Azari Mat Yasir has been teaching architecture at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia for 18 years now. Throughout this time, one particular problem kept bugging him and Azari just couldn't ignore it any longer. Property developers have been cutting corners on accessibility, making everyday life for people with special needs way harder than they could be. Moreover, the authorities in the country have been turning a blind eye to what's happening. So, the lecturer decided to take matters into his own hands, creating a series of illustrations depicting these struggles that shouldn't even exist in the first place.

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Azari Mat Yasir Report

Carol Emory 1 month ago

This is the one that makes me angry. I have a friend whose husband is wheelchair bound. Her van has a side loading ramp to get him in and out. Many times we were sitting in parking lots with thawing and melting groceries trying to locate the owner of a car that thought the striped place at handicapped parking was an additional parking space. If I ever see you parked here...have no doubt I will call the police and have your car ticketed or towed. And if you have a motorcycle, be prepared to search for it because I will relocate it to the most inconvenient spot I can find.

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"As architects, we are trained to fulfill the needs of the end user," Azari told Bored Panda. "However, accessibility needs are almost never a priority in Malaysia, apart from special needs buildings like hospitals. Most architectural programs offered at local universities don't even emphasize on special needs, or more known as Universal Design, my university included."

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Michał Jastrzębski 1 month ago

Thats one reason. Another is, you can block the view of screen and keypad from bystanders more easily with your own body - so security.

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In an attempt to increase awareness amongst his students, Azari started sketching some of the issues. "It was after I shared my drawings on Facebook that they gained traction. Now I'm also advocating for universal design in architectural schools in Malaysia, mainly to get it implemented at least by a lecture or two if not become a full subject of its own."

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Bumblebee 1 month ago

Oh, dangerous spots. I remember those spots from way back when I just got my chronic diseases. Back then my diseases weren't as bad as they are now.. Now I am in a wheelchair. 2 years of crutches, followed by (to date, with no progress in sight) 11 years in a wheelchair. Oh, the memories and obstacles in my memory and still to this date. It isn't always easy!

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"On this side of the world, our life expectancy used to be low, barely reaching 60 years," Azari explained. "So most people would pass before they reached an age where disability becomes much more possible. As a result, Malaysian buildings built in the 70s and 80s never really considered universal design. But nowadays, our life expectancy has increased to over 70 years, yet the mindset has not changed. Buildings still follow regulations which were set in the 70s."

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Night Owl 1 month ago

I suspected for a long time now that many of those that I saw are too steep. Thanks for confirming. It really needs to be fixed. It's a risk both for the person in the wheelchair and for anyone passing by (walking) or standing at the end of the ramp.

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"Of course, to change something that is not easy. But many groups are now moving in tandem to create awareness by engaging the politicians, property developers and other invested parties. And I'm merely contributing in academia, creating awareness amongst young architects so they would be ready to tackle universal design issues in the future as well."

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Michał Jastrzębski 1 month ago

yeah, WTF is with housing laws that allow <5 stories high buildings to not have elevators? And its not just disabled...anyone that had kids (or more than one toddler at a time, chaos forbid...) will be hard pressed to move the baby carriage up and down, srsly.

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Bumblebee 1 month ago

If only every blind / visually impaired person was able to have a guide dog.. but it can be very expensive!! And there is much/strict training required. And then you have those people (haven't seen it yet on the list, maybe it will be further down) who will pet the guide dog and thus distract the dog, while it is working! Even though their harness (I guess in all cases) clearly states: Don't pet me, I am working. Some people just can't resist to pet a working dog. If it happens too often this can get very dangerous!

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#7

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Michał Jastrzębski 1 month ago

it gets better...my apartment building has an elevator with a nice, lovely buttons panel...that is a touch screen. No physical interface for anyone who has even remotelly bad eyes, because its dim like all fucks. Looks nice, but...just why?

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L McN 1 month ago

I was once wheelchair bound, thank god not permanently. This did happen, but not only at bus stops. The advantage for me was after my arm healed (but not before) I was able to spin around and carefully climb or drop curbs on my own. Those who have no use of their arms or use electric wheelchairs cannot do this...

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#9

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Night Owl 1 month ago

Wow, I never thought of that. Thanks.

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Mrta Brzoza 1 month ago

O don't get that why the door in m American toilets open to the inside and not outside. They always open to the outside in Poland and I never got hit by a toilet door while passing outside. People do not open them with a karate kick. And with the door opening to the outside you have more room inside the toilet.

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Niall Mac Iomera 1 month ago

Wouldn't that make them too tall?

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Night Owl 1 month ago

I would definitely not be able enter my home (or leave after in it) if I ever end up in a wheelchair, at least not without some major help. It's a scary thought.

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L McN 1 month ago

I HATED going to places with this problem. You always get the angry look when the receptionist or attendant has to actually stand up and make and effort. Then the help you get is often half-assed, not even meeting the bare minimum. This isn't everywhere or everyone, but it is common enough that I dreaded it.

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#14

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Iapetos 1 month ago

I've never seen that!

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#15

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Kwj 1 month ago

I hate the fact that the world has become so selfish

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L McN 1 month ago

Went to a hotel that had this, I was impressed. then I learned it was only a select few rooms, but still nice that it was considered.

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#17

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Michał Jastrzębski 1 month ago

yeeah, fixed furniture. Tell that to shorter than usual people that cant reach the table ;)

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