- Public areas/Buildings
- Psychological Issues
- Social Issues
- Economic Issues
Everyone needs some form of recreation. Recreation can refer to watching a movie at the cinemas, going to the park for a jog or even playing “bridge” with our friends. Even jail inmates have some form of recreation while serving their time! For one who does not indulge in some form of recreation, he or she simply has no life.
The wheelchair bound also desires enjoying different forms of recreation just like everyone else. They too are entitled to live colourful lives. Areas around recreation facilities and activities have to be wheelchair bound friendly, or we will be selfishly restricting them of the privileges which they rightfully deserve.
The problem lies in the lack of sporting facilities for the wheelchair bound. When a VWO chooses a site, they have to ensure that members can access the place easily. It is best if the place is near an accessible train station or bus stops with wheelchair friendly bus services. The surrounding areas leading to the sports facility has to be accessible too, of course. It may not be very widespread in developed societies but in developing societies where social support and financial support for disability sports is not very strong, the scarcity for a suitable recreation site is the resulting problem.
It will be much easier if the wheelchair bound who is interested in sports approaches a welfare group or a sports club for wheelchair sports as arrangements would be taken care of. However, in places like Singapore, where there are only 11 voluntary welfare organizations providing some form of sport (information taken from SDSC website), we can infer that there are many out there who do not get a chance to be involved. The resources catering to disability sports is rather limited in this sense and by looking at the current goal of the Singapore Disability Sports Council of engaging 1 in 8 disabled person in some form of sport, we can infer that involvement in disability sports is still rather low, even in a developed country like Singapore.
Parks and cinemas are two common forms of recreation. Barriers that hinder movement in these places include uneven surfaces, narrow walkways and steep sleeps for parks while cinemas have heavy spring doors and unnecessary stairs which are a total nuisance to the wheelchair bound.
High shelves, narrow walkways in shops and the inconvenience of laying the loaded supermarket basket on one’s lap while pushing a wheelchair makes grocery shopping quite a cumbersome activity for some people. Just imagine if the basket were to fall to the ground.