The Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation (MOT) completed two important sets of norms and standards aimed at promoting accessible public transportation serving people with disabilities in Vietnam. These were the result of cooperation between MOT, VNAH and the National Coordinating Council on Disability, under a current project funded by USAID.
Building on our success in promoting barrier-free accessibility in static facilities (buildings, airports, etc.), VNAH is working with local partners to make public transportation accessible to people with disabilities. This is being done through the development and implementation of standards for buses, trains and other modes of public transportation. This includes regulations for service providers, operators of transport means and facilities.
Last December, to promote accessible public transportation, VNAH organized study tours to Japan and Hong Kong for several officials and technical experts from the Ministry of Transportation. In addition, the Ministry of Transportation, with assistance from VNAH, convened the first national workshop on accessible transportation where over 70 participants reviewed and discussed priorities to assure accessible public transportation in Vietnam. VNAH also developed recommendations to promote accessibility in mega public transport projects funded by the World Bank in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
On August 11, VNAH and the National Coordinating Council on Disability (NCCD) organized a workshop in Hanoi to generate input for the two new draft regulations, "Accessible public transportation in cities", and "Standards for buses" to be issued by the Ministry of Transportation. Over 80 representatives from the NGO community and from groups of people with disabilities and their supporters took part. MOT also held a workshop for officials concerned with transportation. The Vice Minister of MOT participated and voiced his strong support for the program and pressed his staff to move faster to make this a reality for disabled people in day-to-day life.
During his visit to Vietnam in July 2004, Dr. Roy Grizzard, Assistant Secretary of US Department of Labor (r), met with Mr. Nguyen Huu Tho, Vietnamese Vice Minister of Transportation (l). The briefing was arranged by VNAH. Under the current USAID grant, VNAH is working with the Vietnamese Ministry of Transportation to develop an access code for public transport systems.