Disabling Accessibility

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.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

10 thoughts on “Disabling Accessibility”

  1. the logo on the door of the wira looks like a police logo. no? er… lions club logo?

    the driver is probably some big shot who already have some prior arrangement with the ‘datuk’ so the datuk no summoun him/her.

  2. Our country has a lot of laws but very little enforcement. Parking at street corners and along yellow lines seems to be the in-thing nowadays. Able-bodied morons will park at bays meant for disabled people without any qualm. Nobody seems to care, particularly the authorities empowered to take action.

  3. SCI may means something else for others…

    We’ll have a Peace Run this coming saturday, at Penang, if you are interested! 🙂

    And nice photo, nice site!

  4. charlyn,
    Makes you wonder why…

    Very familiar logo huh.

    The attitude here is mostly such that as long as it is convenient to them, it does not matter if the people who really need to use it are deprived of the facilities. Malaysia masyarakat penyayang?

    Boleh saman kah?

    Good idea. Thanks. Too bad I did not capture the number plate.

    In medical terminology, SCI irrefutably means spinal cord injury. But it is interesting to know that SCI also is the acronym of an NGO. Thanks for sharing.

  5. no wonder rakyat breaking the law. police are setting them a “fine” example.

    i suggest you send this pic to the local papers & have them print it in the letters section. & hope that no idiotic rakyat will get the idea that if police car can cincai park, they can also do the same.

  6. Peter,

    I hope that you could send this photo to the Polis di Raja Malaysia, and express your concern. Unless we start doing this, there would be prevalent ‘tidak-apa’ attitude and nothing is seen to. It is good that you have taken this photo and do take any photos that have VIP cars or any other organisations like local authority or the police that blocks the access for pedestrians. And send to the organisations. Keep a copy everytime and then later on if prevalent, send to the Minister of the organisation with cc to PM’s department.

  7. lynnee,
    One bad example gives rise to many others, especially if it is learnt from the people who should be enforcing the law.

    Too bad I did not take the numbeer plate of the car. Will keep your advice in mind for the next time. Thanks.

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