Just a few months ago, we met Alberto Arenghi, Associate Professor of Technical Architecture at the Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture, Territory, Environment and Mathematics of Brescia University, when he went with his Tiboda all the way to China.
In the meantime, he has been on another two intercontinental trips, this time to Mexico and New York. Tiboda would appear to have triggered his desire to travel and enjoy his new-found freedom and independence to the full.
This is what he told us!
Hello Professor. All we know is that you recently returned from two trips overseas, first to Mexico and then to New York. Could you tell us how it went?
It went very well! I am fascinated by the culture and the architecture of both these places. I took my Tiboda with me on both occasions, as I now need it to move around independently.
Tell us about Mexico. Where did you go?
I flew to Mexico on invitation of the TEC of Monterrey at the campus in Queretaro, a city around 200 km to the north of Mexico City. I was there for a week and spent most of my time on the campus, which is a genuine city within the city!
And your Tiboda allowed you to move around freely?
Absolutely. Thanks to the wide footpaths and cycle paths, I was able to move around without difficulties, from the buildings where the lessons were held to the restaurants, the gym and the conference centre. The Tiboda also allowed me to travel on slight inclines without any problems.
Did you get the chance to visit Queretaro?
Yes, on an afternoon when there were no lessons. There was a fairly large pedestrian area and well-connected sidewalks there as well. The only difficulty was the buildings, because the only access was through archways, which made me think of Zorro on the TV, where there were always steps.
After Mexico, you went with your Tiboda to New York. How did that go?
I went to New York at the end of June, as part of The Exchange project, in which a sports association for people with disabilities in the Brescia area arranges exchanges with an association in New York.
What a fantastic initiative! Could you tell us how it went?
It was really successful. We had the chance to discuss good practices, ideas and visions on the topic of accessibility, independence and sport.
How did it go with the Tiboda?
Well, I had a huge surprise when I arrived in New York! Drive units are unknown in the United States and they were amazed at how agilely and swiftly they move. They had never seen that kind of independence up close before!
Really? And did you enjoy discovering the Big Apple?
I travelled over 100 km around New York and I must say that the Big Apple is extremely accessible! Brooklyn, Manhattan, Harlem and Coney Island all have well-connected sidewalks and public buildings and shops are always accessible.
What was it like travelling on the City Subway?
Accessibility is not guaranteed in all the stations. On the contrary, most stops are not accessible. Careful planning is therefore needed to travel on the City Subway.
A valid alternative that all New Yorkers with disabilities use are the equipped taxis, which are available at a flat-rate price to all residents.
What was your experience at the airport?
The airlines are not equipped to store drive units in the hold with the proper amount of care, so minor damage should always be expected. In my case, all I needed for the repairs were pliers, an Allen wrench and a screwdriver, but the risk of being stranded remains!!
Thank you professor!
Thank you! I will let you know all about my next adventures!