Firstly, I like to acknowledge the significant improvement in the public transport system in access for those living with disabilities introduced by the Queensland Government. As I have shared access in not just, providing physical access to venues, transport and facilities. Access involve a whole range of issues, which Queensland Rail in now acknowledging. Including portable ramps, hearing loops and brail information.
However many transport access issues are around 'location', 'timetables', time frames and affordability. Access to transport us a major issue in the Ipswich Region and its about more than providing accessible public transport. The access point is understanding the complexities of issues that people living with disability face. Addressing these issues is difficult because of myths that exists in the disability sector itself.
- The mobility allowance and taxi subsidy scheme covers additional costs of transport.
- Public transport is an affordable alternative for those living with disabilities.
- Use of public transport increase independence of people living with disabilities.
- Every person living with disability can use public transport if supported by a companion.
- Public transport fits with the schedules of people with disabilities.
- People with disabilities have no time constraints.
- Transport service providers suit all people and client can determine pick-up times, to fit in with their complex support needs.
- Transport service providers are understand of individual needs and converse well with those with communication disorders.
In addressing transport access needs lets not pretend the issues are simple to identify and a one size fits all approach will not address access issues.
Locations and Timeframes
Location, location, location . . . In the Ipswich region, particularly in outer areas is not always available and where it is not all people with disabilities can access it independently. Most people I know who need support to travel independently, have limited support session and where multi transport modes are required bus/rail/bus travel time restrictions rule out public transport, as do commitments that occur outside business hours. There become a time in the evening where safety issues need to be consider, especially when people are walking home from train stations.
At some point peoples residential address becomes and issues and create barriers for those unable to drive, either through lack of service to an areas, safety issues or time need to travel by public transport. The introduction of community transport services has vastly improved meeting the areas needs. However not everyone qualifies for these services and some are let to pay full costs to services.
I had found the introduction of these services has ease the demand on traditional taxi services and the demand for Maxi Taxies. However wait times remain excessively long in peak hour. The pulling of funding for these services by the Queensland government prior to the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme places demand back on the taxi companies and increase peoples transport costs.
Where support workers using the own cars to transport clients has provider an alternative for people living with disabilities, this funding has too been with drawn. This bring people with disabilities to a point where at some stage during their week they will be locked out of community participation. With this in mild I am launching my annual transport for artists living with disabilities fundraising activities.
Our 2015 Designer Christmas Card Ranger is again available and can be purchased online through my Esty Store. The link is on your right hand column and Doodle n Dribble will have them available at the Railway Workshop Meson Twilight Markets on Friday 21st October.
All cards are $ 2 each!