Rolling Without Limits

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Ubin Pushes for Greater Accessibility
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Ubin Pushes for Greater Accessibility

Going on an adventure, a tour or a simple trip can be a little difficult sometimes, especially if it requires different ride transfers. This poses even greater challenge to travelers who use mobility devices. But the community of Pulau Ubin makes sure that wheelchair users can have minimal difficulties when visiting the island and other tourist spots in the place.

Pulau Ubin, or Ubin Island, is an island located in Eastern Singapore and is considered the last village or “kampung” in the country. People take a stroll in the beautiful paradise and get a glimpse of how Singapore’s lifestyle used to be. Guests and tourists enjoy the simple pleasures of life in the beautiful island and marvel at how wonderful nature is.

As the beauty and wonders of Ubin become known worldwide, many have gained interest in visiting the Singaporean island. But it is quite challenging for those who use mobility devices since going to the island means riding a bum boat. Bum boats serve as small water buses or taxis that take tourists to Ubin Island or for other short tours. And the thought of hopping on a water taxi often worries wheelchair users since it is quite risky.

But now, wheelchair users can visit the wonderful island without encountering inaccessibility. Thanks to the Wheels at Ubin community project.

The project aims to help create accessible travel. Ideas and plans are continuously discussed in order to make Ubin more accessible.

Recently, the Wheels at Ubin announced about an upcoming event. The staff and volunteers are busy getting ready since the event aims to take 100 wheelchair users to Ubin Island.

Dennis Quek, co-founder of the community project, said that the idea of the project began when he met an individual in a wheelchair who asked for help and a little assistance in finding the nearest bathroom. It was an eye-opening encounter, realizing that there are people who need help in Ubin. He further stated that with the incident, he and his friends decided to come up with something that will greatly help visitors to Ubin, and so the Wheels at Ubin was created.

The project also encountered a few setbacks. When the staff and volunteers planned for the event, they asked ferry and bum boats operators to lend them a hand but the operators declined saying it was very risky to carry such number of wheelchair users.

Good thing the Singapore Navy displayed their willingness to help and volunteered to be part of the project’s event. They agreed to let six of their FCU or fast craft utility units to be of service for the visitors. What’s even more amazing is that 30 of the Navy’s personnel committed their time, service and effort, and will be assisting and supporting everyone in the upcoming event.

With the plans of making Ubin more accessible, wheelchair users will no longer worry about going to the island. Moreover, it’s not only the place that is made accessible, but the people as well.

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