Destinations Magazine

Russian Handicap Access Still Lacking

By Mendeleyeev

Just about a decade ago there were not many choices for those confined to a wheelchair in Russia. The term 'confined' aptly defined the plight of individuals with limited mobility.

In more recent years the government has begun to require things like wheelchair ramps in public places. Businesses are often required to provide accommodations depending on zoning.

At first, ramps along stairways were narrow, and in reality better suited for baby carriages. As government increased requirements for better access, the market response for practical accommodations has been, shall we say, baffling. Some would describe it as typically Russian. Just watch:

Obviously these ramps only work in a two-person operation in which someone behind the wheelchair can hold and manage the process.

One might hope that in the most common places of movement there would be easy acess for persons who face mobility challenges. However, even the country's vaunted Metro systems have few elevators for those who cannot navigate escalators and stairs. Imagine attempting to navigate the ramp at this busy Bank of Moscow street entrance:

Russian Handicap Access Still Lacking

Thus, for many disabled persons, confinement is still a sad reality. At some point, shrugging it off while saying "It is Russia" will not be enough.

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