The Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD) is appealing to locals to “just respect the sign” – the disabled parking sign, that is.
The BCD took to blocking four parking spots with wheelchairs at Sheraton Mall today, in an effort to sensitize motorists to the plight of the disabled.
“I would love that persons who are driving in here today would actually begin to think twice before they drive into the disabled parking,” Holder-Small said.
She also explained that today’s inconvenience was the rule rather than the exception for the disabled, and she hoped able-bodied people would be more understanding of the challenges faced by members of the disabled community.
“We have problems with persons parking on sidewalks so for the blind who go along merrily tapping, [they] run into a problem.
“You might not think twice about parking that vehicle on the side walk…but you don’t know who is going to be coming along that street,” she said.
Holder-Small also lamented that there are still some business establishments that are not accessible to people with disabilities.
“It doesn’t take much to do a little ramp,” she said.
“Persons with disabilities (wheelchair bound) can’t access the business facilities because they can’t get into it.”
According to Holder-Small, while most places do provide parking, the spaces are severely limited, with a shortage of access isles.
“It is international standards…but they are not attaching the access isle, so when you open your door and you are trying to get out your wheelchair, you are kind of in a rut, trying to make sure you don’t hit the other car,” she said.
Volunteer at the BCD, Atiba Aluko reiterated this point, arguing that few adjustments have been made to make life easier for the estimated 14, 000 people living with disabilities in Barbados. (KK)