Takes more than just facilities for handicap-friendly nation

18 07 2007

Last year when the government announced various projects and initiatives to make the nation more handicap-friendly, the disabled community rejoiced. MRT stations and buses were installed with additional features; most of the stairs have ramps now and mall walkways are wide enough to accomodate wheelchairs and crowds of people simultaneously(Check out Vivo City, very handicap-friendly). However, having experienced pushing my grandpa around in a wheelchair recently, I noticed how hostile this seemingly friendly environment actually was, despite the facilities put in place.

We were at Vivo City. There is almost nothing to complain about the facilities there. The MRT station has ramps, pebbles for the blind, the mall has special toilets for the disabled, easily accessible elevators and wide enough walkways. As my grandpa and I were window shopping, we had to frantically maneuver through the crowd. YES! WE had to maneuver, not the other way around. The crowd was extremely ignorant. Somehow we seem to be invisible and had to keep avoiding ourselves from crashing into them. Can’t they see this wheelchair bound person coming their way? There was this guy who accidentally walked aka bumped into us. He STOOD STILL and STARED at us for a very long time with this annoyed face right after that.

“Excuse me? Hello?? You bumped into us coz you didn’t see us. We were trying our best to avoid it.”

I’m not asking people to put out a red carpet along with a line of guards to clear the path. I just wish people would be more aware of their surroundings and take notice of the less able people around. There is only so much the government can do to make a nation more handicap-friendly, its people needs to play a role as well. I’m not any expert social activist but I believe more awareness campaigns will help (whether in a small way or big way) in making a nation more handicap-friendly. People definitely need to be more aware and considerate towards the less abled.

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One response

3 07 2013
personal reputation management

Why people still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything
is presented on web?

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