Thursday, December 6, 2012

Suffolk House Penang

The Suffolk House of Penang (more information in the link HERE) is a good example of how a heritage building can be made wheelchair friendly. Notably a lift was installed at this building so that mobility impaired people can go to the first floor of the building.

The disabled people’s toilet that is located away from the mainly building is beautifully designed. The passage way to the toilet and the lift is completely wheelchair friendly. Ask if you cannot find the lift or the toilet.

However, I do not like the pathway that leads visitors from the gate to the wooden ramp at the entrance. This pathway is made up of small granite stones and it is difficult for the small front wheels of my wheelchair to negotiate. I had to move “back to front” to reach the wooden ramp. (According to a friend, the building owner made the pathway in this manner to reflect the original path of the building. Apparently when Suffolk House was built some 200 years ago, there were no such thing as tar road then. So granite pathway was the norm at that time.) I was told later by the guard that mobility impaired visitors can drive their cars near to the wooden ramp so as to avoid the problems of negotiating the pathway. (I visited the place on the 3rd Dec.2012)

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