Scratching the itch of curiosity to find reasons beyond the things I start to question and wonder more, and learn from realizations.
The Problem With The PWD Logo
It's now year 2022.
How has the world progressed over the years?
We have raised concerns on LGBT and Colors that matters.
But how about the PWD community?
My question is, how PWD- friendly do you think your country is?
Is the world somehow a little unfair to the majority of the PWD community?
Maybe it's a matter of time to make adjustments? To make changes?
First, let me tell you my problem with the logo/symbol.
I don't know if there must have been articles written about this one,
But let me just tell you what I think.
Take a look at the logo.
Tell me, what do you think is wrong?
You might be raising your eyebrow,
As if telling me, what do you mean?
Well, it's how it shows.
A person on a wheelchair.
Imagine this scenario.
You are a PWD, you have the ID.
But you look fine, you look normal, your limbs are complete, you are walking fine, you could see well, you seem strong,
Will you use the PWD CR?
Let's just say, maybe if it's really urgent or to skip the long queue.
No matter how much I look at it, it was designed for people who are physically not capable anymore, and with much needed assistance.
Those who are handicapped, and people that are wheelchair bound.
Typically how a senior citizen would look like.
Is that what the facility is for?
Only for the PWD with Physical Disability?
Or could you use it as long as you are a PWD?
The PWD community is a wide range of a population of the world.
Not all PWDs have their disability visible to their appearance.
They may seem fine to you, but in reality they are not.
There are tons of disorders and disabilities that are not only subjected and limited to the one's you see, that'll make you say "Oh that's a PWD, alright. "
What's a typical PWD that will make you give way on a train or a bus?
People who walks with a walking stick, people on a wheelchair, people with incomplete feet or arms, the blind, the elderly, people with insufficient height, pregnant people, etc.
But what about the disabilities that we can't see?
Even if they are PWD themselves, aren't they supposed to be treated the same way as the ones above?
They themselves are giving way to the PWDs that needs it more. Like an ordinary citizen would.
But in reality, PWDs are PWDs. Is there an exemption or difference?
Does a PWD have to adjust and give way for a PWD with a more severe case?
Or All PWDs can be accomodated on a PWD seat? No matter what disability you have regardless.
PWD Concerns and Problems That Needs To Be Addressed.
I've seen a post a couple of years ago, featuring drawings of how the world needs to change some things a bit for the PWD community.
As it was years ago, I can't provide a link of it for now, so I'll just describe some of the drawings I saw.
As how I remember it.
Let's take a moment to ponder and look around us.
How much do you think your community or area is PWD-friendly in general?
Let's begin with the elevators.
Some elevator buttons are designed at the height of an individual who isn't a PWD.
Not even to the height of one who is using a wheelchair.
Well, I guess no problem with that.
I remember the Entrance Door of the Condominium I stayed at last year.
It opens when you wave your access card to the sensor, but the problem is it's so high!
Sometimes, it's difficult to even make it work.
This might be a problem with PWDs who are 5ft below.
I guess they should just use the tapping of cards, even I without a disability struggles everytime. How much more the others?
Do bus/es and trains supposed to have a ramp? Have I ever seen one? I'm not so sure.
If one is commuting on a wheelchair, there's supposed to be an area for them right?
Is it difficult to climb the steps of a bus on a walking stick? I just wonder.
Especially if your limbs are no longer that strong. Sometimes taking a step is difficult.
You know, like your legs feels heavy and cramping. It's painful when you try to lift it up or take a step.
Is there supposed to be an easier access for that?
The train seats for PWDs are nothing special compared with the ordinary ones.
We just have to offer them seats when we know and see one.
It's not like a business class upgrade for comfortability.
What if you're one who struggles to have a seat?
You know, when you can't sit down properly, like when you try to sit it's as if there was a forceful force. Maybe a problem with your spine/back, pelvic bone, or thighs, anything that would give you difficulty sitting down.
Especially with seats that are not cushioned properly or not that elevated.
I know some train seats are just flat and not cushioned. And it's also a bit low.
I don't know the right height for it but something to think about.
If there are extra seats for toddlers,
Aren't there supposed to be some special seats for PWDs too?
There should be customized dining set up for PWDs of any kind.
Like a space for a wheelchair seat?
A place to store your walking stick for the meantime somewhere near your table?
