Rome: Speech from the special commissoner Georg Leitinger

Speech from the special commissoner Georg Leitinger; Austria according the accessibility, Rome, April 5th, 2003

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

First of all let us look at the various requirements to gain more mobility for hanidcapped persons.
Since more than 10 years blind people have fought for special methods to live an independent life. Although different from one country to another those claims became reality and blind people have now more independence.
It is shown, that a higher exchange of experiences is necessary and I ask you to use the new information technology to give an account of negative and positive experiences to our office in Bonn.

The same procedure should be install for people with wheel chairs or who are highly hampered in walking. We only can be active when we have access to information, suggestions and proposals.

In 1998 we have worked on a brochure for travelling without obstacles. I ask our member organisations to look through that document and set it up on their homepages. After that the web site address should be sent to F.I.M.I.T.I.C –
With the world wide web it will be easy for handicapped travellers to get to know about the latest information from the host country.

Since the last couple of years we have reached a lot regarding a life without obstacles, but still we are far behind the situation, that persons with wheel chairs can travel without hesitation to an unknown place, shop or public building, find bathrooms for disable persons in reasonable distances and can use public transportation without asking for help.
So we must go on with our way and show the problems over and over again! Often it is the thoughtlessness of the planners and architects who create unnecessary problems. Without any additional costs obstacles could be avoided.

Finally I would like to make an appeal to everybody to work with affected persons by letting them examine regulations and laws as well as asking them for help by creating regulations from the traffic department.
Obviously reduction on tariffs for the most of the times social weakly handicapped persons is a great help, but it is also highly important that the independent use of public transportation, public buildings, restaurants, sport stadions etc is ensured.

I would like to end my performance with my former appeal for more information and help for our matter and would also thank you for you attention!

Innsbruck, April 1st, 2003