The streets of St John’s will soon be more inclusive with parking for differently-abled individuals finally being reserved.
This move is long-expected, with the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Association of Persons with Disabilities speaking up about this and other matters of accessibility quite often.
On Thursday, Hubert Jarvis the General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board committed to creating the parking spaces “as early as next week.”
He made this pledge during a scheduled walkthrough of the town with persons from the local disabilities’ association.
Jarvis told the people that diagonal markings will be placed on Redcliffe, High, Long, Nevis and St Mary’s streets beginning with the Market Street intersection.
Creating the accompanying access ramps will however have to be a joint effort with the Ministry of Works, he stated.
President of the Disability Association Bernard Warner expressed gratitude to all of the parties involved and further challenged the disabled to speak up for more access.
“People with disabilities deserve better and you’re not gonna get it just by asking for it. There are times you have to come out, you have to stand up, you have to be a part of the decision making and we are here today and this is the testimony of the advocacy of the Antigua and Barbuda association for persons with disabilities,” he exclaimed.
Warner also called on private entities to remember persons with disabilities when constructing new buildings.
“When you are building new buildings you should build them with proper ramps, elevators, doors that open and close, “he pleaded.
He then implored the government to offer more educational opportunities to those with special needs.
Warner said: “we want to see access to employment…the education system is critical so they can come out to be productive systems. When you have a good foundation and you’re employable the sky is the limit.”
And in an effort to let their voices be heard, the association will be meeting on Monday with the Minister of Health to address legislative issues which restrict persons with disabilities.
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Good move! Now, can the relevant authorities move, to make #ALL public buildings, businesses(private/public) accessible with the proper entrance(s) and exit(s)?
Would make sense to adapt access to buildings first then put the parking spot after no ? Antigua backwards nf
@Chubblesum…you’re correct, the handicap parking should be located as.close as possible to the entrance of the building.
There are several things whaichbgave to work in tandem for the “purpose” of handicap parking with the proper ingress and egress.
This must include…
a…the property owner(s). They’re responsible for the ingress and egress to the property to satisfy things such as EMERGENCY ACTION PLANS.
b…the sidewalks and curbs will have to be adjusted with legal swailing(rise & run) to accommodate wheelchair, walkers etc.
c…then the Transport Department does their layout and markings.
Everyone has to be involved in the planning and execution of the “process.”
Then again, r we know how tings run dey a yard. Me garne!
@ Chubblesum… That would be ideal!
However, as Ras Smood indicates and explains below, there are many other ‘parts of the puzzle’ needed to completely facilitate access for the differently abled; unfortunately that will be a COSTLY AND THEREFORE LENGTHY PROJECT.
The designated parking on the city streets IS INDEED A GOOD START!!
Next, get the necessary legislation in place, or pass amendments as required, to get the city started moving towards ‘complete accessibility’ for the disabled ♿ and differently abled.
Rather than ‘leave it up to a developer’s good heart’ to ‘give consideration’ to the needs of the disabled and differently abled, it is time to make it LAW (if it isn’t already), that ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION (or any SIGNIFICANT RENOVATIONS) of ANY COMMERCIAL PROPERTY (Publicly or privately owned), MUST INCLUDE COMPLETE ACCESSIBILITY for the disabled and differently abled, including provisions from PARKING AREAS, RESTROOMS, ELEVATORS, to FIRE EXITS & ESCAPES (for multi-level structures, appropriately sized & adapted for wheelchairs), etc.
DCA should NOT BE APPROVING such PLANS which are SUBMITTED WITHOUT these PROVISIONS.
DCA will therefore need to have FULLY QUALIFIED TECHNICAL STAFF, CAPABLE OF READING AND INTERPRETING THESE PLANS… (but this is a topic for another day 😑).
And while the Legislature is at it, make sure to INCREASE THE FINES for those who are NOT DIFFERENTLY ABLED, that make a habit of parking in those designated ‘blue spots’ or blocking them in one way or another: ALSO CONSIDER SCALES OF FEES – FOR THOSE REPEAT OFFENDERS.
THEN ENFORCE THE LAW.
These would be good next steps as follow up to the ‘designated city street parking’ initiative.
Execution of these would signal that Antigua & Barbuda is truly on her way to the next level which has been bandied about so much over the past several months.
LET’S GET MOVING ANTIGUA & BARBUDA 🇦🇬!
This is a step the country needs. My hardworking one legged friend has been trying to get a job for 2 years to feel like a man and take care of his wife and he has been denied every job cus of having one leg. And he has experience in so many things. My friend deserves equal rights. I hope now he gets it and doesnt have to think about leaving antigua just to live a comfortable and proud life.
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