Sunday, December 12, 2010

Australian disabled commuters say railway help "demeaning"

From The Parramatta Advertiser in Australia:

Commuters who have disabilities are not thrilled with new provisions for them on railway stations.

This emerged during a CityRail tour of Parramatta station to inform people with disabilities about features which can help them.

The tour, as part of activities held in Parramatta on International Day of People with Disabilities, covered: access to the station, platforms and toilets, where to go if safety is threatened and how
information about train changes is conveyed to people with hearing impairments.

But some of the wheelchair users were upset they have to park themselves in a designated space and wave a flag for the conductor’s attention rather than have station staff help them onto trains.

Because of staff cutbacks it will now be the conductor, who will be in the last carriage, watching out for people with disabilities.

``It is demeaning that we have to be in this spot set aside for us, waving for attention,’’ one wheelchair-bound person told the Advertiser.