Today, disability inclusion is becoming more prominent. From schools to workplaces, the mentality and compassion for inclusion and accessibility of people with disability is being encouraged. With this in mind, it has become a wonder if travelling has also been made accessible for them.
Whether a local or tourist, people with disability should be able to travel easily. Those who travel with crutches, wheelchairs, and other mobility restrictions should be able to go around with no trouble. Accessibility for these people means wider sidewalks, more accessible public transportation, and easy access to attractions, malls, hotels, and parks. This helps them feel included, accepted, and free to do what others can freely do.
While it may probably take a while for all parts of the world to be accessible for people with disability, these countries have started making their city PWD-friendly.
By implementing an outstanding comprehensive disability policy, Berlin won the the EU City Access Award in 2013. The city created a barrier-free environment wherein many of the city’s sights and hotels can be easily accessed by PWDs, as well as their public transport system. Buses, train stations, and even taxis offer wheelchair access!
Denver, Colorado, USA
Denver or The Mile High City, though located in the Rocky Mountains, is a walkable and rollable city. With the city’s effort to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it made itself known as one of the most wheelchair accessible cities in the US. Travellers with disability will feel more welcome with the various services offered to make their visit more pleasant and comfortable. Denver has also made it to a point to make accessible recreational and cultural activities and metro transportation system for PWDs to enjoy. They even offer special tours for people with hearing disabilities.
Gydnia ranks among the top cities that promote inclusive transport accessibility. It earned a special mention in the EU Access Awards for its ongoing efforts for people with disabilities. 97% of the city’s buses are made accessible for PWDs, as well as 58% of their trolley buses. An information system with Braille descriptions has also been introduced for the visually impaired.
Because of Milan’s effort to make their city more inclusive, it bagged the EU Access City Awards in 2016. The city won this prestigious award because of its continuous effort that started back in 2011 when Milan implemented the principles of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The number of barriers were minimized to make it easier for PWDs to go around the city. Transportation, as well as establishments, comply with the city ordinances to make every PWD’s visit an easy, memorable, and comfortable one. The city is committed in making every part of the city accessible by overcoming even that of their architectural and sensory barriers.
Tel Aviv, Israel
With the Israeli Supreme Court spearheading the recognition of the rights of every PWD, it’s no wonder that the city made and implemented the Israel’s Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law. This proclamation mandated all public places and services to be made accessible for PWDs. Bus stations, for instance, utilize various technologies to aid visually impaired people, like announcing upcoming buses’ arrival.
Understanding and accepting every person’s differences is very important. More so, when it comes to their disabilities. It’s not that hard to imagine encountering various physical and communication barriers that may hinder you to enjoy your visit to another country. Feeling limited and restricted may actually discourage a PWD from doing so, when they should instead feel unrestricted and free to enjoy and do what others can.
There are several things that a PWD must ensure when going out of the country, such as availing a travel insurance in the Philippines’ leading non-life insurance company, Malayan Insurance. This is to make sure PWDs won’t find it hard to seek assistance when in another country. Services that may make the visit easy and worthwhile is one of the things to lookout for. While the world still has a long way to go to make every corner accessible to all, with everyone’s cooperation and effort, it won’t be long until it is.