A student team from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) have designed evacuation route maps for blind people.
“We design the tactual map using the Braille specifically for the blind people,” said Dyah Luhmayang, team chairman, on Friday (13/7) at UGM.
This comes following their concerns over the lack of involvement of the blind people in disaster risk reduction training in the area of Parangtritis, Bantul regency, while in fact the area is prone to tsunami potential earthquakes as it lies near the Indian Ocean.
“This has made the blind people living in Parangtritis vulnerable to disasters,” said the Regional Development student.
Dyah, Aisyah Novitarima, Dyah Luhmayang, Bima Indra Permana, and Tio Tegar Wicaksono took the initiative to produce a tactual map for evacuation route so that the blind people can escape by themselves if disasters occur.
The map development has been funded by the Higher Learning Directorate General for Student Creativity Programme 2018.
Under the guidance of geography lecturer, Dr. Noorhadi Rahardjo, M.S., P.M., the UGM students have partnered with Dria Manunggal NGO that focuses on tactual mapping in Indonesia.
The project is part of the community service programme done since April 2018 with the goal to prepare resilience of the blind people in dealing with disasters. The students also conducted socialisation and training of disaster risk reduction for the blind and family. They also teamed up with ASB Indonesia, an NGO focusing on disaster issues for disabled people.
“Hopefully, the project can be implemented in other areas of Indonesia,” she expected.
Meanwhile, Slamet Riadi, one of the disabled people in Parangtritis, said he was much helped by the map as it helped him identify the points of evacuation during earthquake that may trigger tsunami. Chairman of Disaster Risk Forum, Suroso, also welcomed the map production, saying that going forward, they would involve the blind people in disaster risk reduction training.