How would Limited Mobility Options Impact My Life?

 

Article | Guo I-Xuan  Translate | Ruth Cheng  Resource:https://goo.gl/2q7c37

 

Irving Kenneth Zola, an activist in disability studies, had said, “What we need are more universal policies that recognize that the entire population is “at risk” for the concomitants of chronic illness and disability.”

Based on statistics, the disabled in Taiwan had exceeded 1.16 million. Taiwan will also be a hyper-aged society in the year 2025. It becomes the top priority to ensure the physically disabled and the elderly to have the most basic rights and interests so that they are no longer afraid of going out and they can move freely without being bounded by the unfriendly environment. 

 

 

 (The “disability”, which makes the disabled feel uncomfortable and be unable to participate in many activities, is actually caused by the environment.)

 

 

 

Accessible Transportation Increase the Willing to Go Out

 

 

It is the goal that Eden has been working on since its foundation to arouse mass society’s attention to the accessible environment and then promote it together.

Touching Life Festival, which is the fifth time held by Eden, put people in the disabled and the elderly’s shoes through physical experiments. Furthermore, it makes people understand the importance of the accessible facilities.

From the public place to transportation, life will be better with the implementation of barrier-free environment design.

The 15th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (“TRANSED 2018’) will be held this November in Taiwan. The event is no doubt an earned recognition from the international to Taiwan’s accessible transportation.

International conference members had visited Taiwan back in last November. They experience the accessible transportation, including the barrier-free facilities and transfer system, in major 5 cities by taking mass transportation and experience the seamlessly connected traffic in Taiwan.

In addition, the physically disabled can choose not only the mass transit system but also the Welcab. Currently in Taiwan, cars don’t have many assistive devices and most of them are expensive, which is a huge burden to the disabled people.

At present, there are no related subsidy policies for the costs of car modification and assistive devices. However, the disabled are exempt from license taxes, which is a preferential benefit provided by the government.

 

Accessibility in Workplace with Position Redesigned.

With the ability to go out, the disabled people can enter the workplace smoothly with the redesign of the job positions.

 

Many employers value the advantages and characteristics in the disabled people and are willing to provide them work opportunities.

Through the cooperation of Eden’s employment counselors and the employers to build a friendly working environment, allowing the disabled to gain a foothold in life and furthermore to create their own values.

 

Accessible Recreational Activities Experiment

In terms of recreational activities, the physically challenged people can also enjoy sports and culture as ordinary people do.

 “When we held the first swimming training class, there were parents worried if their physical challenged children weren’t able to participate. For example, parents think about how others see their kids and if the physically challenged children can get into the pool etc.”

 “Eden Service Center with persons with Disabilities” teaches the disabled swimming and makes those disabled youths have opportunities to enjoy swimming.

 

Multicultural Participation of the Physically Disabled

Around sixteen years ago, Professor Chao Yaly from TamKang University brought in audio description. Since then, the visually challenged people are able to understand the plot of the play without the help of interpretation.

A descriptive movie is rather costly. Current in Greater Taipei area, there are three cinemas and around ten to fifteen movies available each month for the visually impaired people.

 

Respect the Difference. Participate Together.

Whether it is the construction of tangible environment or co-participation rights of intangible culture, we all should embrace and communicate with empathy.

Only by thinking about the needs of the disabled and the elderly in the same way can we eliminate the "obstacles" and create a friendly and warm environment to achieve true equality.

 

 

(Only when we value and eliminate the obstacles, the disabled can move freely without obstacles.)