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Gov’t ramping up plan for tourist-site access

A push is on to mandate handicapped-accessible ramps at the Kingdom’s tourist attractions, a member of the government’s Disability Action Council (DAC) said yesterday.

The council is preparing to submit guidelines to the Ministry of Tourism, according to DAC Secretary General Em Chanmakara, who said that he raised the issue on Monday at a meeting with the ministry, urging them to build such paths for both private and public tourist spots.

“The ministry forwarded the guidelines to their officials to check, and suggested that we arrange the standard [angle] of the slope so that they can issue the announcement,” he said, adding that at many tourist attractions, including national symbol Angkor Wat, there are no ramps for the disabled.

Ministry of Tourism spokesman Tith Chantha said his ministry is committed to helping people with disabilities in the Kingdom.

“Normally, the ministry has principles to [encourage] tourist spots to care for disabled people,” he said, although he couldn’t say how many attractions presently contain paths for the handicapped.

In 2013, the government passed a decree that disabled people must make up at least 2 per cent of the workforce for each state institution and ministry.

Chanmakara said, however, that only about 1.6 per cent of government workers are disabled.

The Ministry of the Royal Palace and the Ministry of Defence are exempted from the policy.

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