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Discuss About The Applied Disability Policy Rights Citizenship?

Human beings are blessed with a plethora of facilities and opportunities that is bestowed by the nature. Every function that the human body is capable of performing is a blessing in itself. However, there are many people who are born with physical or mental deficit which restricts them from performing their daily activities like the ones who are the so called non-disabled. There are also incidents were people may become disabled due to several reasons like accidents or sickness. Though individuals with disabilities are equal with the non-disabled in terms of receiving human rights from the government but in few cases they may also require a little more support and back up. One of the most important barriers in the lives of a disabled people is transportation for which the authorities and government of Singapore has taken many initiatives as well as steps to identify the challenges faced by a disabled person while commuting on a daily basis. There are many reforms done and many are in the pipe line to be implemented (Eide and Ingstad 2017).

It is the condition where an individual lacks in the physical, mental or a cognitive measure to lead a fulfilling life. Sometimes disability is in born and at times it is due to some accident or illness. There are several issues faced by challenged people to perform daily activities of life, thereby restricting their capacity in functioning like a normal human being (Raghunathan et al. 2015).

Disability can include deficit in hearing, vision, psycholology or mental imbalances, autism and other physical disability. Deficit in vision include problems in eyesight or the loss of eyesight. As hearing problems include deficiency in the hearing system so people with this type of deficiency are unable to hear properly and so it lasts for a long-term purpose. Psychological problems deal with the mind and the metal health of an individual. An individual due to its cognitive imbalances creates abnormal functioning that lead to disability. Physical disability relates to the abnormal functioning of any body part in an individual. Autism is a kind of psychological disorder that is related to the brain. It creates problem in communication as autism shows deficiency in the spheres of social, communication and behavior of the individual. Among the various models of disability the social model and medical model is explained here. Social model includes the failure of society responsible in fulfilling the needs and requirements of the disabled person. Medical model includes failure of medical treatment in the curing of issues related to disabled individuals. Therefore, the models are different in their own way.

Types of disability

To ensure equal opportunities in the career, economic and financial development of the people from the disabled community, the government has to allow extra facilities for those who are impaired. To provide more encouragement and awareness for the disabled people, there must be proper guidelines and standard counseling for this particular group of people. There must also be proper caring of their needs and requirements in the construction policy. The social justice and empowerment department provides special facilities that include aids and other things required in their day-to-day functioning. Hence there should be enhanced technological aid for the disabled to enable them safe transport and mobility. Some of the challenges faced by the disabled people are that: there is dearth of opportunities, inadequate information to families and inconsistency along with problems in coordination between service providers and staffs.  Funding issue of the disability is also not recognized along with problems in transportation and thus they are mainly discriminated and harassed.  Therefore, it is clear that there is not much space, options or opportunities for the disable group of people. However, there is no stability in the process of coordination linking the service provider and the labors’ deficiency of transportation facilities and less financially created hurdles.

A citizen is an individual who enjoys legal rights and performs legal duties towards a country or a state. It is basically membership to a certain area which is geographically a nation or a state (Demaine and Entwistle 2016). In few countries however nationality is different from citizenship, although it means the same. Citizenship entails the right to perform the various duties and roles for being the citizen of that nation (Walsh, Black and Prosser 2017). There are currently two views on citizenship, the liberal-individualist concept and the civic republican concept. Both these concepts offer two contrasting point of views in defining the status of citizenship. Liberal citizenship includes economic nature and the growth of the nation and welfare. Citizen pays taxes for the benefit of the country and welfare of the nation. Civic republican citizenship includes on one political aspect and therefore this group is active in political concerns. They also play their roles in government affairs. 

However, for disabled people granting them their citizenship and giving them the right to vote are often excluded due barriers that hinder them. Barriers such as places being inaccessible or attitudinal barrier present from non-disabled people. Fundamentally, citizenship means being able to participate in social activities, for disabled people. There is several times distinction, exclusion or restriction on the basis of disability that comes in between experiencing the opportunities for the disabled individuals (Roets, Dean and Bie 2016).

Rationale for the service

The public transport of any area is very important in the daily lives of millions of commuters who depend on the accountability and accessibility of the transport. In Singapore as well the public transport is the most common method of commuting throughout the island. There are two main public transport system in Singapore firstly the MRT and secondly the bus systems (Lee 2005). To keep up with the dynamics of the social and demographic changes in the country, the government has put into practice several program to offer improved service and access for diverse groups like the senior citizens, wheelchair users and also young children. The initiatives that are taken provide better opportunity for the community as well as the society as a whole.

