The Association for Independent Living of People with Physical Disability has considered from the beginning as one of the most important aims, that Budapest should be accessible by the beginning of 2000. In this field however several organisations of the disabled are active, informing eachother, working together. Our capital has been one of those cities in Europe, where disabled people could get in public buildings least of all and could not use the means of public transport until the recent past.
At first we contacted the local authorities, and asked them to be our partners in matters of accessibility. With support of Soros Foundation we placed mobil ramps to 7 public buildings, like Matthias Church, some banks, shops, etc. Together with the National Federation of Disabled Persons’ Associations and other organisations we lobbied for passing the new Construction Law and the Act for Equal Opportunities of People with Disabilities. In 1998 on the occasion of 5th May, European Day of Disabled People for Equal Rights and against Discrimination our members visited all ministers and all mayors of Budapest. We presented them our appeal about the importance of accessibility. In March 1999 we organised a forum to which we invited experts on behalf oflocal authorities.
The new Construction Law carne into force in december 1997, the Act for Equal Opportunities of People with Disabilities in March 1998. All disability organisations have to work very hard together in order that both laws will be implemented. A lot of work are ahead of us in making Budapest accessible.