interpreters, to facilitate accessibility to public buildings and facilities;
    • develop, promulgate and monitor implementation of minimum national standards and guidelines for the accessibility of public facilities and services;
    • encourage private entities that provide public facilities and services to take into account all aspects of accessibility for persons with disabilities;
    • undertake and promote research, development and production of new assistive technologies, giving priority to affordably priced technologies;
    • promote universal design and international cooperation in the development of standards, guidelines and assistive technologies;
    • ensure organisations of persons with disabilities are consulted when standards and guidelines for accessibility are being developed;
    • provide training for all stakeholders on accessibility issues facing persons with disabilities.


66: Some members of the Working Group preferred the word "progressive" in this paragraph and in the chapeau of paragraph 2. Other members were concerned with consistency with other articles of the Convention. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider alternative formulations.

67: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether the term "physical" should be used instead of "built", which is its near synonym in this context.

68: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider further the issue of attempting to list comprehensively the facilities and services covered in the chapeau to this paragraph, including whether a reference to the "communications environment" is desirable.

69: The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider the scope of the provisions in this draft article, in particular paragraphs 1(a) and (b), and 2(a), (b), (c) and (d). The Working Group questioned whether the concept of public buildings, facilities and services should also extend to privately owned or developed buildings, facilities and services intended for public use, and what level of obligation States Parties should place on private owners or developers to ensure access to persons with disabilities. Some members of the Working Group were of the view that privately owned or developed buildings, facilities and services should be covered by the obligations in this draft Article, but other members wished to consider the implications of this further.

70: 'Live assistance' includes human assistance, such as guides and readers, and animal assistance, such as guide dogs. The Ad Hoc Committee may wish to consider whether there is a more self-explanatory term. The term is also used in draft Article 20(a).

71: 'Intermediaries' means people who do not assist but who rather act as a conduit for the transmission of information to certain groups of persons with disabilities, for example, sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired. The term is also used in draft Article 20(a).

Relevant references:

International human rights conventions and legal instruments

Disability-specific instruments

Jurisprudence of human rights treaty bodies

Other documents

Summary of discussions at the Working Group

Comments on the draft text

Back to list of Draft Articles

Home | Sitemap | About us | News | FAQs | Contact us

United Nations, 2003-04
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Social Policy and Development