Disability-friendly places: What does the law say?

Everyone in South Africa has rights, and we were born with these rights.

One of the rights we have is the right to access and use public places, such as stadiums, libraries, restaurants and schools. But some buildings were made in a way that makes them difficult for people with disabilities to use.

Section 24 of the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution says that it is against the law for a public place not to be user friendly for people with disabilities.

What makes a place disability friendly?

  • Easy-to-use doors
  • Wheelchair-friendly toilets
  • Easy for anyone to get out in an emergency
  • Places for people with disabilities to sit so it is easier for them to see or fit their wheelchair
  • All signs should be easy to see and read

A person with a disability, or anyone who would like to, can lodge a complaint if a public place is not easy to access. The Equality Court is able to help those who need it. Click here for steps you can take if you would like to lay a complaint. If you have questions about it, speak to a trusted adult first and get their advice too.

For more information on disabilities check out our article: Social grants for people with disabilities.

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