Built environment accessibility in the eastern province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as seen by persons with disabilities.
AbstractAccording to the World Health Organization, the rights of persons with disabilities (PwD) worldwide are limited by social and physical barriers that prohibit their full participation in society. Built environment barriers can limit accessibility to transportation, goods and services, healthcare, employment, and overall independent movement. The Eastern Province (EP) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has about six per cent of its population designated as having some type of physical disability. Previously KSA-instituted rules and standards have not improved accessibility for PwD in the local built environment. This research attempted to determine the extent of accessibility in EP by surveying 183 persons with disabilities to ascertain what elements of the built environment are problematic for them and what they believe requires improvement. According to this survey, PwD felt elements that are essential to accessibility, such as ramps, elevators, restrooms, signage, and egress, are difficult to navigate. Commonly used public locations such as medical centres, restaurants, shopping, mosques, and banks each had obstructive elements that prevented PwD from fully using the spaces. Saudi Arabia is currently in the process of phasing in technical and social programs regarding the built environment that should improve accessibility for PwD, but current conditions are inadequate.
Abu Tariah H., Ghasham N., Alolayan M., Alahmadi B., Alqarni A. (2018). Wheelchair accessibility of mosques in Riyadh. Work, 60(3),385-391. doi: https://doi.org/10.3233/wor-182758
Al-Jadid, M. S. (2013). Disability in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Medical Journal, 34 (5), 453-460. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23677260/
Alkawai, F.M. & Alowayyed, A. S. (2017) Barriers in accessing care services for physically disabled in a hospital setting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, cross-sectional study. Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, 7(2), 82-86, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/20009666.2017.1324237
Crews, D.E., & Zavotka, S. (2006). Aging, Disability, and Frailty: Implications for Universal Design. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 25(1), 113-118. doi: https://doi.org/10.2114/jpa2.25.113
Enginz, E.B., & Savli, H. (2016). Examination of accessibility for disabled people at metro stations. International Journal of Architecture and Planning, 4(1), 34- 48. doi: https://doi.org/10.15320/iconarp.2016120307
Gamache, S., Routhier, F., Mortenson, B., Lacroix, E., Miller, W. C., Martin Ginis, K.A., (2020). Objective evaluation of environmental obstacle encountered in two Canadian urban settings by mobility device users. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 10(1), 98-123. doi: https://doi.org/10.17411/jacces.v10i1.186
General Authority for Statistics. (2017). Persons with Disability Survey 2017. Retrieved from https://www.stats.gov.sa/sites/default/files/disability_survey_2017_en.pdf.
General Authority for Statistics. (2018). Population & Demography; Population In Eastern Region by gender, age group, and nationality (Saudi/Non-Saudi). Statistical Yearbook of 2018 (54), 1. Retrieved from https://www.stats.gov.sa/en/6135.
Hakim, G., & Jaganjac, N. (2005). A note on disability issues in the Middle East and North Africa (English). World Bank, Washington, D.C. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/912231468110689787/A-note-on-disability-issues-in-the-Middle-East-and-North-Africa
Jamaludina, M. and Kadir, S. A. (2012). Accessibility in Buildings of Tourist Attraction: A case studies comparison. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 35, 97 – 104. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.02.067
Japan International Cooperation Agency Planning and Evaluation Department (JICAPED). (2002, March). Country profile on disability, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DISABILITY/Resources/Regions/MENA/JICA_Saudi_Arabia.pdf
Kadir, S.A., Jamaludin, M. & Rahim, A.A. (2012). Building Managers’ Perception in Regards to Accessibility and Universal Design Implementation in Public Buildings: Putrajaya case studies. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 5, 129-136. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.02.071
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (2000) Disabled Care System. Royal Decree No. M/37 dated 9/23/1421 (19/12/2000).
Kirschner, K.L., Breslin, M.L. & Iezzoni, L.I. (2007). Structural Impairments That Limit Access to Health Care for Patients with Disabilities. Journal Of the American Medical Association, 297(10), 1121-1125. doi: https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.297.10.1121
Mertens, D., Wilson, A. & Mounty, J. (2007). Gender equity for people with disabilities in S. Klein et al. (Ed.), Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education. Routledge; 2nd edition (pp. 583-604). ISBN-13 : 978-0805854534.
Meyers, Thomas. (2014) The International Building Code and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco Loss Prevention Department. From https://studylib.net/doc/18191715/the-international-building-code%C2%AE-and-the-kingdom-of-saudi.
Michailakis, Dimitris. (1997). Government Action on Disability Policy, A Global Survey. Liber Publishing House, Sweden. https://www.independentliving.org/standardrules/UN_Answers/UN.pdf
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD). (2017). Mega and large establishments should pursue Mowaamah certificates to prepare friendly-disability environment next month. https://hrsd.gov.sa/en/news /mega-and-large-establishments-should-pursue-mowaamah-certificates-prepare-friendly-disability.
Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD). (2019). Alignment: 8 criteria for obtaining a "harmonization" certificate for establishments' commitment to providing a suitable work environment for persons with disabilities. Translated from: https://hrsd.gov.sa/ar/news
Ministry of Labor and Social Development. (2018). 150 firms obtain ‘Mowaamah’ certificates due to preparation of disability-friendly environment: MLSD. https://hrsd.gov.sa/en/news/150-firms-obtain-%E2%80%98mowaamah%E2%80%99-certificates-due-preparation-disability-friendly-environment-mlsd
Mowaamah. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.mowaamah.sa
Mulazadeh, M. A. and Al-Harbi, T.S. (2016). Design of the Built Environment and the Integration of Wheelchair Users in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Commentary and Exploratory Study. Journal on Development Disabilities, 22 (2), 121-137. Retrieved from https://oadd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/41023-JoDD-22-2-v10f-121-137-Mulazadeh-and-Al-Harbi.pdf
National Transformation Program; Delivery Plan 2018- 2020. (2016). Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Retrieved from https://www.apucis.com/frontend-assets/porto/initial-reports/NTP,P20English,P20Public,P20Document_2810.pdf.pagespeed.ce.4jQO6xxXVw.pdf
O’Day, B., Palsbo, S., Dhont, K. & Schemer, J. (2002). Health Plan Selection Criteria by People with Impaired Mobility. Medical Care, 49(2), 732-742. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/00005650-200209000-00003
Poldma, T., Labbé, D., Bertin, S., De Grosbois, E., Barile, M., Mazurik, K., Desjardins, M., Hakim Herbane, H., Artis, G. (2014). Understanding people’s needs in a commercial public space: About accessibility and lived experience in social settings. ALTER, European Journal of Disability Research 8, 206-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alter.2014.02.007
Prince Salman Center for Disability Research. (2010). Universal Accessibility Built Environment Guidelines for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 1431H – 2010 (UABEG). Prince Salman Center for Disability Research- Riyad. ISBN: 978-603-00-5756-6. http://v2.kscdr.org.sa/media/16933/uap-be-en.pdf.
Rbeihat, S. (2006). Global Survey on Government Implementation of the Standard Rules—Results Analysis. South-North Center for Dialogue & Development, Amman, Jordan, for the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Disabilities http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/srreports/gsr30jan07.doc
Saudi Building Code National Committee. (2007). Saudi Building Code, 1st edition. https://rise.esmap.org/data/files/library/saudi-arabia/KSA/EE/27,30_the%20Saudi%20Building%20Code%20(SBC)..pdf
Saudi Building Code National Committee. (2018). Saudi Building Code-18. https://sbc.gov.sa/En/Feedback/Pages/SBC_2018.aspx
Saudi Building Code National Committee. (2018). FAQ: What are the phases of implementing the code? from https://www.sbc.gov.sa/En/ConnectUS/ Pages/FAQ.aspx.
Saudi Gazette. (2019). 8 criteria for obtaining Mowaamah Certificate. Saudi Gazette. https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/583823
Saudi Gazette. (2018). Saudi Building Code mandatory for large projects. Saudi Gazette. https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/532737
Soltania, S.H.K, Shamb, M., Awangb, M. & Yamanb, R. (2012). Accessibility for Disabled in Public Transportation Terminal. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 5, 89 – 96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.02.066
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. (2004). Reaching the most vulnerable: proposed supplement to the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. [Annex E/CN.5/2004/4]. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/resources/reaching-the-most-vulnerable-proposed-supplement-to-the-standard-rules-on-the-equalization-of-opportunities-for-persons-with-disabilities-annex-ecn-520044.html
United Nations General Assembly. (1994). Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. Resolution Adopted by The General Assembly, Forty-eighth session, Agenda item 109. https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/gadocs/standardrules.pdf
Vision 2030. (2016). Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. https://vision2030.gov.sa
World Health Organization (WHO). (2018). 10 Facts on disability. From https://www.who.int/news-room/facts-in-pictures/detail/disabilities
World Health Organization (WHO) & The World Bank (WB). (2011). World report on disability. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report.pdf
Company websites showing Mowaamah certification:
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Helen Peterson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share or adapt the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Use of the work for commercial purposes are not allowed.
- Authors are able to publish the journal's published version of the work in other media (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), as far as they inform the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All of that fact. When publishing their work in other sources, authors must mention the name of the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, its ISSN, the number and issue in which the article was published and a link to the main page of the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All. Optionally, they can also include a link to the article published in the Journal of Accessibility and Design for All.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website), as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.