There were no facilities for the disabled at GuyExpo
As the people of Guyana seek justice for the lives of those slaughtered by those trigger happy police, there is yet another issue that needs attention.
What are the provisions made for the disabled citizens of our country?
As a wheelchair user, I find it very difficult getting around the city by myself or aided. Access to some stores, business establishments etc are not provided.
The ones that have provided ramps etc, have not catered for our navigation around the premises!!!
The places which have provided ramps have installed them at very steep angles hence making these places still inaccessible.
What makes things worse, let’s go back to the last GuyExpo 2012 which ended two Sundays ago. I was shocked to find that 99.9% of all booths and exhibits were inaccessible. No ramps or other means of access were provided for wheelchair users.
The entrance to the exhibition centre did not have wheelchair access, I had to get out of my chair and climb over a metal bar, then my chair had to be lifted over that bar. What would have happened if I could not stand for a few minutes? I am appalled that our needs were not considered.
This was despicable!!! Are we to believe that disabled people are not relevant in Guyana? Don’t the government and other entities believe thatwe would should enjoy these amenities? Are we supposed to be locked up in our homes and hidden away behind closed doors? I am appalled at my findings. Even the people walking around did not “see” me. They were walking through me, I constantly had to be saying sorry, even though it was not my fault that they bumped into me in my wheelchair.
Proper access should have been provided, which would have eliminated the uncomfortable stares.
This stigma has to be addressed. I spent the entire night sitting in the food area in my wheelchair.
Even getting into that area was a task by itself. There are so many wrongs here in Guyana, my entire day would be spent enumerating them.
My questions are:
Do we the disabled people of Guyana not have a voice? Who speaks for us, who caters for our needs, who advises the ones at the top of our needs and requirements?
Why was there not any access provided for the disabled and wheelchair users at the GuyExpo exhibition? I am referring to the blind, deaf, mute, physically and mentally disabled.
In conclusion, there needs to be some kind of reform for disabled people of Guyana.
Something needs to be done. There needs to me a pro forma in place in every institution, banks, stores, markets etc for us. No waiting in lines at post offices, banks etc.
We are here and need to be seen and heard and given recognition. We are here, don’t turn a blind eye on us!