Friday, November 6, 2009

Complexes becoming aware

Friday, November 6, 2009 |
Daripada: Choo Kim Yoon
Tarikh: Sunday, November 01, 2009 4:02 PM

Complexes becoming aware

Published on: Sunday, November 01, 2009
Kota Kinabalu: Where considering the needs of the disabled are concerned, 1Borneo Hypermall has certainly blazed the trail for others to follow.

Visually impaired shoppers and visitors have the benefit of lifts with Braille buttons on the lower ground floor, ground floor, first floor and second floor.

Braille is a system of reading and writing for the blind, representing the letters of the alphabet by raised dots which they can read by touching them.

State Community & Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Hjh Azizah Mohd Dun was impressed with the facilities provided by 1Borneo Management Corporation Sdn Bhd
inside and outside the hypermall. Disabled-friendly toilets are also available on the lower ground floor, ground floor, first floor and second floor.

"I also commend them for providing special parking lots for OKUs on the lower ground and second floor. It is a good effort. And there are signages to this
effect. However, there is ample room for improvement.

"Being OKU-friendly will attract more people to the hypermall and this will boost business," she said after a guided tour of the premises.

On-the-spot briefing was given by its Assistant General Manager (Centre Management) Jefveleon Rengga and Operation Manager/Chief Security Officer Leben

Five wheelchairs are also on standby at the information counter which are lent out to those who need the facility for sightseeing or shopping.

"They are trying their best to make 1Borneo as OKU-friendly as possible. I can see that the management corporation is serious about the provisions in the
Persons With Disabilities Act 2008. I am happy they have taken note of the necessary rectification to be done. I think the ramp is a little too steep for
wheelchair-bound individuals.

And perhaps the drop at the toilet floor level can be corrected accordingly," Azizah said.

Siddarth said 1Borneo Hypermall is on par with KL standard. "We did a market survey and realised the importance of catering to the needs of persons with
disabilities," he said.

At the Centre Point Sabah (CPS) Complex, the entrance to the sixth floor from the car park has been modified to improve accessibility to the shopping mall,
particularly for disabled people.

"There is no split level at the entrance and we have installed an automatic sliding-door. Wheelchair users can wheel themselves up a tiled ramp with a gentle
gradient that serves as the walkway. It is very spacious on the sixth floor, and from here, they can go to any floor, using the lift.

"The lift door is wide enough for wheelchairs," said the complex' Commercial Management Manager Lynda Wong. Previously, a removable wooden ramp was used
but it has since been discarded. A Daily Express check found the shopping mall has two lifts meant for the use of the visually impaired. Here, too, dotted
shapes are used to indicate the "open" and "close" signs on the operating panel. Likewise, dotted figures to show the respective floors which the blind
can read by touching and feeling them.

Wong said it is in the planning stage to provide toilets for disabled persons in line with the requirements of the Persons With Disabilities Act 2008.

Presently, the Karamunsing Complex is only partially disabled-friendly, according to its General Manager R.V. Varan.

"We have ramps on the lower ground and at the main entrance. The complex is undergoing renovation, and it is part of our plan to provide toilets and allocate
parking lots on each floor for the disabled," he said.

A visit to Wisma Merdeka found no toilets available for the disabled. This was not surprising because the shopping complex is more than 20 years old and
the guidelines on building requirement for disabled persons were not in place then.

However, there are ramps at the front and back entrances to facilitate the movement of wheelchair users.

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