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What is the purpose for creating this website?
This website was created with the aim of educating the public on the wheelchair user community, the problems they face, and how we can play a part in helping them.
We started conceptualizing the idea way back in the December of 2006. We had always thought of building a website not just to educate, but also to create awareness among the public of a pertinent social issue. A website giving information about fixed subjects.
Why did we choose this topic?
After brainstorming through many topics that we had initially in mind, we finally came to a unanimous decision that the topic on finding ways to break the barriers separating the wheelchair users from mainstream society was still the most relevant and impactful in our world today. This topic is also relevant to the youths of today as they would be the future leaders and policy makers of their own country. Hence by educating them on these issues, we will see the wheelchair users benefiting greatly in the near future.
This whole Thinkquest experience has made me understand more about the wheelchair user. Even as we conducted interviews and case studies, I began to scrap my initial stereotypes of these people and perceived them as an equal member of society, as people who are just like us, but in a different way. Being the web designer, it has also helped me to learn more about web designing and galvanised me to improve my skills. Although I encountered several pressing problems with the website which was quite frustrating, I still had to persevere on and focus on the goal of eventually seeing the website materialising.
Through this research process, I have definitely gained a deeper insight and understanding of the wheelchair user community. Before starting on our research, I had the stereotype of many people: that people in wheelchairs cannot be self-sufficient. However, after interacting and speaking with many of them, I found that that is absolutely untrue. Also, after spending half a day in a wheelchair, going around Singapore, I have experienced first-hand the many difficulties faced by the wheelchair user. These difficulties, not limited to physical ones, also include discrimination and lack of understanding from the public.
Throughout this journey experienced with peers around the world, I have learnt many things about the way I work, and the way I work with other people. It has been eye-opening to learn from people of other mindsets and surroundings. I have been receptive of new thought processes and developed better critical thinking skills. The friends I have made through doing this project are sure to last. I am delighted to have taken this opportunity to participate in such a rewarding experience.
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