Singapore, 1 December 2010 – When lifts were first introduced at the train stations, wheelchair-user Tan Li Li was elated at the possibility of independent, affordable travel. Today, the excitement has been dampened by a sense of wariness.
“I sometimes find it difficult to take the train as it is difficult to get into the lift to get to the train platform. Many times, people push past me to get in, even though they see me there waiting for the lift before them. They are able to take the escalator and stairs. For wheelchair-users, the lift is the only safe way we can get to different floors,” the 39-year-old said.
With the International Day of Persons with Disabilities taking place on 3 December, the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) will be putting up a series of four ads in SMRT’s stations and trains to urge members of the public to give way, and to show support and consideration to people with disabilities. The posters feature people with disabilities of different ages receiving support at a lift, train platform, and in the community.
The posters will be up from 2 December 2010 to 16 February 2011 at the following locations:
- Trackside panels at 19 underground SMRT stations
- Tanjong Pagar and Somerset MRT stations
- At Circle Line stations and window panels in Circle Line trains
- The space, amounting to close to $200,000 in value, is sponsored by SMRT Media.
The initiative is part of the ‘I Accept’ campaign. Started in August this year, the objective of the campaign is to generate greater awareness of the challenges people with disabilities face, and encourage the general public to accept disabled people as equal members at the workplace, in school and in the community.
More information on disabilities, challenges people with disabilities face, and how to interact with people with disabilities, is available in the ‘I Accept’ campaign website at http://spd.org.sg/i-accept/home/index.html.
“People with disabilities are a part of our community and should be included as such. Having the hardware such as barrier-free features in place is not enough. An attitude of acceptance of people with disabilities is needed, and this can be easily shown in simple ways, such as giving them way, sharing a smile, and pressing the ‘Door Open’ button for them to get into the lift. These are gestures that even people who are temporarily disabled would appreciate. Many people use the SMRT daily. We are grateful for SMRT’s support in giving us the space to put up our posters in their stations and trains and enabling us to reach out to the public,” said Ms Chia Yong Yong, President of SPD.
“I’m not asking for special treatment. I hope that people will treat me like normal and won’t pretend that I’m not there,” said Li Li.