Wheelchair ramp opens up access to National Assembly

A ramp to allow ease of access by wheelchair users was yesterday unveiled at the Public Buildings.

Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman said at the unveiling of the ramp that the facility gives better access to all the people of Guyana. The move is the first step, he said, allowing wheelchair users to now access the first floor of the building, including the library.

Plans to place an elevator at the building are also in the pipelines. Trotman said that in the interim, a room could be set up on the ground floor with a live televised feed of the proceedings for users unable to access the parliamentary chamber. Trotman stated that in November 2010, then President Bharrat Jagdeo assented to legislation for persons with disabilities that provides for public access. He added that since the National Assembly passed the law, it was appropriate that it play a part in leading the way in its enforcement.

Equal Access Assembly: Speaker of the National Assembly Raphael Trotman and Human Services Minister Jennifer Webster look on at the ribbon cutting for the unveiling of the ramp yesterday.

Minister of Human Services Jennifer Webster noted at the simple ceremony that while 6% of the populace is living with disabilities, they can make an important role in the development of the country.

AFC MP Cathy Hughes described the ramp as a “big move” and added that she looks forward to the day that a wheelchair user is made a member of parliament.

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