Four cities putting disabled travelers first

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Singapore has always been an easy travel destination for many compared to much of Asia, partly due to the excellent infrastructure and amenities, and partly because English is the lingua franca. But as a disabled traveler, it has a high degree of accessibility that makes it especially attractive.

In Singapore, the question is not, “What is accessible?” but rather, “What isn’t?”

A majority of survey respondents nominated Singapore due to its accessible public transport, which makes getting around the city a breeze. Unlike most underground metros, there is level access to every carriage on Singapore’s MRT, which affords wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility both independence and dignity.

In addition, more than 95% of pedestrian walkways, taxi stands and bus shelters are accessible to people living with a variety of impairments, and more than 85% of public buses are wheelchair-accessible.

According to Nilesh Joshi, who relocated from Mumbai to Singapore eight years ago, “For someone like me, having mobility challenges but not [using] a wheelchair, the city offers huge convenience and allows me to independently move around using public transport and enjoy public amenities.”

Deaf and hearing-impaired public transport users are also well catered for: as deaf resident Adrian Yap remarked, “Whenever there is any announcement on the trains, we can see the instructions written on the screen.” Yap also noted that “train officers are well trained to communicate with deaf people”, underscoring the importance of disability awareness training.

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