The Design for All Foundation in Istambul
In the framework of the cooperation between the Turkish organization Ayder, member and promoter of the Network for Excellence of the Flag of Twosn and Cities For All, and specifically its founder Ercan Tutal, and the Design for All Foundation to promote Design for All and the Network for Excellence of the Flag of Towns and Cities for All in Turkey, Francesc Aragall, president of the Foundation and Imma Bonet, executive patron, travelled to Istanbul to personally present the project and the Foundation to the municipalities of Kadiköy (700,000 inhabitants), Beşiktaş (200,000 inhabitants), Ataşehir (35,000 inhabitants) and Kartal (500,000 inhabitants).
These municipalities from the Istanbul area are experiencing a tremendous growth, not always planned, and are the result of the progressive decentralization of the services. This has led to the creation of sub-areas of business and services but has also increased the need for new infrastructures of services and transports for the citizens.
Following the ratification by Turkey of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and given that approximately 13% of the population has some limitation, it is essential that governments at all levels continue their work and receive as much support as possible to face the challenge of a Turkey without any barriers that respects the rights of all its citizens and visitors.
Since the project of the Network for Excellence of the Flag of Towns and Cities for All, besides making the management of accessibility and the continuous enhancement of people’s quality of life easier, offers the possibility to benefit from the experience and knowledge of other municipalities who have, previously, faced the same challenges and have successfully passed them, the four municipalities visited showed their interest in joining the Network. Thus, the international aspect of the Foundation was revealed once more, by making it possible to exchange experiences with other countries and providing resources to allow municipalities to achieve their objectives efficiently.
During the visit, Francesc Aragall and Imma Bonet also held meetings with IKSV (Foundation for Art and Culture in Istanbul) to talk about Art for All and creating cultural venues for all, and the company Vodafone to work on improving accessibility in their shops.
This trip has been a great opportunity for both Ayder and the Foundation to help spread the Design for All and to help governments and businesses with whom we have met to respect the rights of all people. For our part, we will continue working to get more and more organizations willing to eliminate all the barriers in Turkey and in the rest of the world.
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