According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, 12% of the population of developing countries consists of individuals with special needs. Individuals with hearing-impairment, physical (orthopedical) disability, visually impairment, learning disability, speech disability, adaptation problems, persistent illnesses and the ones who are in need of protection are considered as disabled or disabled individuals.
United Nations General Assembly defines "disability" as the inability to do the tasks that should be done by oneself in one's social life due to a congenital or later disability in one's physical and mental capability. In the architectural definition of the disabled, these individuals are referred to as people who face obstacles, because of their physical deficiencies, due to the lack of appropriate facilities while using buildings designed for general needs.
In the modern city and social structure, individuals with disabilities should actively participate in daily life and have access to "independent living" conditions like other individuals. As for every individual, it is the most natural right of people with disabilities to be able to continue their life on their own or with little help. Of course, some special conditions must be provided for disabled individuals so that they can actively participate in social, community and business life. The essential elements of daily life such as urban transportation system, the equipment of public transportation vehicles, architectural structure of public areas, urban furniture should be designed, manufactured and implemented without restricting the accessibility of individuals with disabilities and must be done so in a way that they can use them with other individuals.
Orthopedically disabled people are those who have restrictions in their ability to move or are in need of some auxiliary tools and equipment to move.
The equipment they use necessitates arrangements in physical spaces since this equipment makes it difficult to move and require some range of motion. Therefore, it is quite significant to know the size and materials of the tools and equipment used by orthopedically disabled people in the arrangements made in or around buildings.
In Turkey, people with disabilities are often unable to use the physical environment since it is not designed conveniently for their needs. In urban areas that require physical arrangement (squares, roads and pedestrian ways, passages and green areas) and in space that require special design in public buildings (entrances, circulation, wet areas), disabled individuals as users are mostly not considered. With the legal regulations made in recent years, this situation has started to change positively and disabled access in public buildings has started to be eased.
In addition to the urban structure and accessibility, taking a place in business life is an important necessity for disabled individuals in order to be actively involved in social life. It has been recently observed that the basis of the social policies for the disabled are directed towards the employment of the disabled people and regulating the working life and business relations conveniently for them. It is stated that the employment and protection of the disabled by helping them to keep the job complies with the principles of international social policies and these policies will tally with the health and education policies for the same purpose. Attempts towards the participation of the disabled in social and economic life go back to the beginning of the 20th century. The idea of the obligation to employ the disabled was born with the increase in the population of disabled soldiers in European societies, especially because of the World Wars. The aim of this regulation is to ensure that disabled people become productive individuals by removing them from the consumer position in the society.
As a result of the treatment and services provided to people who lost their physical, mental and spiritual strength due to congenital or later illnesses or accidents, these abilities and powers should be corrected at the highest level in terms of medical, social and professional aspects, and these individuals need to be rehabilitated (re-orientation to work) in order to be brought to an independent and self-sufficient state in the society. Rehabilitation should be approached as a whole. Any medical, social and professional setback will be reflected in all of these aspects. For this reason, in works conducted for the disabled, all these criteria should be evaluated together and actions should be taken by thinking together.
When this information is taken into consideration, it is clearly seen that the level of social awareness should be increased for a state and social structure in which all individuals actively participate in daily and business life for a healthy, strong and stable society in terms of both political and social life.