12% of the population of developing countries consists of individuals with special needs in reference to the statistics of World Health Organization. Hearing-impaired, (orthopedic) physically-challenged, visually impaired people, and people with learning disorder, speech disorder, adjustment disorder, chronic diseases, in need of protection are accepted as handicapped people or people with disabilities.
The General Assembly of the United Nations describes "disability" as the inability to do the works to be done in social life due to an inherited or adventitious handicap in physical and mental ability unlike normal people. The definition of architectural disability is the situation when people are prevented due to their physical deficiencies and lack of suitable facilities in the use of buildings designed according to general needs.
Disabled individuals should be able to actively participate in everyday life as well as other individuals and have access to the condition of "independent living" in contemporary urban and society structures. It is the most natural right of the disabled individuals as it is in every individual to sustain their experiences whether alone or with little help without a hitch. Of course, some special conditions must be provided in order for disabled people to be actively involved in social, communal and business life. Indispensable items of everyday life such as intra-city transportation order, equipment for public transports, architectural structure of public use areas, urban furniture should be designed, produced and applied in such a way that they can be used with other individuals and without limiting the accessibility of disabled individuals.
Orthopedically handicapped people are those who are restricted in their ability to move or who need some equipment to help them move.
The equipment they use requires arrangements in physical spaces in terms of making it difficult to relocate and their required range of motion. For this reason, it is very important to know the sizes and materials used in the equipment of orthopedic handicapped people in the arrangement made in or around buildings.
People with disabilities are often unable to use the physical environments because of not being equipped in a form suitable to their needs in Turkey. Handicapped people are generally not considered as users in urban areas where physical arrangements are required (squares, carriage ways, pedestrian roads, gateways, green-fields) and the spaces of public buildings where special design is needed (entrances, circulation, wet areas). This situation has begun to change positively and access of disabled people in public buildings has begun to be facilitated with the recent legal regulations.
It is an important requirement for disabled people to be involved in business life so they can actively participate in social life as well as making use of renewed urban structure and accessibility. It seems that the basis of social policies for disabled people is directed specifically to the employment of them and special arrangement of their working life and work relations. It is stated that protecting disabled people by employing them and helping them to keep their jobs is suitable for the purposes of international social policy principles and these policies will coincide with health and education policies for the same purpose. The works towards making disabled people a part of social and economic life is based on the beginning of the 20th century. The idea of obligation regarding employing disabled people was born with an increase in the number of handicapped people in Europe, especially after the World Wars. This arrangement is aimed at ensuring that the disabled people are producers instead of consumers.
Treatment and services should be provided to those who have lost their physical, mental and spiritual strength due to diseases or accidents that has occurred congenital or adventitious; the abilities and strengths of these people need to be corrected at the highest level in medical, social and occupational aspects and they need to be self-sufficient individuals who can act independently in society in consequence of the rehabilitation service provided to them.
It is clear that the level of social consciousness should be increased both politically and socially to achieve a healthy, strong, stable society where all individuals actively participate in everyday and business life and to achieve a state and community structure in which each individual has access to equal physical conditions.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE CENTER
The objective of the center is engaging in activities such as doing researches, developing projects, expanding awareness of the society, contributing to the active participation of disabled people in business life, increasing their employment opportunities in the fields such as architecture, social, education, and policy development with the objective of ensuring that disabled people are able to access to "independent living" conditions and that they can participate in urban life.
THE FIELD OF ACTIVITY OF THE CENTER
a) To carry out researches with the purpose of providing "independent living" conditions to disabled people,
b) To develop ideas and projects to find financial support within these studies,
c) To develop projects on various scales to enable disabled people to participate actively in urban and community life,
d) To develop ideas and projects for the participation of disabled people in business life and to increase their employment opportunities,
e) To provide career support services for the participation of disabled people in business life and to increase their employment opportunities,
f) To develop and execute joint projects by cooperating with foundations, non-governmental organizations, municipality centers, agencies, research centers, etc. related to disabled people,
g) To open vocational and personal skills development courses for disabled people and to certify the success of the trainees with certificates,
h) To give seminars to different sections of the society with the intent of increasing public consciousness,
I) To organize national and international scientific meetings in order to develop possible improvements and solutions to apply now and in future to ensure that disabled people actively participate in communal life,
j) To publish books and periodical publications within the Center,
k) To provide the required psychological support to disabled people for their active participation in communal and business life.