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Taxi Times International - August 2015 - Deutsch

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NUMBERS GUEST COMMENTARY

NUMBERS GUEST COMMENTARY THE ELDERLY AND MOBILITY- IMPAIRED These are the statistics on people who are particularly dependent on taxis as a means of transport. 25,242 PEOPLE in Germany have willingly given up their EU driver’s licence. 1.500.000 € is the budget for the introduction of a Mobility Card. It will facilitate travelling to another Member State for persons with disabilities and it will allow them to receive the same benefits and reductions in the areas of culture, leisure, sport and transport under the conditions offered to people with disabilities of this country. GUNTA ANCA is EDF’s Vice President (European Disability Forum) and has been a pro active disability rights activist throughout her career. Since 2002, she is the Chair of the Latvian Umbrella Body for Disability Organisations (Sustento) and she is also an active member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Additionally, she is a Board member of the European Women’s Lobby and since 2008 also an advisor in the Disability Rights Fund. THE 8. SESSION The eighth session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities took place in June 2015. 82,1 83,1 76,6 77,4 2005 2014 RISING LIFE EXPECTANCY Average life expectancy for women: 83.1 years (2014), 82.1 years (2005) Average life expectancy for men: 77.4 years (2014), 76.6 years (2005) 15 PER CENT OF THE WORLD’S POPULATION or estimated 1 billion people, live with Disabilities. 80.000.000 / 506.800.000 Population in Europe 2014: 506,800,000 Disabled people in Europe: 80,000,000. 1.600.000 WHEELCHAIR USERS ... live in Germany. PHOTO: Fotolia / projectio, Fotolia / Jenny Sturm PHOTO: European Disability Forum MOBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN THE EU Is it challenging to go by taxi? Yes it is if you have a disability, says EDF Vice President Gunta Anca. There are many reasons why this trip can be an adventure – sometimes positive, sometimes not so much. Let’s start with a very easy question: does the city have accessible taxis? It is almost impossible to find out, especially if you are just a tourist and your knowledge of the national language is limited. But even if you can understand the language, call operators are quite often surprised: “What do you mean by accessible car? Can’t you just use a normal taxi and we help you to get out of your wheelchair?” Not just the physical accessibility of the taxi service is important but also the accessibility of the booking system. Operators in taxi booking centres have to be trained, and ideally a company should provide several alternative means of booking and communication for persons who for example, cannot use the phone because of speech impairments. Apps and websites should be designed to be accessible; the rules for web accessibility are internationally defined and a simple specification for this criterion in a call for offers can make a difference. So even if your conversation with the operators went smoothly – it does not mean a positive taxi adventure can start. Quite often the taxi driver starts with a question: “Do you know the best way how to operate the ramp of my car? I just use it from time to time and I’m not sure at all how it works”. Questions like that are very usual. Taxi drivers can be very happy when they see I have my assistant with me – they often hesitate to talk with somebody in a wheelchair. It is important to remember that accessibility is not just about ramps and lifts – it is also about the attitude and the service that is being offered. Of course, the vehicle has to be accessible; the London Black Cabs are a good example. However, it is equally important that the driver is trained accordingly. If the driver knows how to communicate, for example, with a person with visual or hearing impairments, a person with intellectual disability, or how to assist a wheelchair user properly, negative incidents can be avoided and customer satisfaction rises. EDF has worked together with the International Road Transport Union (IRU) to develop guidelines and a checklist for taxi drivers 1 that can be helpful. Being able to use all transport modes is essential for everyone! It is also a condition for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and for their active participation in society on an equal basis with others. Persons with disabilities need the same flexibility in travel options as other citizens in order to be able to fully make use of their fundamental right to free movement and to accessible transport. This is a right that has been recognised by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) under its 9th article. 2 ga 1 IRU taxi accessibility guidelines, https://www.iru.org/en_guidelines-taxi 2 United Nations Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD), http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150 24 TAXI AUGUST / 2015 25

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