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Old 20.03.2013, 15:24
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Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

After a little accident that left me with my arm immobilised for 6 weeks, I realised how much more difficult it was to do things, especially on the public transport, and wondered how on earth a wheelchair user would cope.

I have not yet seen a single wheelchair user in Geneva, where are they? Kept out of sight? Looking at the height of pavements, the lack of lifts or even access ramps to many buildings, I had the impression that the U.K. was a lot more aware and proactive in accessibility for wheelchair users. And the paralympics just served to reinforce their status.

Is is a false impression? Is it different from canton to canton?
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Old 20.03.2013, 15:28
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Most of them work from home teaching english to the chinese.

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Old 20.03.2013, 15:43
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I have often thought this as I have struggled with a suitcases getting on and off trains to the airport and when watching mums with buggies trying to get on an off trams and busses.....

Also, when I think about it I can't remember the last time I saw a disabled access toilet (something I always need to look out for when taking my Mum out in her wheelchair in the UK). if I think about the 2 restaurants I go to regularly there would be no way a wheelchair user would be able to use the toilet.

I think there was a law passed in the UK where employers with more then a certain number of employees had an obligation to provide disabled access..... I am prepared to be corrected however.

My husband (Swiss) and I were just discussing last night how progressive CH is in some aspects but how backward they are in others. Not in a Swiss/Brit bashing type conversation but as we have lived in both countries as well as others it feel it has opened our eyes to both the positives and negatives...and this is one of the negatives IMO

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After a little accident that left me with my arm immobilised for 6 weeks, I realised how much more difficult it was to do things, especially on the public transport, and wondered how on earth a wheelchair user would cope.

I have not yet seen a single wheelchair user in Geneva, where are they? Kept out of sight? Looking at the height of pavements, the lack of lifts or even access ramps to many buildings, I had the impression that the U.K. was a lot more aware and proactive in accessibility for wheelchair users. And the paralympics just served to reinforce their status.

Is is a false impression? Is it different from canton to canton?
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Old 20.03.2013, 15:52
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As far as trains go, the first car in many of the ic/ir trains accommodate wheel chair users, and many trams/buses in Zurich either kneel or have a disabled access exit/entrance. Most large stores have disabled access toilets. Again the first train car has one also.

I've also seen lots of ramps ... Sometimes you have to look for/ask about the ramps, lifts, etc.

I think you can ride first class for no extra cost, if you are in a wheelchair.

But I do agree that lots of smaller places aren't suitable.

I have a very bad knee and walk with the aid of a walking stick. Going down stairs is murder, but up ok...so I'm noticing this a lot more.
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Old 20.03.2013, 15:53
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I have often seen disabled people around town, but they mostly live and work in special adapted buildings separate from the general community. At least that's my impression.
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Old 20.03.2013, 15:54
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I am glad that other people can have a level-headed conversation without it turning into the "other"'s country bashing. Same here, we are really puzzled. I've asked my children who go to the city centre a lot more than I do and they've reached the same conclusion: wheelchair users are nowhere to be seen. I am glad that we've gone beyond the "dad at home with two young children and a pushchair", because I would have struggled enormously in Geneva.

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I have often thought this as I have struggled with a suitcases getting on and off trains to the airport and when watching mums with buggies trying to get on an off trams and busses.....

Also, when I think about it I can't remember the last time I saw a disabled access toilet (something I always need to look out for when taking my Mum out in her wheelchair in the UK). if I think about the 2 restaurants I go to regularly there would be no way a wheelchair user would be able to use the toilet.

I think there was a law passed in the UK where employers with more then a certain number of employees had an obligation to provide disabled access..... I am prepared to be corrected however.

My husband (Swiss) and I were just discussing last night how progressive CH is in some aspects but how backward they are in others. Not in a Swiss/Brit bashing type conversation but as we have lived in both countries as well as others it feel it has opened our eyes to both the positives and negatives...and this is one of the negatives IMO
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Old 20.03.2013, 16:11
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Actually they are around if you get out and about. As a regular CFF rider, I see one getting on or off the train about 1x/2x a week. Around my neck of the woods, Nyon, there are two regular motorised wheelchair/scooter users, who actually drive on the roads most of the time.

I also worked with a paraplegic for many years, nothing different for him compared to others, he drove his car to work, had house and family, just like anyone else. He did mention some buidlings were difficult but for 95% of his day to day routine he had no difficulties whatsoever.
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Old 20.03.2013, 18:20
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Camps????

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I have often seen disabled people around town, but they mostly live and work in special adapted buildings separate from the general community. At least that's my impression.
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Old 20.03.2013, 18:23
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Well, in Nyon, it would HAVE to be motorised! That hill is a killer with two good legs!

