Students win first prize in Breaking Down Barriers contest hinh anh 1The and first- and second-prize winners of the Breaking Down Barriers contest (Photo Courtesy of DRD)

HCM City (VNA) - Students from the Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City won first prize in the Breaking Down Barriers contest that called for designs and upgrades of public works for people with disabilities.

The group’s proposal involved building modern classrooms without podiums and with blackboards designed to be lifted up and down by a system of pulleys easily accessible for people with disabilities.

Students as well as teachers with disabilities find it difficult to walk up to a podium.

The proposal also included a design that allows students to easily enter and exit classrooms.

Vu Thi Huyen Trang, head of the team of students, said their objective was to help both teachers and students with disabilities.

Moreover, the team wants to encourage architects to pay more attention to these barriers.

The second-prize winner was a proposal on upgrading the city’s general science library by students at the University of Architecture.

Another 10 initiatives that focused on upgrading parks, cinemas and other entertainment establishments all impressed the jury.

Professor Le Thanh Son, head of the University of Architecture’s Interior Design Faculty, said the initiatives were creative and highly practical.

The contest attracted 1,000 students after it was launched three months ago.

It was organised by the city-based Disability Research and Capacity Development Centre (DRD) in co-operation with the University of Architecture.

Luu Thi Anh Loan, the centre’s acting head, said that people with disabilities accounted for nearly 15 per cent of the country’s population.

They are the most vulnerable group, facing discrimination and limitations in healthcare, education and other public services.

The contest called for more community awareness about people with disabilities in society, Loan said.-VNA