Putting Plans Into Action — Accessibility Building Code and Standards
With the issuance of the Accessibility Building Code and Standards in January 2002, attention shifted from enactment of the code to their actual implementation and enforcement. VNAH arranged for Richard P. Kuchnicki, the Federal Program Manager of the International Code Council (ICC) and Brent Snyder, a Certified Building Official and former ICC official, to come to Vietnam to assist in these tasks. The American experts provided advice on courses and curriculum for all current and future architects in Vietnam to help them understand and implement the new Accessibility Building Code and Standards. They also worked with Vietnamese counterparts to identify ways to set up an effective enforcement system for the full implementation of the Code and Standards.
In addition to meetings with officials from the Ministry of Construction and the academic community, the two experts visited the Hanoi Central Railway Station and Hanoi Cultural Center – both of which are being actively considered for renovations to better accommodate people with disabilities. At present, these two buildings attract large numbers of users but are inaccessible to people with disabilities.
In a final meeting, Nguyen Van Lien, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Construction, praised the work of the two experts and of the long-term efforts of VNAH to assist people with disabilities in Vietnam. He said Vietnam looked forward to future cooperation with VNAH in this most important area.