Public or private space is available when people with different kinds of disability can use it just like other able-bodied people.
Available space, be it in the public, household or neighbourhood area, is a condition of an independent life for disabled people, which is fundamental for their social insertion.
The current Polish construction laws require both project owners and contractors to design new facilities and buildings with everyone in mind – both able-bodied and disabled people. Available space includes zebra crossings with low curbs enabling elderly, wheelchair-bound people or people with walking frames to cross the street on their own and, at the same time, with special pavement slabs (ribbed etc.) informing visually impaired people about the crossings they approach to. For visually impaired people sound effects are usually used as an alternative solution to traffic lights.
Older buildings often require overhauls aimed at removal of architectonic barriers or installation of devices and objects which make it easier for disabled people to use them.
One of PFRON’s duties is to fund the elimination of architectural and technical barriers in places where disabled people live, that is to adapt the nearest environment (flat, entrance to the building, corridors) to movement and living needs of disabled residents. Money for that purpose is transferred to the respective districts at the beginning of each calendar year. They are spent by self-government units through the agency of district family assistance centers.
Support for disabled people
If you are a disabled person and need financial support for necessary adaptation works or installation of specialized devices, you can apply for it at your district family assistance center. You can ask there for all necessary information.
Examples of works which can be funded by PFRON: construction of an access ramp, door extension, anti-slippery floors, bathtub adaptations, grips which enable a wheelchair-bound person to use the bathroom.
Adaptation of facilities for public use
PFRON also funds elimination of architectural barriers in buildings and facilities used for professional or social rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Each year it transfers to provincial self-government units money for construction works in the facilities which have been used for rehabilitation purposes for at least two years but are not fully available yet.
Educational, medical or civic-related centers can also get funds from PFRON for elimination of architectural or technical barriers which prevent their premises from being available to everybody. PFRON’s programme called Levelling out inter-regional differences is addressed to them. Contracts for funding under the aforementioned programme are concluded with PFRON through the agency of district self-governments.