The rapid transport is the metro transport system of Singapore which is used massively by all commuters on a daily basis. For people who are using wheelchairs for them the barriers are removed to allow them with smooth movement process is one of the many initiatives that are implemented by the authorities (Ee et al. 2017). The stations are designed in such a way that there is at least one route for the individuals who are disabled. Moreover, it has the lift and the barrier less pathways to facilitate the usage of wheelchairs or stretchers. There are also facilitates like tactile supervision and management system along with wheelchair-accessible toilets exclusively for the disabled people. Furthermore, in 2011 there has been installation of ramps and additional lifts at 16 MRT stations which is more that 85% of the total number of MRT stations.  The new circle line stations have more than one route which is for the physically challenged people. There has been an installation of Lifts at six pedestrian overhead bridges next to MRT stations so that there is better accessibility along with barrier-free pathways to major transport nodes. In addition, to this there is another 41 lifts installation in the process (Chin and Menon 2014).

The land transport authority of Singapore is considering procedures to implement other initiatives in the transport infrastructure so that it becomes more user-friendly for the people and also for the disabled community. It has also been made mandatory for all new bus stops to be designed for barrier-free access. This policy was passed in the year 2009 and by now almost 95% of the bus stops have been renovated as per the new guidelines (Walker and Musti-Rao 2016). It is compulsory for all public buses to be wheelchair friendly from 2006 onwards (Wong 2014).

Concept of Citizenship

Apart from the public transport service, there are also several amenities which are available for people who prefer walking. There are a lot of people commuting from one place to another on foot and hence the government should focus on that as well. The Barrier Free Accessibility Programme was taken up by the LTA and was completed in the year 2011. It is a $60 million island-wide project aimed at making the public transport facilities more manageable and easy to use for everyone, counting on those who are disabled for example those who uses wheelchair for transportation, people with visual impairment or the senior citizens. Under the programme, all public roads now accessible and barrier-free and thus the major points of the programs are stated below:-

  • Free walking space for the pedestrians
  • Availability and easy access to MRT and LRT stations within 400m
  • Bus stops and taxi shelters

It is sometimes difficult for the people who are disabled, physically challenged or elderly to cross the road in the given time by the traffic hence the LTA has come up with a new initiative called the Green Man.  This is focused to address the needs of elderly pedestrians and people with disabled who may require more time to cross the road. Hence up to 13 seconds green man time has been increased. It is aimed to cover at least 500 pedestrian crossings all over the island by 2015 (Chia 2015).

The success of an aviation industry depends a lot on the safety of the passengers and the level of safety guidelines that the authority follows. It is the foundation on which a traveler builds the confidence on the aviation system of the country as it offers a stable environment for aviation activities. There is a strong safety culture that has been built by the CAAS and has installed a tough safety framework based on international regulations and guidelines in compliance with international prerequisites of safety both for disabled and non-disabled people. The airport is one of the busiest places in Singapore were several domestic as well as international and connecting flights lands and take off from the Changi airport. As a lot of commuters travel on a daily basis it is the duty of the authorities to take care of each of the necessities of an individual, including the ones with disabilities.

There are several initiatives taken by the airport authorities to improve the travel experience of the people who are physically challenged. The official website of the Changi airport gives out all the information of the services that are available for the people. The wheelchair services are available from all the three terminals and are very efficient in their service. An individual can book a wheelchair prior with the airline before travelling. Wheelchairs are also available for rent at the airport at $15 per hour from any one of the medical centers. To facilitate the mobility of the wheel chairs ramps have been installed which do not have any barriers. There are lift services that are available for everyone it is especially useful for the people who cannot use escalators or stairs.

Transport system of Singapore

Both the airports under the civil aviation authority of Singapore, Changi and Seletar Airport hold record for the safety and protection of the passengers travelling through the airport. Safety of the individuals has always been the top most priority of the authorities and hence all the measures are taken to facilitate not only the disabled people but also the non-disabled people. There are large screens that are installed for the passengers which flashes the timing of the flights along with it there are announcements for the ones who are having visual deficiency and so are unable to see the timings from the screens. The steps, ramps and stairs are clearly marked with signs to help the people to identify any barriers or unevenness on the ground (Ancell and Graham 2016).

The Passengers who have disabilities might have issues travelling long distances and to sustain long hours and so they are provided with proper assistance and guidance by the flight attendants. The Reduced Mobility Rights reviewed information about the special needs for the disabled passengers. It is encouraged by the airlines to give a prior notice by the passengers who are travelling with wheelchairs or any other such kind of help to make special arrangement for them (Zentner 2016). The staff of the Singapore Airlines will then take it forward form the check in point and provide the passenger with a wheelchair. There is priority boarding service for the people who are physically challenged and have reduced mobility. All Singapore Airlines aircraft are equipped with an onboard wheelchair that can be used to shuttle between the seat and the lavatory and have accessible lavatories. Seats are fitted with movable armrests to facilitate the transfer between the onboard wheelchair and the seat (Wong and Ee 2015).

The government of Singapore has launched a variety of initiatives and plans under special education for the disability group. Subsidy of 90 percent for the cost of technology required that is use for replacing, upgrading, learning purpose, and training and for therapy sessions. Not only this, there are certain awareness schemes and plans created by the Singapore government (Böheim and Leoni 2016). There are several events organized by the authorities to encourage the participation of disabled people. There is a lot of lack of awareness among the people about the rights and duties so there are seminars and conferences held by the authorities and NGOs in collaboration with WHO and other UN bodies to spread knowledge (Subramaniam 2016).