There are some seats that have this opening at the back of the chair, where you can put your umbrellas as you eat.
Just be mindful to bring it with you when you leave.
Kind of like that, a storage where it won't block any pathway or bother other customers.
What more do other PWDs need at a dining experience?
To assure comfortability and not just for the sake of being discounted.
Imagine eating with one hand, what are the things a restaurant should consider with regards to your meal?
Can someone eat at a restaurant with no hands but with feet?
Without getting the attention of others and being able to eat peacefully without getting judged?
Or are they supposed to just live with take out and deliveries, as they might not be able to eat with feet on public.
I don't know, but most dining set ups are designed for people who have hands and can eat properly.
It would be a struggle to raise your feet on a high table, just couldn't imagine.
I guess there should be a customized dining seat for customers like that.
So they could eat on their feet.
It's really more than just the discounts and skip the long line pass.
Even Jeepneys and Tricycles here.
I don't know if it's just me, but PWD and Senior Citizen seats are just the same with those of the others.
There's no extra leg room for you, you'd still be squished in when the jeepney gets full capacity, you will still struggle to get down and ride the jeepney no matter how it looks, and it's harder to ride if you are handicapped, as PWDs are supposed to sit at the very end where passengers come and go, riding with a stick can block the pathway of other passengers. If you sit beside the driver in front, it might block the side mirror slightly.
I guess the reason why they are asked to sit there so it would be easier for them to get down, but on some cases it would still be difficult.
Because of the step that you have to take when riding and leaving the jeepney.
Sometimes it's a little too high because of the flashfloods I guess,
Sometimes you'll bump your head because the headroom is so low,
I don't know, but if it's really for PWDs and the elderly, and the maternity, there should be some improvements on these concerns.
We should be helping them for a better quality of their life.
Not to add more burden to their day to day struggles.
The problem with tricycles are that its sizes are not the same.
It is not just a problem for the PWD community but to anyone in general.
There are some, where the seat is almost literally situated an inch close to the ground.
How could you even ride that?
Sometimes, the entry for it is too narrow too. Even the headroom is also low.
It's just not comfortable.
Avoid riding on those.
But if you don't have a choice well, you're in for a not so comfortable rocky ride.
Imagine the PWD and elderly again who needs to ride the tric to reach home or their destination,
Those who can't walk or have the energy to exhaust themselves,
They should be able to sit comfortably on public transportations as such at the very least.
Left Handed Problem? Can you Relate?
I know this may not be related anymore,
But I guess it's a world problem too.
The leftist community.
Or the people who are left handed.
There are a lot of them for sure around the world. I have relatives who are part of them.
But what is the problem?
Notice how almost everything is designed for people who are right handed most of the time?
Most commonly the armchairs at universities or some workplaces( if they uses one). Armchairs are commonly designed for the right handed people.
For some, maybe the professors would just request to the utility staffs to make one if there was a student that needs an armchair for the left handed.
It has always been their struggle.
Shouldn't we taking more considerations about them too?
Remember, 2030 Sustainable Goals: Equality.
Roughly 8 years from now, can we really achieve Equality?
There are so much things to improve, to adjust, to make changes, to settle if we really do want equality.
We may be forgetting other communities that are being put to shadows for many years now.
Is Discrimination inevitable?
How must we really work our way to have the equality that everyone on earth would benefit from?
Even the position of bidets in the public comfort rooms I think are for the right handed.
Even notice how the notebook pages are difficult to write on if you use your left hand? Because it's also designed for the right handed.
How unfair is that, right?( I mean left? Maybe?)
Where is The Emergency Button? I Just Couldn't Find It.
I remember a little problem I had with the shower cubicle at the ward that had shower and toilet.
Not that it has to do with what I've been talking about up to this point, but it just bothered me.
I wished the hook for the dextrose got two sides.
Cause, if you have a choice where to place your dextrose then you can have a shower without a problem getting it wet.
The problem was, I just can't use the shower no matter what if I'd hook my dextrose to the side where the hook is.
The tape will get wet either way.
However, if there was another hook on the other side, it may have work fine.
Still, I won't be able to use it anyway, nurses and doctors come around every now and then, it scares me that someone may come in to check the CR.
Worse case is that some hospital comfort rooms I've been to, don't have hooks to hang your dextrose. It's common especially I guess on emergency rooms.
