Calling for universally designed amenities
Even as the Corporation is involving the differently abled in several projects including design of new pavements, members of the community want a universal design in accesible environments as well as products, services and programmes in government, public and private sector.
S S Smitha, assistant coordinator of Vidyasagar, which is part of Disability Rights Alliance, told CE that an awareness programme is being conducted through Solidarity Booths at the Chennai Corporation to sensitise people on this requirement
Talking about various issues faced by the disabled community, Smitha said that toilets in the new airport for persons with disabilities were not maintained. Also, provision for wheelchair was not provided outside the airport.
She said that people in a wheelchair had to wait outside for 30 minutes for the assistant to come out and take them inside the airport. She added that most trains were not disabled friendly. The railway coaches were unreserved and free for all. It is very difficult for people with disability to board the train.
Also, not all buses were disabled friendly, stated Smitha. “We have suggested some guidelines about having accessibility features in buses to transport department,” she said.
However, a member of the Disabled Rights Alliance had something positive to say about the Corporation. “We are working closely with the Chennai Corporation and they are now coming up with pavements that are disabled friendly,” she said.
She said that the disabled community could access the beach with the Marina cycle project that was being planned by the Corporation and also that they were working on making public toilets accessible for people with disability.