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Scholars from UEW & UoN Drive Innovation in Disability-Inclusive Transport in Accra and Nairobi

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Published: Thu, 06/06/2024 - 17:57

A collaborative research initiative by scholars from the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) and the University of Nairobi (UoN) has unveiled innovative recommendations to enhance transport accessibility for persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Accra and Nairobi.

The seven-member research team presented their findings and proposals at a dissemination workshop for stakeholders titled "Removing Barriers to Disability-Inclusive Urban Transport System (Policies and Regulations)"—dubbed SITUATE-2—at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) on Wednesday, 5th June, 2024.

The project, aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges PWDs face in urban transportation, has generated a series of actionable recommendations for transport unions and government agencies. The scholars advocate for the adoption of mobile applications to assist visually impaired individuals in tracking bus routes and schedules and facilitating easier vehicle locations. Additionally, they emphasise the importance of ongoing driver and conductor training to raise awareness about PWDs' needs.

The research team also urged government agencies to establish and enforce comprehensive policies for PWDs, strengthen regulatory frameworks, upgrade infrastructure, and foster inter-agency collaboration. This would ensure the optimal allocation of resources, the sharing of best practices, and the coordination of efforts to create a more inclusive transport system.

A cross-section of the project team members and stakeholders at the dissemination workshop 
A cross-section of the project team members and stakeholders at the dissemination workshop 

Among the project's interventions are priority seating, landing pads, push bells, and destination signage, all designed to improve the mobility of PWDs. While these measures have been well-received, with priority seats being particularly appreciated, 65% of participants still feel that the interventions are insufficient.

Further recommendations from PWDs include making more buses accessible, providing education and training, incorporating communication aids in buses, employing PWDs within the transport sector, enhancing collaboration, improving roads, adding more wheelchair spaces, and upgrading terminals and bus stops. These suggestions reflect a strong desire for a holistic improvement in the transport infrastructure and services available to PWDs.

The research team includes notable academics from UEW—Prof. Enoch F. Sam, Prof. (Mrs.) Esther Yeboah Danso-Wiredu, Prof. Samuel K. Hayford, Dr. Osman Adams, and Dr. Prince Kwame Odame—and from UoN—Dr. Michael Munene and Dr. Elizabeth Wamuchiru. The workshop also saw participation from Ms. Vivian A. Laryea, Head of the Department of Transport at Asuma, Ms. Karen Odonkor, Acting Head of Inclusion at the National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD), and representatives from the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).

This initiative marks a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and accessible urban transport system in Accra and Nairobi, setting a precedent for other cities in Africa and beyond to follow.

A group picture after the workshop

© 2019 University of Education, Winneba