We can incorporate accessibility for the disabled community into all walkways and other public places but without proper education on why these are needed, they are just useless white elephants, their purpose ursurped by the selfish who abuse it for their own convenience. Not only do the disabled have to fight an uphill battle against non-responsive authorities in our quest for equal accessibility in public places, we have to struggle with obstinate non-physically disabled people who insist on the right to use the only few toilets designed to suit our requirements.
There are trishaw riders and motorcyclists who leave their vehicles on the walkways designed for wheelchairs and the visually impaired, causing obstructions and hazards. Of course there is the perennial problem of physically healthy drivers who park their cars on spaces allocated to vehicles of disabled drivers. That is not all. Look what I caught with my digicam outside Cititel Penang! These four shots were captured during the wheelabout around Upper Penang Road on July 21.
The white Wira partially blocked the access. The other half was obstructed by the “No Entry” sign that was weighed down by bricks. A Toyota Prado was parked by the curbside visibly bordered with a yellow line. These may seem like a small matter to most but these walkways were specifically built for our convenience and it should be kept that way.
To the visually and mobility impaired these obstructions are not only hazards but potentially dangerous. The visually impaired could have walked into the car or get tripped over by the sign. I had to wheel out to the road at the peril of being sideswiped by the passing traffic to pass the 4WD. Think of the risks that the disabled community have to take the next time any of you park your vehicles in a similar haphazard manner. One inconsiderate act may cost us our lives. A thoughtful one could save us. Think about it.