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Actually they are around if you get out and about. As a regular CFF rider, I see one getting on or off the train about 1x/2x a week. Around my neck of the woods, Nyon, there are two regular motorised wheelchair/scooter users, who actually drive on the roads most of the time.

I also worked with a paraplegic for many years, nothing different for him compared to others, he drove his car to work, had house and family, just like anyone else. He did mention some buidlings were difficult but for 95% of his day to day routine he had no difficulties whatsoever.
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Old 21.03.2013, 10:11
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

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Well, in Nyon, it would HAVE to be motorised! That hill is a killer with two good legs!
They seem to live more on the other (flat) side of Nyon, or where I always see them. But wonder how it would work in Lausanne, Nyon is only a small bump in the trail.
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Old 21.03.2013, 11:17
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

In Bern if you see someone in a wheelchair they will pretty much always have a motorised 'trolley' in front of it which pulls them along so maybe the requirement for getting on local transport is negated to a certain extent.
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Old 21.03.2013, 16:04
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

So I assume that CH, being outside the EU, does not need to bother about making life easier for wheelchair users.
THat is why they do these fantastic, robotic looking slings and all for broken limbs, otherwise all those skiing accident victims would start a revolution!
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Old 01.05.2016, 22:24
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I live in Nyon, with a motorized chair. In general, Switzerland is more accessible than the Eastern US.
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Old 01.05.2016, 22:36
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

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I live in Nyon, with a motorized chair. In general, Switzerland is more accessible than the Eastern US.
To be honest, a lot of the U.S. is pretty inaccessible if you've got two good legs.
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Old 01.05.2016, 23:06
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I have recently spent almost 4 months walking on crutches, only able to use one leg, and it has completely opened my eyes to the difficulties of the less able-bodied here in Switzerland.

'Disabled' toilets with doors on springs that close on you and almost knock you over as you struggle through them.
Turnstiles everywhere! (At least it felt like that).
Trains where you have to climb up 5 narrow steps to get on and off it.
The new trams in Basel that have a lovely slope at each door entrance - lethal when it's been raining and you are trying to balance on crutches while the tram is still moving.

I could go on....

I was practically stuck in a wheelchair for some weeks at the beginning, but I was in a rehabilitation clinic - so to answer the original question, I think that's where all the wheelchair users are. Housed in rehab and other such facilities.
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Old 01.05.2016, 23:37
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Quite true. I often think modern architects are frustrated sadists
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Old 02.05.2016, 08:18
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

I see the same gentleman quite frequently on "our" tram. We are in the same carriage, me with LR and him in his chair. There are also several small groups of disabled young adults plus their carers. It looks tremendously difficult here. They are also dependent on the tram drIver flipping the ramp down so they can get on and off.

It's often complicated with LR but at least I can "bump" her down (or carry her) if necessary.

In my limited experience of medical professionals here (1 GP, 2 pediatricians, 1 physio) all are up (or down) flights of stairs and have no alternative access. One asked that no pushchair be left in the foyer either. Impossible, rather.

Perhaps those who need alternative access are seen at home? I hope they are not given consultations in the car park.

And yes, most UK business have to have accessible premises (as do schools and GP surgeries).
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Old 02.05.2016, 09:08
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Public transportation in our end of the country does offer some flexibilty in addition to the many specialised mini-buses/taxi services that carry people in wheelchairs.

The regional CFF trains have a flip out ramp on some doors that the station chief handles when a person in a chair needs to enter or exit. The ramp makes sure the wheels don't get stuck between the train and the platform. For the older trains with stairs they use a hydraulic lift system (you see them on the platform - yellow in colour). I am not sure how the communications work to "reserve" the lift system.

The older buses in Lausanne are normally the bus (that has stairs) + the tag along behind. The tag along is set without stairs and is at sidewalk height. Normally used by mothers with buggies and for wheelchair clients. They have a large open area without seats.

In the Morges area the newer Mercedes buses have the "kneeling" feature. The bus tilts down on the sidewalk side to meet the height of the sidewalk (for buggies, wheelchairs and older people with mobility issues). These buses also do not have stairs (when not kneeling it is more like a half step up).
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Old 02.05.2016, 10:22
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

Considering that I see a lot of able bodied people parking in disabled spaces, I wouldn't be surprised is they stay home in frustration!

Last edited by i-b-deborah; 02.05.2016 at 14:33. Reason: bit's had been left out
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Old 02.05.2016, 10:28
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Re: Where are the wheelchair users in CH?

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Considering that I see a lot people parking n disabled spaces, I wouldn't be surprised is they stay home in frustration!
Next time you see one, how about doing this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTRxXostqbc
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