Ride a surf board, jump on a scooter. Amble and stroll, albeit with utmost care, wherever you want. Access extreme sporting activities such as bike riding Kintamani, Jet Ski/Paraglide Nusa Dua, dive Candidasa, watch the sunrise on Batur, walk Ubuds famous rice paddies, shop until you collapse at multilevel magnificence in tourist meccas located at Kuta, Seminyak and Canngu.
But if you’re in a wheelchair, honestly and quite frankly, you’re even worse off than some individual attempting to navigate a way back to their hotel after a long session of liquid intoxication at any number of establishments along Jl Legian.
Indonesia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Bali is in fact a part of Indonesia, even though there are many who think it’s a country of its very own. For a ‘country’ that’s incredibly rich on so many levels, access to facilities for local Balinese people with disabilities is an ongoing unbearable experience that creates frustration and isolation.
On an Island that depends totally on tourism, visitors in wheelchairs are obviously at a minimum. Every now and then they are seen, struggling along roadsides and being manually lifted up and down stairs into restaurants.
Indonesia is a very wealthy Nation but its commitment in raising the profile of disabled people and bringing them into main stream society is certainly questionable.
There is no doubt that given enough time, in combination with foreign pressure, local activism, general lobbying and targeted advocacy, life for people with disabilities on Bali will improve.
We are all disabled on some level and it’s only a very short step or fall to full blown dependency on others. Ramping up pressure and awareness on behalf of those living on the fringe of Paradise is not only a good thing to do; it’s the right thing to do.
Able or not, it’s in all our interests.
Observing whats real is becoming increasingly difficult. This site is my view, my perception and my commentary on what I believe to be real, from my own unique position.