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Accessibility

Concept

Accessibility is currently understood as a human rights issue recognised in the laws of many countries across the world – the right of every member of society to equal opportunities, non-discrimination, inclusion, and participation in all aspects of life.

It is essential to promote physical access to monuments, palaces and museums, but it is no less important to consider intellectual, social, cultural or economic access. Our cultural heritage belongs to everyone.

We are working to ensure that the public service we offer is increasingly accessible to a greater number of visitors, regardless of their health condition (deficiency or disability), social, cultural, or economic status. And we understand accessibility as an integrated public service that should reach all sectors of activity and involve all employees.

Disability and impairment

Access to Cultural Heritage is often associated to ‘impairment’ but today this approach should be seen in terms of ‘disability’. This view derives from the document published in 2001 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (CIF).

This classification considers the relationship between an individual and the environment and develops from two concepts considered components of ‘health’: ‘functioning’ and ‘disability’. Both have biological, psychological, and social factors. One of the reasons for ‘disability’ may be ‘impairment,’ but ‘disability’ is a far more comprehensive universal human experience than ‘impairment’. On the other hand, ‘impairment’ does not necessarily mean ‘disability’.

We all have ‘disabilities’ throughout life. It is up to the DGPC to offer alternatives that allow us to access to, and participate in its monuments, palaces, and museums.

Legislation

Law No. 46/2006. It prohibits and punishes discrimination based on disability and the existence of an aggravated health risk.

Decree-Law No. 163/2006.It defines accessibility conditions for the design and construction of public spaces, amenities and housing.

Law No. 67/2007. It approves the non-contractual liability regime of the State.

Resolution of the Council of Ministers No 9/2007.It approves the National Plan for the Promotion of Accessibility (PNPA).

Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic No. 56/2009.It approves the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in New York City on 30 March 2007.

Resolution of the Assembly of the Republic No. 131 and 132/2012.It recommends to the Government a strategy to promote accessible tourism in Portugal.

Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 24/2013.Itapproves the amendment to the National Strategic Plan for Tourism (PENT) for 2013-2015.