Disability association demands protection

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President of the Association for Persons with Disabilities and disability advocate, Bernard Warner, is  adamant that the time has come for the authorities to protect people with disabilities from discrimination.
“It is time enough for the attorney general and the head of the police to speak out against the discrimination that is existing in Antigua and Barbuda against the disabled community. The police have failed us, the legislative has failed us, so we are letting them know that they need to protect us,” Warner declared to OBSERVER media, yesterday.
He added that the disability association has been in dialogue with the police for years regarding the propensity of motorists without disabilities to park in spaces that have been designated for those with disabilities.
Warner, however, expressed disappointment in not seeing any real move to ensure that people with disabilities are protected.
He stressed that it is this perceived lack of concern by the authorities that prompted the organisation to act. He said that if the police are not going to protect people with disabilities then the onus is on the association to become armed with the options of advocacy and demonstration.
The president stated that this is not about him but about the larger group of disabled people who are affected by the inconsiderate parking of able-bodied motorists.
Warner led a group of 19 people with disabilities in protest at the Woods Shopping Centre and Epicurean parking lots. According to him, they placed walkers and wheelchairs in regular parking spaces in an effort to make motorists uncomfortable. He said that this will make motorists see what it feels like for a person with a disability, who is impeded from occupying a disability parking space because it is occupied by an able-bodied motorist.
The disability advocate said that the protest was being held under the theme: “I support persons with disabilities, #WeCare”.
He made an appeal to all able-bodied motorists to immediately desist utilising parking spaces that are earmarked for persons with disabilities. He also appealed to business owners in the city to make their establishments more accommodating to people with disabilities by providing ramps and ease of access to disabled patrons.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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