Disability depicts a mental or physical condition which constraints an individual`s activities, senses or even movements. It involves limiting the number of activities such an individual can take part with much ease in within the society (Barbra, 2014). He or she may be incapacitated either mentally, physically or at times socially. The disabled people normally face quite some discrimination in various aspects of life. This is particularly regarding their access to the normal daily services which other people without disabilities seek. The services range from social services, economic services, medical services, commuting services and recreation services among others (Thomas & Nyla, 2017).
Such discrimination inhibits the manner in which such people access important or rather basic services in the society. One such service is the transportation service particularly public transport system (Robert, 2010). For instance, you find that disabled people are highly excluded or left out when other people are boarding the various public transport means like the train and buses. People with disabilities are not awarded the required help when accessing these transport systems. This is sad since it is a trend that is replicated across the globe. The old people who are the highly affected by disability cases are facing shortage of assistive support. This is highly attributed to the fact that a majority of young people who can assist them in their mobility are out in the urban areas or they just neglect them (Benjamin, et al., 2014).
As such, it is indispensable for people with disabilities to get special preferential treatment especially when it comes to the convenience of their transport around and within the cities and even in the rural areas. Keen attention should be given when drafting policies to enhance their mobility by using the transport systems. This will essentially help them to access other daily life services with ease. This evaluation will be centered on the strength and gap assessment of the draft policy from the public health lenses.
One of the chief points that the disability inclusion plan for NSW has and that can bring remarkable transformation in public health is `liveable communities`. The ability of people with disabilities to get where they need to go in a safe and dignified manner, the ability to use public transport and facilities and the ability to get to enjoy similar convenience and comfort like any other customers or commuters are very paramount (Barbra, et al., 2017). This includes enhancing the accessibility of train stations, the accessibility of bus stops, accessibility of ferry wharves, enhancing the access to taxi services by disabled people, enhancing the pedestrian walk ways for all people with a special preference for people with disabilities and offer enhanced mobility support to disabled people in the peripheral and rural areas.
Making the train stations more accessible to people with disability will aid in eliminating the struggle they go through when reporting to work and leaving for home (James, et al., 2015). This will reduce the stress they face in their movement. Furthermore, this will motivate other people who have disabilities to work harder and even grow their carriers in the long run. Similarly, it will allure and inspire other disabled people to actively seek for employment even in distant places since they can access train stations with much ease.
Additionally, this will motivate potential employers to recruit more people who have disabilities who have been left out before just because of their disability yet they have the skills and expertise needed to get a decent employment both in the formal and informal sectors (Lisa, 2010). This applies to all other modes of transport. Another benefit of such an improvement is that it raises the affordability and accessibility of health services for people with disabilities. This implies that highly accessible train stations, bus stops, ferry wharves and pedestrian walkways among others facilitate the mobility of such people to get health care services from the various health centers and hospitals (Lisa, 2011).
This plan addresses some principles of public health. Such principles include equality and universality. The two are achieved through the facilitation of an inclusive employment. This advocacy ensures that all people feel supported and valued in their workplace and any one can employment that matches their qualifications and skills regardless of whether they have disabilities or not. This will involve the provision of training that incorporates skills that are vital in handling people with disabilities. Employment forms part of social determinants of public health that impacts other such determinants. As such, when disabled people are holistically included in employment, it impacts social inclusion which is another overt principle of public health.
The main strengths include: It sets out to involve all customers both those with disabilities and those without in the planning and decision-making meant for the transport system. The draft policy has extensively centered its action plan and the action items on the customer. This is evidently instrumental in ensuring that the overall health needs of the disabled people are highly considered and that they actually matter.
Its strategic objectives are quite accommodative and diverse regarding the health needs of people with disability. This means that quite a majority of the public health needs of such people have been articulated in the draft policy. Also, the plan is generally workable in light of enhancing the accessibility of health care services for the disabled people in NSW. That is, this group of people will have their needs concerning proper accessibility to healthcare commendably met.
One of the conspicuous weaknesses of the draft policy is the failure to include a framework for enforcing punishments for people who fail to fully observe the drafted rules. There should have been an inclusion of enforcement measures and possible punishments for transport operators who break the guidelines and rules. This could have aided in helping people desist from breaking the rules and guidelines.
A journal article published by Disability and Society advocates the articulation of a wholly functional transport system particularly for people with disabilities. It highlights several follow-up and enforcement measures that can ensure that the established regulations and guidelines are well adhered to (Mike, 2013). Also, another article published by British journal of sociology of education outlines the policy framework that is functional in ensuring that disabled people are handled with the reasonable dignity especially when using public transport means (Mike & Collin, 2010).
Barbra, A., 2014. Definitions, Concepts, and Measures of disability. Annals of Epidemiology, 24(1), pp. 2-7.
Barbra, P., Chris, P. & Vera, C., 2017. On making disability in rural places more visible, challenges and opportunities. Journal of rural studies, Volume 51, pp. 223-229.
Benjamin, G., Christopher, K. & Susan, M., 2014. Transportation and Socioemotional well-being of urban students with and without disabilities. Journal of prevention and intervention in the community, 42(1), pp. 31-44.
James, R., John, L., Melinda, W. & Sarah, R., 2015. Public Health Principles. s.l.: Springer.
Lisa, L., 2010. Principles and practices of public health surveillance. s.l.: Oxford University Press.
Lisa, L., 2011. Eliminating health and healthcare disparities among the growing population of people with disabilities. Health Affairs, 10(30), pp. 1947-1954.
Mike, O., 2013. The social model of disability: Thirty years on. Disability and Society, 7(28), pp. 1024-1026.
Mike, O. & Collin, B., 2010. Disability studies, disabled people and the struggle for inclusion. British journal of sociology of education, 31(5), pp. 547-560.
Robert, K., 2010. Institutional disability: the saga of transportation policy fo the disabled. s.l.: Brookings Institution Press.
Thomas, D. & Nyla, B., 2017. Disability models affect disability policy support through awareness of structural discrimination. Journal of social issues, 73(2), pp. 413-442.