Cater to transport needs of different disability groups

We welcome the recommendations to improve public transport for commuters, including people with disabilities ("Recommendations to improve public transport"; Tuesday), and are encouraged to see the Public Transport Council and transport operators making improvements to the accessibility of our transport system.

Public transport is an essential service for all. We urge the authorities to broaden considerations to include public transport provisions for people of all disabilities, including those with hearing and visual impairment.

There are good practices overseas that we could learn from.

Incorporating audio and visual announcements on buses and trains is helpful to people with hearing and visual impairment.

"Talking bus stops" alert those with visual impairment to approaching buses, thereby encouraging independent travel.

Visual announcements are also important to those with hearing impairment, particularly in times of emergency, or in the event of service disruptions, so that they are kept informed of what is happening and what to do.

Disability inclusiveness talks and training workshops for the public and for transport providers are important to make transport accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities.

Transport providers could work with SPD in this regard. SPD is working with Tower Transit on consultation, focus group and training sessions.

As public transport is made more accessible , we hope that more people with disabilities would be encouraged to travel and participate in the community.

Abhimanyau Pal
Executive Director
SPD (formerly the Society for the Physically Disabled)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2016, with the headline 'Cater to transport needs of different disability groups'. Print Edition | Subscribe