Today we asked the president of PREDIF (“State Representative Platform for People with Physical Disabilities”), Fran Sardón, to write an article telling the importance of adapted transport. We wanted to leave him total freedom when it comes to focusing and writing the text. So you can freely express your point of view on the subject. We leave you with him:
“All the policies that are being implemented in relation to people with disabilities, from the Law on Personal Autonomy and Care for Dependency to the Equal Opportunities Law, are aimed at providing people with disabilities with tools and supports that allow us greater independence and autonomy. Autonomous life is one of the most important desires and challenges that people with disabilities and society as a whole have. This challenge is viable since technological development, the concept of universal accessibility and the right to mobility must be imposed in all regulations, and in people’s own mentality.
The importance of adapted transport is vital, since the lack of accessibility on buses. Historically, it has been one of the main handicaps for people with disabilities or who demand accessibility (people with reduced mobility, families, etc.) to move. At least, that he can do it with the same ease and autonomy that anybody does. Many children with disabilities, at school age, have had serious problems in order to go to their schools. Simply because transportation was not adapted. There are also many people who still have problems moving to their workplace or a health center in rural areas. A problem that also affects people when they want to go sightseeing.
These are some examples of how the rights of people with disabilities and / or reduced mobility continue to be violated. Failing to comply with the “Accessibility Law” and the “Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the UN”, which Spain ratified in 2008.
A situation that is not motivated by lack of technological development or because there are no specialized companies in adapted transport, as could have happened forty years ago. Technological innovation has allowed, among other things, that the coaches have hydraulic ramps, specific areas for the location of people using wheelchairs, anchors and safety belts. Elements that facilitate and allow people with disabilities and / or reduced mobility to use an adapted bus without any problem.
Another quality improvement is the greater formation that the professionals have, as it is the case of the company Grandoure. The attention to the special needs of people with disabilities has improved, improving the quality and professionalism of the service offered.
Nowadays, people with and without disabilities can share a bus or a bus to go to school, to the university, to their workplace or share a tourist experience. Adapted transport allows applying the inclusive concept to all activities that require travel. Inclusive is the term on which all policies and actions for the future, related to people with disabilities, pivot. It is no longer about people with disabilities being able to do things, but about doing them together with other people who do not have any type of recognized disability. Inclusive education or inclusive tourism are concepts and / or ways of understanding the progress of society that overcome the concept of adapted or accessible. Since it seems that what is adapted or accessible refers only to people with disabilities and inclusive refers to all people.
The importance of adapted transport lies in the fact that it has managed to achieve the real development of the inclusive concept. The technological development and specialization of many transport companies have made people who previously did not share spaces or activities now can do so. This way nobody feels discriminated against because of their physical condition. And we can build a society where diversity is a value and not a problem. Now it is necessary that the whole of society, public administrations and companies that organize leisure activities or manage educational centers help. Remarking that accessibility in transport is not an extra, a luxury or an extra cost. It is an opportunity. Opportunity to equalize all people and allow progress towards a more balanced society.
The possibilities are at our fingertips. There are companies and there are technical solutions we only need a greater awareness to understand that the use of adapted transport goes beyond a special need that a group of citizens have. It`s a right that all people have to be able to live together. ”
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