• Chris McMillan

Accessibility for Taiwan’s Disabled: A Work in Progress


Taiwan Business Topics


18th December 2018


Accessibility for Taiwan’s Disabled: A Work in Progress


Attitudes and facilities have improved, but much more still needs to be done.


Taiwan is a crowded place. The population per square kilometer is nearly 20 times that of the United States, and the cities are crammed with parked vehicles and snack vendors. Although accessibility for wheelchair users has improved in recent years, for the hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese who are unable to step around or over obstacles, simply trying to reach the supermarket or the dentist can still be an arduous experience.


Given the rapid aging of the Taiwan population – by 2026, 21% of the people will be over the age of 65 – the need for better accessibility will only be increasing sharply in the years ahead.


Uta Rindfleisch-Wu, a German who has lived in Taiwan since the early 1980s, credits Taiwan with having “come quite far” in terms of access for the physically challenged. Ramps have been retrofitted to thousands of buildings, for example. Elevators large enough for mobility scooters can be found at almost all Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) stations, and TRA staff have been trained to assist those who need help.


Rindfleisch-Wu, whose daughter has cerebral palsy, is a consultant at the Therapeutic Riding Center in Taoyuan City’s Xinwu District. Recently Rindfleisch-Wu traveled to several places in Taiwan with a friend who can walk, but not for significant distances, and who finds stairs difficult. “Nearly everywhere we went there were toilets for the disabled and wheelchair ramps,” she says. “In places managed by government agencies, one can always borrow a wheelchair.”


However, she rates conditions at Taoyuan International Airport as less than ideal. “In Terminal 1, there are no benches or chairs between the security checkpoint and gate A5. People who usually don’t need a wheelchair might need a rest between these points. Similarly, in the departure hall of Terminal 2 there are hardly any chairs. This is something that really needs improvement.”


A similar problem exists at the Fengshan TRA Station, which was recently rebuilt when the central Kaohsiung stretch of railroad was moved underground. Inside the station, no seating is available until one has passed through the ticket barrier.


Still, according to activists, the overall situation in Taiwan remains mixed at best.


https://topics.amcham.com.tw/2018/12/accessibility-for-taiwans-disabled-a-worked-in-progress/

0 views

Recent Posts

See All

China Daily Global 1st July 2022 Livestream host with disability making a difference While dealing with a disability herself, Zhao Yuan has succeeded in carving out a career in e-commerce. She has hel

Shine 2nd July 2022 Clear future ahead with decrease in myopia By Cai Wenjun The incidence of myopia among minors in Shanghai has dropped for the first time in the past three decades, thanks to effort