Reports by Serah Lagdom
EFFORTS should be made to erect infrastructure that can cater for the needs of people with disabilities, says an official.
PNG Assembly of People with Disabilities (PNGADP) executive officer and programme manager, Ross Tito said policy makers and planners have a social obligation to provide good road infrastructures and accessible public transport that will provide pathways to opportunities for People with Disabilities (PWDs).
Mobility constraints are a serious impediment to disability inclusive development as it could worsen the personal, economic and social isolation of persons with disabilities.
Transport is means that facilitates access to many other sectors such as:
n Employment (jobs)
- Schools (education)
- Healthcare (improved quality of life)
- Markets (economic empowerment)
- Leisure (recreational activities)
“There should be more signage at bus stops to help people with hearing and speech impairment. Currently there are no signage at bus stops to help hearing and speech impairment people.
“About 95 per cent of all building do not have ramp for wheelchair users and tactile for people with vision impairment,” Tito said.
He said currently there was a lack of infrastructure for people with disabilities and that has created obstacles and barriers for most of them to use public facilities like footpath and public transport.
“For example, the overhead bridge to the vision city mall, cannot cater for wheel chair users and people with vision impairment.
“People with vision impairment use their hearing skills. Drivers not informing passengers of stops along the way (visual impaired persons need to know where they can get off).
“Also Public Transport have no access for a wheel chair user, we should have public transport that is accessible to wheelchair users,” Tito said.
Common barriers for PWDs using road infrastructures includes:
- Absent or narrow, badly maintained or obstructed footpaths.
- Lack of marked crossings at logical crossing sites (near bus stops, schools, markets or shops), combined with high traffic speeds and few speed reduction signs in busy areas.
- Narrow bridges with limited pedestrian space or poor access to footpaths.
- Deep open drains along the sides of roads.
- Poor road drainage and maintenance, including large potholes in roads or water pooled over footpaths and roads.
- Lack of marked bus stops and amenities such as seats or shelters, as well as buses with high steps that are not accessible to many people with mobility impairments.
- A lack of public awareness of pedestrian needs including the needs of PWDs.