The government of Singapore had taken the initiative of addressing the major issues and concerns of the disabled people. It had also planned to provide effective solution for the everyday challenges that these people face. It had created policies in relation to education, employment, infrastructure facilities along with the transport system. Singapore committee signed the agreement of United Nations convention on the rights of individuals with disabilities (UNCRDP) in the hope of giving equal rights to the disabled group. It aims at creating new policies and providing the protection to handle them with caring attitude (Wei et al. 2017).

The road management is the liability of the land transport authority (LTA) and traffic police (TP) in Singapore. However, the LTA here imparts the facilities related to the roads and is responsible for the safety of the conveyances. On the other hand, TP is accountable for imposing traffic regulations, the publicity and the education. The speed is limited on roads in Singapore by 50km/h by the Road Traffic Act. The job of the LTA is to control the speed limit and the TP implement action against those who have been the offenders for going against the speed limit. Moreover, in Singapore the buses are given more priority so that they can enable faster and easy journeys for the commuters. Only emergency vehicles or police conveyances and bicycles are allowed in the bus lane apart from the buses apart from that if any motorist found driving in the bus lane during the restricted hours has to pay fine up to $1000 or may have to serve for 3months of detention. The Civil Aviation of Singapore (CAAS) is a permitted board under the Ministry of the Transport it is responsible for the development of Singapore into an International Aviation hub (Pathiyil et al. 20120.

However, in UK they think that transport should be easy for everyone and so if they can make this journey easy then definitely there will be a reduction in using cars and so in this way they can lower carbon emissions. Thus, the actions the UK government took are to provide help by funding to the transport that are being used by the senior and disabled individuals, laws was established where the buses and coaches have to make their transports accessible to all kind of people involving the people using wheelchairs. Equality Act 2010 was introduced for the private transports so that their vehicles can be reachable for disabled, wheelchair users and also for those who are taking dogs. The Government has also focused on making the trains available to all. They also came up with a Blue Badge Scheme which is for those individuals who has severe problems with their flexibility and so this scheme is to help them give a close parking wherever they has to go (Dale et al. 2014).

According to the Audit checklist it there has been certain difficulties that has been identified which are the uneven and narrow pavement that is difficult for wheelchair users, people with physical, visual or special impartment. There are kerbs but there is no clear edge to protect the impaired individuals from accidents. There are no handrails that can help enter the buildings thus, it makes difficult for physically impaired people who need guidance when dealing with steps. The doors are not distinguishable from the outside along with low lightning which is difficult for people with visual and special difficulty. In the restaurant area the furniture are kept in close proximity that causes obstructions to the physical, special, visual impairment individuals and also those who are using wheelchairs. There is no approachable lavatory for the disabled and the one that is there is at the top of the stairs of the flight with no handrails. The most important problem cited was that there is no facility of visual cue that can warn the people with hearing impairments at the time of emergency. Lastly, there is no recommendation to the workers that they can follow in the eviction procedure to disabled people at emergency times.

There must be certain changes that are required so that this airport can be friendly to all. Firstly the pavements should be broader and even so that there is no hurdle or obstruction as well as space so that the people with disabled can use it without any fear of accidents. Lights inside the buildings should be bright for the visual and spatially impaired individuals. The area of the reception should be lower so that it becomes easier for wheelchair users.  Most important is the present of the handrails at every point possible. Lastly, the kerbs should have clear edges and there must be clear signs and directions as well as visual cues for the hearing disabled people for their safety.

There has been a lot of improvement and initiatives have been taken by the authorities to better the situation of the people with physical and mental disability both in the Changi airport and public transport of Singapore. This in turn will increase the productivity and improve the economic condition of the disabled people of Singapore.

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Böheim, R. and Leoni, T., 2016. Disability policies: Reform strategies in a comparative perspective (No. w22206). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Chia, E.S., 2015. Engineering Singapore’s Land Transport System. In Complex Systems Design & Management Asia (pp. 99-109). Springer, Cham.

Chin, K.K. and Menon, G., 2014, November. Transport accessibility and infrastructure in Singapore–pedestrian facilities. In Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Municipal Engineer (Vol. 168, No. 2, pp. 133-139). Thomas Telford Ltd.

Dale, S., Frost, M., Ison, S. and Warren, P., 2014. Workplace Parking Levies: The answer to funding large scale local transport improvements in the UK?. Research in Transportation Economics, 48, pp.410-421.

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Mak, A.K.Y., Ho, S.S. and Kim, H.J., 2014. Factors related to employers’ intent to hire, retain and accommodate cancer survivors: the Singapore perspective. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 24(4), pp.725-731.

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Walsh, L., Black, R. and Prosser, H., 2017. Young people’s perceptions of power and influence as a basis for understanding contemporary citizenship. Journal of Youth Studies, pp.1-17.

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