TRANSED2018 Opening-Mobility for all: Connecting the World with Accessible Transportation | Eden Social Welfare Foundation

 

TRANSED2018 Opening-Mobility for all: Connecting the World with Accessible Transportation | Eden Social Welfare Foundation

 

Translator | Bena Chen

 

 

According to the research by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the percentage of public transportation in Taiwan in 2016 is 18.1%; it has reached a high record in eight years. With the popularity of traffic infrastructure, people take public transportation more frequently. However, the latest survey by the Ministry of Health and Welfare(MOHW) on living conditions and needs among persons with disabilities, shows that nearly 60% of the persons with disabilities have never taken public transportation for years. Especially for persons with dementia, persons with physical disabilities, and persons with multiple disabilities who have never taken public transportation are in the above average. Persons with dementia face the worst barriers to transportation, and the percentage of not taking public transportation is up to 80%. In general, the phenomenon represents that the public traffic infrastructure is getting complete and accessible, but it’s not well enough for underprivileged people. We should build more accessible and friendly environment around the world.

 

Eden Social Welfare Foundation (Eden) has advocated Accessibility for years. Since obtaining the qualification on hosting the 15th international conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED2018), Eden has prepared the conference for three years. TRANSED2018 is held in Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) from 12th to 15th November. The theme of TRANSED2018 is “Mobility for All: Connecting the World with Accessible Transportation”.

 

Eden hopes that Taiwan can hone friendly environment through the discussion and advocacy from international representatives of scholars, experts, and government officials in the TRANSED2018 Conference. Chen Jian-Ren, the vice-president in Taiwan, was invited to share the achievements and future development of accessible transportation in Taiwan, hoping that an accessible environment would be advanced to next level. Wu Shu-Fen, the director general of international development division in Eden said: “Aging society is coming; thus, building the accessible environment empowers the rights of the elderly and persons with disabilities.

 

 

Chang Mei-Ling, a wheelchair user, said: “When I go out from home, transportation has always been the main problem on persons with disabilities. Take trains for example, people can cross the platform through stairs easily, but wheel-chair users or persons with disabilities have to choose time-wasted facilities, like elevators or lift ramps.” Indeed, persons with disabilities have fewer options and high costs when taking any transportation facilities.           

 

Song Wu-Xiong, a cerebral palsy painter who likes to travel and collect painting inspiration, encounter the same problem on transportation. Suffering from congenital muscular atrophy and degenerative joint disease, Wu-Xiong has a difficulty going out from home. Therefore, If there is enough support for mobility, the environment will eliminate the obstruction on persons with disabilities.   

 

Besides, the needs of the elderly are also imminent. Hsieh Yang-Chieh, 75-year-old, said: “Because of aging, I am incapable of driving for a long distance on my own. I still want to hang out with my wife but she has a problem with moving, either.” Moreover, Yang-Chieh is usually worried whether there are enough accessible facilities at attractions.

 

Wu Shu-Fen said, though elderly and persons with disabilities may have different needs for accessible transportation, the rights of mobility should not have a difference. In addition to the lead construction on friendly environment built by governments, Eden continuously advocates long-term attention to communities’ cognition and understanding on the rights of elderly and persons with disabilities.

 

 

 

 [About TRANSED]

TRANSED was created by the US Transportation Research Board in 1978. Held every three years, TRANSED conferences have been co-sponsored by the Transportation Research Board. The 1st TRANSED was held in Cambridge, England. Throughout the years, TRANSED was held 14 times in 11 countries, such as Orlando in the US, Vancouver in Canada, Stockholm in Sweden, Lyon in France, Perth in Australia, Warsaw in Poland, Hamamatsu in Japan, Hong Kong in China and New Delhi in India. Taiwan is the fourth city in Asia to host this event following India. Eden Social Welfare Foundation has the honor of hosting the 15th TRB conference. The theme of this year is “Mobility for All- Connecting the World with Accessible Transportation”.

 

TRANSED2018 is contained with Long-Term Care 2.0 in Taiwan’s 10-year program: To improve caring service for the elderly and persons with disabilities, to enhance accessible transportation, and to make a better barrier-free living environment, etc. In the conference, there are the exhibition areas where local governments display some achievements of the accessible transportation environment in Taiwan. In addition, academic units, social enterprises, and NGOs are going to display the latest accessible vehicles, and smart-tech assistive devices during three days.