Yogyakarta, October 2015
AccessibleIndonesia initiated a Disability Awareness Workshop for employees at the Borobudur temple, Yogyakarta, Central Java. The aim was to provide employees in different sections of the management with information and awareness about disability, and to train them in basic skills of wheelchair handling.
Workshop facilitators were the disability activists Dwi Ariyani and Joni Yulianto, as well as Siti Muslihah Fakri (physiotherapist) and Kerstin Beise (AccessibleIndonesia). Further resource persons were Yogyakarta activists Maria Muslimatun, Ida Ayu Putu Sudhiartini Damayanti, Yayah Purnama and Noviana Eva Aryanti, all persons with disabilities.
The workshop was warmly welcomed and kindly supported by Marsis Sutopo, Head of the Borobudur Conservation Office. The 28 participants were employees of the Conservation Offices for Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, Ratu Boko and Sewu, the Park Management Company of Yogyakarta and surrounding Temples, the Guiding Association Borobudur, the Sangiran Museum and Early Man Site, and the Hotel Manohara which is located in the Borobudur Park.
Participants and facilitators interacted in a collegial atmosphere, sharing experiences and knowledge. Dwi Ariyani explained concepts and approaches towards inclusive development and tourism and the UN CRPD. Joni Yulianto opened the participants’ eyes about abilities and needs of persons with visual impairment. Kerstin Beise shared a short video about audio description recently introduced in Penang, Malaysia by Paul Wong Yoon Loong (National Council for the Blind, Malaysia)- and Paul Gerarts (Friends of George Town Heritage). The video was kindly provided by Paul Gerarts. Siti Muslihah Fakri practiced wheelchair handling with the participants – directly on the temple itself.
The Borobudur Conservation Office is supportive of accessible tourism for all, and has recently finalised a ramp leading from foot to the first platform of the Borobudur, thereby evading a long flight of steps. Participants tested the ramp and realised that in parts it is too steep to manage without assistance – UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE regulations had prevented to build an even longer ramp. The ramp is, nevertheless, most welcome and very useful. AccessibleIndonesia and the facilitators of this workshop hope that more measures will be taken in the near future, enabling persons with disabilities to visit the beautiful Borobudur with lesser difficulties.
Further reading: Workshop pelayanan disabilitas di Candi Borobudur