Disabled People To Wear Signs?

Filed Under (Critical Disability Studies) by Estee on 27-05-2009

There was a time when I was chastised for comparing certain persons of a certain culture in their wearing of a sign to classify them.

I know that I might give Adam something he can hand to someone one day if he cannot talk. Lots of kids where pictures on their belts so they can easily communicate to another person, or they might have one of those nifty wallet cards telling someone they are autistic. People with allergies or other medical conditions (I am not classifying autism as a medical condition) where Medicalert bracelets. So is this helpful? Or is the road to hell paved with good intentions?

What do you think?

Indonesia asks disabled pedestrians to wear signs
Transport experts said the law was preposterous. -AFP

Tue, May 26, 2009
News @ AsiaOne

JAKARTA, May 26, 2009 (AFP) – Disabled pedestrians in Indonesia are required to wear signs identifying them as handicapped under new traffic regulations passed unanimously by parliament on Tuesday.
Amendments to the Traffic and Transport Law state “handicapped pedestrians must wear special and clear signs which can be easily recognised by other road users.”

The lawmaker in charge of the committee which drafted the amendments, Ahmad Muqowam of the Islam-based United Development Party, said they were designed to protect disabled people from road accidents.

“This is a humanistic act. It’s for their safety on the streets,” he told AFP.
Asked what the signs should read or where people should wear them on their bodies, he said this was up to the government to decide at a later date. “They won’t be penalised if they flout the rule; it’s only a precaution for their safety,” he added.

Transport experts said the law was preposterous and the government should focus on providing facilities such as level footpaths and wheelchair ramps rather than requiring people to wear signs.
“It is strange when handicapped people are asked to carry extra burdens and obligations,” Institute of Transportation Studies chairman Darmaningtyas said.

Association of the Parents of Disabled Children chief Hendratmoko said: “This is a mistake. Why should our children put signs on their bodies?

“I don’t understand what’s motivated the lawmakers. They should give protection by providing facilities for the disabled. There are hardly any facilities even in a big city like Jakarta.”
Critics have complained that the amended law gives priority to car drivers over pedestrians and those using public transport, and runs counter to efforts to encourage people to take buses to alleviate pollution and traffic jams.

The Indonesian capital, a city of some 12 million people, is choked daily by traffic gridlock but there are almost no facilities for pedestrians – able-bodied or otherwise – except footbridges.
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy has predicted that by as soon as 2014 Jakarta could experience total gridlock, where all road space is filled with barely moving vehicles.


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About Me


I’m a PhD candidate at York University, Critical Disability Studies, with a multi-disciplinary background in the arts as a curator and writer. I am the Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project (www.taaproject.com), and an enamoured mother of my only son who lives with the autism label. I like to write about our journey, critical issues regarding autism in the area of human rights, law, and social justice, as well as reflexive practices in (auto)ethnographic writing about autism.