Hawker centres need more wheelchair-friendly designs

My mother moves around in a wheelchair, and going to eat at the neighbourhood hawker centre with her is like running an obstacle course.

The passageways are narrow, and people can move only in single file.

Tables come with fixed seats so it is impossible to position a wheelchair anywhere except at the ends, where it protrudes into the narrow aisle, often infuriating others.

I found two tables that do not have seats on one side and I tried to slide the wheelchair to that side, but it still protruded into the aisle.

I urge the authorities to revisit the design of our hawker centres.

There needs to be more tables for those in wheelchairs and eye-level markers to indicate where these tables are.

I hope that as Singapore prepares for a silver generation, all hawker centres will eventually become more accessible to the elderly and the disabled.

Matthew Ong Koon Lock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2017, with the headline 'Hawker centres need more wheelchair-friendly designs'. Print Edition | Subscribe