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Funding and expertise exists for the World Bank to do Universal Design
Harold Snider, Adjunct Associate Professor and major activist for the disabled and Nazumi Takeda, education consultant to the World Bank, October 2008, “Design For All: Implications For Bank Operations”; AB
1.01 Today, inclusive development is a critical agenda at the World Bank as well as in international development circles. Benefits of development have not equally reached everyone; lack of attention to diversity, and deliberate and structural social exclusion have contributed to create and foster marginalization of certain groups. There is no way that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be achieved without including these most vulnerable groups, and there is no sustainable development without inclusive development. 1 Inclusive and sustainable globalization is a core vision of the World Bank to overcome poverty, and to create individual opportunity and hope. 2 1.02 Universal design supports this agenda by removing physical barriers – one of the major barriers to social inclusion. For those who have limited capacities such as people with disabilities, elderly, etc., public facilities and services are often physically inaccessible. Universal design developed through the recognition that a large part of the world’s population is not easily accommodated within the standard model upon which public spaces and buildings are based. 3 It aims at accommodating diversity of people’s capacities and needs, and thus improving people’s access to opportunities and promoting their participation in society. 1.03 Given the large amount of funds the World Bank provides for infrastructure, including transport, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), school buildings, water and sanitation facilities, etc., incorporating universal design into its projects will greatly enhance aid efficiency. By not focusing on universal design aspects, the World Bank loses the opportunity to include the maximum number of user groups in the project. It is cost-effective as well, in that the costs incurred constitute a small fraction of the total project when incorporated from the beginning of the project design. On the other hand, including universal design in the post-design process becomes a major cost factor.
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