One of my greatest interests, in regards to careers, is helping those with physical disabilities. Coming to Spain, I was very interested to see how the country has approached these issues and what solutions they have provided. Also, I wanted to pose the same questions to the camino. In America, handicap accessibility is something that goes unquestioned, as it should. Almost every building and city haw some aspect that allows the mobility of persons with physical disabilities. This is not the case from what I have seen so far in Spain. Many of the cities and towns here are very old, and in the olden days handicapped people were not looked upon as valuable members of society. Therefore, providing then with the means of practical mobility was not necessary. This has reflected into the towns and cities of modern Spain. The cobble stone streets, and very tall stair cases all pose nearly impossible obstacles to handicapped people. I could not imagine using a wheel chair in many of these crowded, bumpy streets. On the Camino, the trails have basically all been impossible for handicapped people to travel on. The albergues also didn’t have any elevators or ramps for them either. I have only seen one albergue thy said it was handicap friendly. This disregard to people with handicaps is unjustified. We have the technology to provide the same abilities for these people who can’t do it themselves.
With Industrial Design, we can face these problems and find Suriname to help these people. Wheel chairs can be designed to handle the cobble stones and rough terrain. Ramps could be installed in stores and buildings. Elevators and lifts could be placed in albergues, or handicap albergues should be built with in certain distances along the camino. The history of the country is beautiful and should be protected, but not to the extent that members of our society have to e excluded.