Mr Png Eng Huat
To ask the Acting Minister for Social and Family Development with Singapore's ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD) which comes into effect on 18 August 2013, whether the Ministry will engage LTA and HDB to further enhance the barrier-free facilities on the roads and in the estates.
The Government is committed to the progressive realisation of many obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. This includes creating an accessible and friendly-built environment. It is a priority under the Enabling Masterplan, which is a public-private-people sector effort that includes all relevant agencies.
Accessibility for persons with disabilities has improved over the years. Ongoing efforts include the following:
(i) Providing ramps and decision tactile for the visually impaired, and removal of obstacles along walkways, with shelters along certain stretches;
(ii) Facilitating road crossings, with lifts at identified pedestrian overhead bridges, having street level crossings where traffic conditions permit, and increasing the number of pedestrian crossings that provide more green man crossing time;
(iii) Upgrading our public transport system. The MRT system is barrier-free, and the bus system will be progressively so, with all buses wheelchair-accessible by 2020 and bus stops being upgraded;
(iv) Incorporating Universal Design (UD) features to enhance user-friendliness amongst new HDB flats since July 2006;
(v) Implementing the $40-million Accessibility Fund to encourage upgrading of existing private buildings with basic accessibility features; and
(vi) Reviewing the Accessibility Code to benefit more Singaporeans, such as the disabled, families and the elderly.
We recognise that more can be done. MSF will continue to work with other government agencies, businesses, voluntary welfare organisations, the disability community as well as the public.