|Disable friendly PJ pavement gets positively 'Madd' reviews|
Madd has been advocating the rights and the needs of disabled people in Malaysia since 2007.
Present at today's gathering organised by Madd were a group of activists from several NGOs including the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (PETPOSITIVE), Independent Living and Training Centre, Pewira K9 and the Malaysian Association for the Blind.
"We also 'stand' together to support the MBPJ for what they have done (in rebuilding the pavement). We applaud them." he said.
Anthony was also a former MBPJ councillor.
"I raised the issue of making the pavement (along Jalan Gasing) more disabled friendly back then, and the construction of a 'universal design pavement' by MBPJ began a year ago." Anthony said.
The pavement stretches for about 500 meters from the row of shops along Jalan Gasing to the nearby Thai temple.
The pavement is still undergoing construction but is estimated to be completed iwithin two months.
Universal design pavement
Anthony later explained to reporters the characteristics of a 'universal design pavement' used by the MBPJ:
- has guiding blocks for the blind so they can walk about independently
- made for people in wheelchairs with the slightest of gradients as possible
- void of obstacles, including lamp posts and post boxes
"They (the public) asked 'Where are the blind? How many blind use this?' The public is still going through a process of denial as they are afraid to admit these disabilities exist.
"It's time for the public and our government to stop giving excuses and start addressing this issue. We demand today that they (MBPJ and all the other local councils) start making disabled friendly pavements instead of feeling sorry for us," said Anthony.
"It doesn't help us at all, it just destroys us. Stop this attitude of charity. Treat us like equal people, for we also want to have a right to go out." he added.
Finally, a start
After speaking to reporters, the group of activists then 'wheeled' their way down the disabled friendly pavement.
"It's a good start that we are all here, and we hope that the other councils will take this as an example. We do this to highlight to the government that they have to include this type of facility for the disabled." said Rina.
"The city should be accessible to everyone so this should apply to every area in PJ to make it barrier free (for everyone)," added Antony.
Although this pavement may seem like a small measure in recognising the needs of the disabled, Anthony is confident the future looks good.
"Finally, we are moving in the right direction where we can finally address the real problems of the disabled. (With disabled friendly facilities,) we can take part in normal life," he said.PET+BLOGSPOT is the official online blog of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive).
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