Image credits: CharlesDeluvio
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News Article

Mobility Investments to Support People with Disabilities

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Fri, 12/04/2020 - 12:51

Yesterday in light of the International Day of Disabled Persons, local institutions announced several measures to support citizens and workers with disabilities. For instance, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) announced four actions that aim to improve visibility and inclusion. The President of Queretaro’s National System of Integral Development of the Family (DIF), Karina Castro de Dominguez, also announced a MX$20.4 million (US$1.03 million) investment in a mobility program that focuses on the distribution of adapted vans and buses around the state. “Inclusion has been a priority for the state’s DIF. We have promoted dialogues of the situation people with disabilities face regarding social aspects, health, mobility and employment” she said to El Queretano.

The UN alerted countries about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic can have on people with disabilities by aggravating their exclusion and creating new challenges. The UN highlighted that it is the job of countries “to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities and to acknowledge and protect their rights. These rights involve all aspects of their life: to be able to go to school, live in a community, access medical attention, participate in politics and travel,” among other things. In Mexico, there are around 7.1 million people with a disability, that is around six percent of the total population in the country, according to El Economista.

Earlier this year, the government of Mexico City announced an investment of MX$411.9 million (US$20.8 million) to increase accessibility in public transportation and public spaces. The plan aims to provide better access to those with disabilities and seniors in the Metrobus, add elevators to pedestrian bridges, build safer crosswalks and safer roads on sidewalks and public spaces.

To support people with disabilities, students from the Autonomous University of Queretaro (UAQ) created an app that is designed to improve mobility for the blind, reported El Heraldo. The app SUBE was developed to help those with blindness and low vision to improve their quality of life while moving on public transportation. The developer of SUBE, Salvador Martínez Cruz, explained to El Heraldo, that current similar apps use GPS location but that makes them reliant on an internet connection, which not all users have access to. SUBE instead uses Bluetooth, which is less expensive and can work even if the user has no access to internet. The app uses different Bluetooth installations around Queretaro’s public transportation system: Qrobus. The state of Queretaro hopes to have the necessary installations ready by early 2021 to make a difference in mobility for many people in the city.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
UN Press, El Queretano, El Economista, El Heraldo, Mexico City government
Photo by:   CharlesDeluvio, Unsplash
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst