More measures will be put in place to make next year’s GuyExpo friendlier to disabled
I wish to refer to a letter by Ms Lucilleanne Barry which appeared in the letter column of the October 12, 2012 edition of Stabroek News under the caption `There were no facilities for the disabled at GuyExpo’. At the outset, I wish to apologize to aggrieved members of the disabled community who may have concluded that the GuyExpo planners did not consider their needs due to the absence of relevant facilities. I also wish to assure them that their interests were not neglected by referencing these two points:
Early in the planning stages, Minister Irfaan Ali, who also functions as Co-chair of the planning committee suggested that we explore the possibility of importing a golf-cart type vehicle to serve the disabled during GuyExpo. We went online and identified one that could seat approximately eight persons but were unable to put arrangements in place to purchase and procure the said vehicle in time for the event.
GuyExpo planners promptly responded to a request from the National Commission on Disability for space on the lawns to display a 20 x 20 core house for the disabled. This space normally attracts a cost of $150, 000. In addition, a tent would have had to be acquired by the Commission to provide overhead protection for the exhibit.
The planning committee, being conscious of the need to embrace persons with disability, and in recognition of the provisions of the Disability Act 2010, proposed an 100% waiver of booth rental to Ms Beverly Pile of the Commission for the said core house (which turned out to be 24×24 instead), to be erected on a prime spot within the Main Auditorium, immediately North of a large hardware manufacturing display to ensure that it attracted maximum attention from patrons. By doing so GuyExpo 2012 gave up $540,000, which the spot would have attracted and in addition, facilitated an opportunity for more persons to be sensitized to issues affecting the disabled.
Further, in company of the Honourable Prime Minister and Mrs. Hinds on a tour of the exhibition on Saturday, September 29, we made a point of visiting the core house for the disabled and witnessed the demonstration by three attendants on the friendly features of the design, in particular its entrance and exit, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom facilities.
The foregoing is testimony of the fact that GuyExpo planning committee is sensitive and compassionate to the needs of the disabled. The disabled community can rest assured that additional steps will be put in place to make next year’s GuyExpo friendlier and more suited to their needs.
Co- Chair, GuyExpo