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Wheelchair user takes flak online for train trip to unstaffed station


gmat

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Szdfan

I think this kind of story shows the importance that the Americans With Disability Act plays in providing people with disabilities access to buildings and public transport. Even with the ADA, it’s often an uphill battle for people with disabilities.

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Tony Galiani

Interesting article.  In some ways Japan does a great job with disabled access but I guess not everywhere - probably not so much outside of urban areas.  And I expect the conditions at some of these stations can be a real challenge to make effective accommodations.  Working with 100 year old buildings and very hilly topography has shown me the design challenges.

 

And, a recent frustration I have run into as the ADA Director for my organization, is that you can design a site that is ADA compliant but still not really user friendly.  Recently, I have looked at two (not owned by us thankfully) sites that are compliant but so badly designed as to be potentially unsafe.  Had an interesting conversation with the US Access Board when I consulted with them for advice.

 

I wonder if JR wants to hire an ADA consultant?  That could be a great job - traveling by train to all these stations while doing something really useful to help people!

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

 

 

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cteno4

Sounds like a plan toni! Trade your services for rides! 
 

I learned the same issues in ADA compliance, compliant vs useful. I use to do a lot of the ADA stuff for our exhibits and usually architects involved at some point who focused more on compliance rather than usefulness. They always felt looking at usefulness may end up running you afoul of compliance in review so just just do everything to keep well within the compliance lines, that was the thought process. But I always tired to keep compliant but just focused on it working for the users more and I think I got two compliance questions ever on review and both were totally happy with my reasoning for what we did for usefulness and approved even if it was stepping near/on a compliance line.

 

Jeff

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katoftw
Posted (edited)

Surpring...  As a writer, she could've framed the story much better to highlight the issue and not sound like and entitled spoilt brat.  And can understand how some may have taken issue with the negative way she portrayed the staff and company that helped her.  As many can read between the lines and see some mistruths and truths.

 

1. She arrive admiting having done zero research.  All disabled peeps I know don't ever do this.

 

2. She states that she feels that staff refused her service.  When really they would've just stated that they cannot take her there as there is no wheelchair access, and didn't want her to get trapped.

 

3. In the end the company does the very Japanese thing and organises 4 staff to travel with her, service+++.  Being Japanese company also, running on skeleton crew at all time.  Rounding up 4 staff wouldn't have been an easy task.  One probably missed a lunch break, one left the bins full, another stayed past his/her end of shift, etc etc.

 

 4. Upon arrival at her destination, those 4 staff lift her and her heavy battery powered wheelchair up and over to a safe location for her.  These 4 staff also were risking lower back and leg injuries in doing this task.  No thanks for these final action/s in the article.

 

In the end she still could've highlighted the plight of DA issues and also suggested actions from points 3 and 4 also wouldn't have been required if DA issues were resolved earlier.

Edited by katoftw
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katoftw

On a separate note.  I fail to see how this unmanned station concept fits into the equation.  Stations can be unmanned and still DA compliant.  As far as I am aware, the driver or guard help the disabled passenger when at unmanned stations.

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cteno4

There are many solutions to DA that require staff to help the user utilize them or get past the interfering bits. Issue in many places where ramps or lifts are needed to get off cars and onto lower platforms. Some lifts require staff to turn them on and/or operate.

 

jeff

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