Friday, 21 December 2007

WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Redesigning Buses

I know it is stating the obvious, but sometimes we need to. Here is more evidence of better, accessible design paying off.

WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Redesigning Buses: "Sightline Institute's blog The Daily Score recently noted that people always prefer streetcars and other light rail to buses. They aren't just being subjective, either--history backs them up. In 2001 the Denver Business Journal wrote of new light rail systems being mobbed in Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake City and St. Louis because they were so much more popular than forecasted, saying 'In Dallas, ridership on a new rail line was three times greater than ridership on an express bus that used the same route' and quoting government officials who were realizing 'How people respond to rail is different than how they respond to bus'.

So, why the mysterious preference for light rail? Two words: Better design."

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

P Jordan on people with disabilities

This is exciting news...I really hope that it turns into action. Of course I applaud the move. Although I must admit that I smiled, when you see how a politician announces though it is a huge favour, and we all need to be suitably thankful. The reality is that if access is not provided to places of culture, then they are in direct contravention of (their own) laws, and open to court action.

P Jordan on people with disabilities: "12 December 2007

The Ministry of Arts and Culture has pledged R162 million over the next three years to make cultural facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. The plan was announced by Minister Pallo Jordan as part of the government's plan to improve the plight of people with disabilities.

He said the funds earmarked for the three forthcoming years are R39 million for 2008, R43 million for 2009 and R80 million for 2010. 'We have detailed information on the provision that has been made for the upgrading of security and access for person with disabilities at the department's public entities.'

'These would include places like museums, playhouses and other institutions that bring people together to not only enjoy artistic expressions but witness and experience the heritage of our beautiful country,' said Minister Jordan. In fact, buildings and structures built since 1994 have disabled access, while older ones have had to be renovated and adapted.

At present the department is in the process of ascertaining the requirements of the public entities in terms of security and accessibility. A service provider will be appointed in the near future to report on the current status. 'The upgrade of security and accessibility for persons with disabilities is a priority to make the arts accessible to all the people of the country,' said Minister Jordan."

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Airlines warned not to bar disabled | The Australian

I wonder if some local airlines are taking note of this... Perhaps it would be a good time to finally go ahead with the court action against Nationwide Airlines, before they completely disappear!?

Airlines warned not to bar disabled | The Australian: "'It's fine for low-cost or budget airlines to reduce services,' human rights commissioner Graeme Innes said yesterday. 'But not carrying passengers with disabilities can't be part of those reductions and to do so is against the law. 'As commissioner, I intend to ensure wherever I can that airlines meet their obligations to all passengers, not just passengers without disabilities.' Tiger is offering affected passengers a full refund and says the problem stems from the inability of its third-party ground handler to obtain special hydraulic devices capable of lifting wheelchairs on to planes. It did not expect the lifters to be available at all destinations until the end of February. Tiger's application comes as a report, due to be released this week by the PIAC, says an analysis of the experiences of 110 airline passengers demonstrates a systemic failure of legislation introduced in 2002 to set standards for disabled access to public transport. The report finds recent development and application of airline policy, and changes to baggage handling, have made disabled access more difficult, particularly for people with motorised or bigger wheelchairs. 'Some passengers who travelled independently for many years now find themselves barred from travel or facing the imposition of unreasonable conditions,' it says."

Saturday, 8 December 2007

E Molewa: International Disability Day

Does Edna Molewa, Premier of the North West province, really believe what is being said here??! The reality is almost the complete reverse of what is being claimed here. It does make me quite frustrated when political figures try to score points by basically saying untruths(although there can you tell when a politician is lying? Their lips are moving)...

E Molewa: International Disability Day: "As a nation we have a proud tradition where people with disabilities were integrated into society, viewed as part of us, and somewhat privileged members of communities as they tended to get the attention of everyone."

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Caught in time - Times Online

Wonderful story of real men playing a real game...the likes of which I doubt we shall ever see on a Rugby pitch again...there would be no place in a modern Rugby team for the likes of Willie John, Gareth Edwards, Phil Bennet, JPR & JJ. An interesting statistic: the average weight of the 1997 British Lions Backs was more than the average weight of the 1974 British Lions forwards...makes you think... However, is it a better game now? I don't think so. It is quicker...but no longer is there a position for all shapes and sizes.

Caught in time - Times Online: "The tourists then went off to the Kruger National Park for three days while their hosts licked their wounds. The Lions took two planes, one for the players and the other stacked with beer. The second plane came back a day later for a refill."

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