Accessibility in Taiwan

This post was written by alumni Cherish Amanda.

Hello friends, my name is Cherish Amanda and I am a recent disability studies alumni from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
I currently teach English at an elementary public school (with inclusive style classrooms) in Jinju, South Korea.

These photos provide a brief glance at my journey as a tourist in Taipei and Hualien, Taiwan encountering disability themes. I wish to open up a dialogue about accessibility and mad studies with the recently developed part of Asia: Taipei, Taiwan.

But first, I left Canada in November, 2014 and moved here…..

A photograph of a cafe. The sign reads, "To The Different, The World Dessert Cafe"
Let me Introduce you to my Neighbourhood (dong) in Jinju….

The Concept of Sharing

A photograph of a table with a variety of communal dishes
At meal times no one uses an individual plate. What’s mine is yours in this collective society. Mmmmm kimchi!

 

My Home town Buddha
A photograph of a Buddha. There is text which reads "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world"
Out of all religions, Korean Buddhism leads in South Korea. Learning about cultural beliefs and ethics rooted in Confucianism.
Peaceful Political Demonstration an hour away
A photograph of a city which sits on the waterfront
Tong Young City
A photograph of a wall in an alley on which is written "Life is very short and there is no time for fussing and fighting my friends"
Recently, artists united in painting this one famous back alley in Tong Young City; they worked together to protest government development projects that would destroy their village homes.

Now, let’s travel to Taiwan.
1st stop: Taipei Fine Arts Museum

As I toured the museum, I am brought back fondly to my Ryerson days spent in Mad studies (challenges dominant understanding of mental health). Numerous art and texts in gallery halls shake up my western conservative thoughts.

black square which reads "ideally here would be someone screaming loud to disturb everything"

A photograph of a wall which houses a TV screen. The screen reads "And the text started to slap"
This media series plays explicit graphics showing oppressed indigenous Taiwanese tribes and texts with disturbing background noises.

Unfinished Journey Exhibition,
by Wei-Hei Hsu (my new favourite artist)

Wei- Hei Hsu is an expressionist/experimental artist who created flowers out of facial masks and stainless steel mirrors to represent the bloom of life.

This exhibition combines woman studies, disability studies, and sociological schools of thought. Wei explores the layers of contraction and vulnerability in defining the evolving role of the modern day woman.

A photograph of a screen which  reads "Unfinished Journey" in English

Who am I?
Feeling rather introspective walking through this exhibit.

A selfie of Amanda Cherish in the art installation "Unfinished Journey"

I wander into a connecting hallway, incidentally, finding Taiwan’s Excellence Pavilion inside Expo Park

Launched in December 2010, this pavilion is dedicated to research efforts, aesthetic designs, and premium quality products for the future.

Help, I Have Trouble Sleeping!

A photograph of a mannequin's head with a mask over top of the nose
A nasal pillow mask anyone?
A photograph of a mannequin wearing a red shirt. A sign reads "S.Cafe P4DRY is a patented technology using coffee ground's special characteristics to make an original fabric that is fast drying, controls odour and helps remove moisture. S.Cafe P4DRY is gentle to the skin and can absorb body moisture quickly. meanwhile the particles of the coffee grounds can control the odour. This technology is unique in the textile industry."
A Sweaty Mess? -S. cafe P4DRY👇

After visiting Taipei’s Fine Art Museum and Expo Park,
back to the Subway.

A photograph of people waiting in line
Amazed by the Organizational Behavior while waiting for the next train.
A photograph of a spacious, well lit walkway
Well-lit halls for low vision and spacious halls for wheelchairs, walkers, and canes. Low customer service desks, where being in a wheelchair isn’t an inconvenience.

Getting a sense of cultural attitudes and musing about disability stigmas.

Visible disability(spotted a white cane and mobility devices) on the train and no one was STARING.

A photograph of two empty priority seats
Passengers stand during rush hour to keep priority seating free
A photograph of accessibility signs near an elevator
Ample space and clear instructions written for Accessibility

Thinking about Accessible Destinations as a tourist?

A photograph of a map which features accessibility
Detailed maps and helpful staff available at every subway station exit.

A photograph of a sign which lists accessible stops

No One is Forgotten

A photograph of a pink sign which features pictures of baby panda bears
Designated Breastfeeding areas at subway stations.
A photograph of a sign which features a woman with her electric wheelchair charging
Charging stations for electric wheelchairs.

And now, back outside my story finishes. I’m on my way to Elephant Mountain using Universally Designed sidewalks!

A photograph of two side walks and a sign showing one is for pedestrians and one for cyclists

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