One time, at a nearby university hospital beside my apartment,
I asked the doctor if I could have dextrose as I was dehydrated and was vomitting liquids the more oral intake of water.
I had UTI then.
When the liquid was almost finished, I got the strong urge to pee.
The problem was there was no emergency button, and the nurses couldn't hear me.
I couldn't shout as I know it will explode if I do.
A male nurse then assisted me to the comfort room, but...
First I can't pull down my tight pants as the needle was hurting me.
Second there was no place to hang the dextrose but to place it on the sink.
Obviously, it will bleed due to the pressure I did by pulling down my pants and same thing as I pull it up.
Also, I couldn't elevate the dextrose, as there was no hook to hang it.
Speaking of emergency buttons for assistance and real emergency scenarios,
Why aren't there any?
You know those intercom like emergency buttons you can use near your emergency bed.
It's usually red button.
But why most emergency beds even for out patients, don't have that?
Is it too loud?
Is it only for blue code emergency that a button must be pressed?
Tons of risky emergency cases are left unseen especially at the covid ward.
You know, things that must have been prevented and given first aid, but since staffs do their rounds last at the Covid ward, so they won't have to infect others after their last round at the covid ward, at times when they come, it's already too late.
The condition of the patient has gone worse.
Patients can't assist other patients can they?
As much as sometimes you'd like to help a patient in so much discomfort crying for help and there is no nurse around, if there is no button to call for a real emergency case, then what's the point?
You really can't tell when an emergency could arise.
An emergency when a patient needs assistance.
An emergency when a patient's condition needs to be checked, it might suddenly go critical you never know.
You just can't tell a patient to wait for someone to come when you know the next round/s is 6 hours later. When you know that patient is crying in discomfort and pain.
Really, I wonder why there is none, isn't there supposed to be one?
One that's working of course.
There was some kind of assistance button at the ward but we never tried if it was working.
It seems vintage that looks like just a design hanging around the wall.
Maybe in other countries and places I've never been to is different.
And I hope it's better, and nothing worse than these.
There are more problems and concerns that I must have missed out.
But I can't possibly list them all here in just one article could I?
Plus, I may not be in a position to speak for the PWD community, even if MS is considered as a disability ( on severe cases) .
We should be considerate too of people with Mental Disability, A psychosocial disorder, people with autism, the special ones that needs special assistance, people with down syndrome, etc.
You know, those disabilities and disorders we can't see by our naked eye.
Those disabilities and disorders that we may not be aware of in this point in time of our lives.
But that doesn't diminish the fact that they are members of the PWD community that we should recognize and acknowledge.
Not because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not true.
Don't give a judging glare to someone that presents a PWD card that seems normal and healthy for you.
You don't know what they are going through deep within.
The problem is internal and when the problem is internal, you just can't notice it at one glance in their eyes.
Literally, the main reason why you have to be kind and be considerate to every soul you see and encounter.
You can defend your side and anger issues but try to understand the others as well.
Learn to compromise, peacefully with a poise.
If you can handle the situation better, be our guide. Slay it and show how noble you are as a scholar with flying color degree.
Never let your anger take over. It will just get you in trouble and make things worse.
Aren't there so much things to consider in this world?
Like making decisions that could affect the lives of others.
If all of us could just think for the betterment of our own lives, what would be in store for others?
Not all you wanted will be granted.
That would be so selfish of us if we'd only think of ourselves.
And make the world adjust for our demands and needs.
Forgive and excuse my distorted thoughts and ideas.
I just write in the order of how I ponder things.
It may be rambled, jumbled, jumping from one topic to another and going back, but I hope you were able to grasp what I wanted to say.
There are more to raise a concern regarding this, but I guess that's all for now.
Some Questions to Reflect and Ponder Upon.
Here are some questions you can relflect and ponder on your own on your next 'me time/coffee break':
1. How PWD friendly do you think you country is right now?
2. If you are part of the PWD community, what are your other concerns that weren't mentioned that you've been wanting to point out?
3. What are your thoughts on the PWD logo? Should they change it? Or should we just be more specific? Like make it Person with Physical Disabilities and for the elderly.
4. Really, who are entitled to use the PWD comfort rooms?
5. What are better ways to help the PWD community live a normal life as much as possible?
6. How can we make much more difference for them?
© 2022 Gianella Labrador