On 14 February 2015, the Disabled People’s Association (DPA) held a feedback session on transport and employment at DPA premises from 10:30 am to 3 pm. A total of 25 people attended the session, including DPA members, staff, volunteers, and other members of the public. Of the 25 people, 14 were people with different types of disabilities. The following report is a summary of all responses from our members.
DPA members prefer travelling by specialised transport, but they travel on public transport more often because of the low cost. As frequent public transport commuters, DPA members expressed general dissatisfaction with the bus and taxi services. Most members complained about the attitudes of bus captains and taxi drivers, and the reckless driving of some bus captains. DPA members using wheelchairs were also concerned about the poor maintenance of lifts and escalators and lack of emergency backup procedures at MRT stations. DPA members suggested that transport service operators provide sensitivity training for all staff, and hire bus wardens to provide assistance to those in need.
DPA members also shared their issues regarding the accessible features of bus and MRT services. The SMRT Active Route Map Information System often malfunctions and displays incorrect information, and the tactile ground surface indicators at some MRT stations confuse people with visual impairment. They also pointed out that the information displayed at the electronic bus arrival board at some bus stops and bus interchanges are often inaccurate, and are only installed at selected locations.
DPA then asked about their employment experiences. DPA learned that those in employment received mainstream education and some have undergone vocational training. All but one participant with hearing impairment shared that they faced difficulty in finding employment and receiving promotions because of their disability. All members also knew someone with a disability facing the same issues. One DPA member with visual impairment pointed out that such cases depend on the individual company, and that not all companies are discriminatory. All but one DPA member argued for the need of an anti-discrimination legislation in Singapore to improve their opportunities for employment and career progression.
DPA members then took this opportunity to provide other comments or general feedback about transport and employment. One DPA member with visual impairment complained that he faces difficulty boarding the bus, and that the bus stops and bus interchanges are inaccessible. He suggested that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) install audio announcements and tactile surface ground indicators at every bus stop and bus interchange. Another member complained about the lack of sheltered walkways to transport nodes. She pointed out that wheelchair users are unable to access transport nodes on rainy days because of this infrastructure issue.
DPA thanks all participants for their feedback. We will include this information into our inclusion booklets on transport and employment, and will announce more details on the booklets when we get closer to the publication dates.