A reader, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote in about our campaign and personal experience.
We thank the reader for giving permission to republish the letter here.
Do let us know if you have similar experiences when using public transport. We will request the bus companies to enforce their own rules and disciplinary measures on bus drivers who refuse to pick up wheelchair users. After all, why are we spending so much on wheelchair-accessible buses if these are not being used for that very purpose?
Do email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to give your inputs and feedback.
“I am writing to convey my sincere appreciation of the recent campaign ads by DPA. As a family member of a wheelchair user, I must say the campaign messages fully convey our deepest thoughts, fears, frustrations and sense of helplessness.
Since my father started to use a wheelchair to get around, we had many unpleasant encounters. Perhaps it could be due to ignorance on the part of the public, though apathy and selfishness seem to be the real causes. My family and I have met many SBS bus drivers who declined to stop for my father. Maybe they treated us with disrespect because they felt it is additional work for them to get out of their seats and let down the ramp for the wheelchair.
I have also lost count of the number of times we came across people who, simply out of convenience, took the lift at the MRT stations and refused to give way to my father even though they could easily use the escalator, and people who arrived at the lift lobby after us and quickly dashed into the lift, not allowing my dad in his wheelchair to get in.
Also, pushing my dad on his wheelchair along a pedestrian pavement would result in countless cyclists ringing their bells, as if I was supposed to push my dad down the kerb to give way to them.
So DPA’s campaign message on being aware and considerate, and to give way to wheelchair users on public transport and in the usage of facilities meant for them, resonates deeply with us. We hope that such ads will continue to appear in more parts of Singapore, such as the external door of lifts at MRT stations.
Thank you DPA once again, and I want to say again your campaign is indeed a good one! Please keep up the good work – it matters a lot to wheelchair users and their caregivers.”