SAWIP inspires, develops and supports annual teams of interns and its whole alumni body to bring about community development through social projects amongst the most disadvantaged and marginalised South Africans.

Navigating the city as a person with disabilities in DC

by Makhosazana Sika
Makhosazana Sika
Makhosazana is embarking on a career in soil science. She hopes to make meaningf
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on Jul 14 in Experience 1 Comment

While there are a number of systems that I have come to appreciate about the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, the accessibility to public transportation by people with physical disabilities is one that I hope to see being developed in many other countries, including my own. Below are some photographs and brief commentary on how people with disabilities are being empowered to independently navigate the city.



Photo 1: Tactile paving is a form of detectable warning surface commonly found near pedestrian crossings, staircases and train station platforms to guide blind and visually impaired pedestrians. This system was first introduced in Japan. Today, countries that also make use of this system include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.



Photo 2: New Metro buses have low floor ramps that allow for ease of access into and out of Metro buses. In the event of a hydraulic system failure, provision has been made to allow the lowering of the floor bus to be performed manually. In addition, inside the bus is a specially designated area for wheelchair securement with safety belts.




Photo 3: Public and office building restrooms cater for ease of access to people with disabilities.


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About the author

Makhosazana Sika

Makhosazana is embarking on a career in soil science. She hopes to make meaningful contributions in food security through agriculture and rural development. She also has a keen passion for environmental management with particular focus on soil rehabilitation. She enjoys music, board games and spending time in the kitchen. Her interests include running, writing haiku poems, and reading novels by African authors.


sally Saturday, 21 July 2012 · Edit Reply

If we truly have respect for all, despite their differences, then we need to pressure those in authority to install such simple and life changing aids. How about it SAWIPers?

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