Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Municipal practices and needs regarding accessibility of pedesrian infrastructures for indivduals with physical disabilities in Québec, Canada

Stéphanie Gamache, Francois Routhier, Ernesto Morales, Marie-Hélène Vandersmissen, Jean Leblond, Normand Boucher, Bradford James McFadyen, Luc Noreau

Resum


To create enabling environments for as many individuals as possible, including individuals with physical disabilities (IPD) who are more prone to encounter environmental barriers limiting their social participation, we need to examine current municipal practices related to accessibility. The objectives of this study were to describe existing practices for the design of accessible pedestrian infrastructures (API) for IPD living in Quebec (Canada), as well as to identify the perceived informational needs of the municipalities to design such infrastructures. A WEB survey was developed and validated by experts (i.e., municipal/provincial entities, IPD advocacy organisations, public transportation society, and researchers) and was sent to 507 municipalities. Descriptive statistics and recursive partitioning were performed, which allowed for the analyses of predictive variables using arborescence (e.g. the characteristics of the municipality that predict the implementation of various accessible design practices). A total of 186 respondents (representative of 184 of 507 municipalities) completed the survey (37%). Few municipalities have measures, resources and tools to ensure the design of API for IPD. However, many respondents perceived the need for such resources. The presence of an action plan for individuals with visual disabilities and their consultation, availability of human resources, and knowledge of tools for the design of API the implementation of other accessibility practices and should be targeted. Results of this study highlighted the need for conceptualization and implementation of guidelines to ensure API, and identified potential measures to improve practices that favor social participation of IPD.

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