About accessibility at the municipal level

By Sarah RaparoliLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Advocacy groups have high hopes for the new law on accessibility in public places. But how accessible and inclusive have municipalities been so far? And who is setting a good example? The Lëtzebuerger Journal in conversation with associations, stakeholders and community leaders.

"We expect a lot from the new law." Yannick Breuer, Accessibility and Tourism Coordinator at Info-Handicap, talks about the law that will come into force on 1 July and will ensure that all public spaces, streets and other places are accessible to everyone (more information on the new law can be read here). "Building owners will face penalties if they do not comply. It can go as far as demolishing the building in question." Info-Handicap has partnered with the National Centre of Excellence for Accessibility to Buildings (ADAPTH) to train technical inspectors, he says. These people will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the text of the law. "Every building is affected, so we need enough staff."

If Breuer is to be believed, accessibility and inclusion are still not a matter of course at the municipal level. Often it also depended on the will of the respective ministry – he mentions public transport in rural areas – but "in such cases the municipality can stay on it and follow up". The reality were that many people are not taken into account. "The parties should think about it, because after all it is 15 per cent of the voters who are affected, " Breuer says. He knows that it is more difficult in smaller communities. "Where fewer people work and where the mayor has another job – there is less implementation because the necessary logistics are missing."

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