Disabled want wide, gentle ramps

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KUALA LUMPUR: The most important facility disabled people need in public is a wide and not-so-steep ramp to enable unaided manoeuvring.

Disabled Persons Integrated Family Services (Kioku) secretary-general Chris S. Kali Thasan said the ramps in some buildings were too steep.

“I need two people to help me up such ramps. It will also help if car parks are situated closer to the entrance,” he said, when met here yesterday.

On Monday, the New Straits Times reported that about 70 per cent of the countrys public and commercial buildings had not complied with building laws which required them to be disabled-friendly.

Despite the non-compliance, Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe was quoted as saying that there were no provisions in the laws to penalise those who failed to comply.
Kali Thasan, however, was satisfied with new buildings in the city as most of them were disabled-friendly.

He said Putrajaya was the model city for the disabled. He said other disabled-friendly buildings were the Mid Valley Megamall, KLCC, The Mall and Amcorp Mall.

Mid Valley Megamalls customer service assistant manager Kenny Tan Cheng Guan said the mall had been disabled-friendly since it opened in 1999.

He said the malls public phones were placed lower to cater to wheelchair-bound people.

Other facilities available at the mall were disabled-friendly toilets on every floor, reserved parking bays attended by security guards at all times, wheelchairs and power scooters.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall will come up with an action plan to build and upgrade facilities for the disabled.

Datuk Bandar Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan admitted that in the past City Hall did not consult the disabled where amenities for them were concerned.

"Now, we will consult them in order to build practical facilities for them.

“We want the specifications to suit our local people,” he said after opening The Disableds Audit Access Workshop jointly organised by City Hall and the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) here yesterday.

What I’ve been saying for Miri nearly a year ago.