Local infrastructure does not cater to persons with disabilities, Calliste says

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The Director of the National Vocational and Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Regan Calliste said that the country’s infrastructure does not take the needs of residents who have disabilities into consideration Calliste identified this as one of the many challenges faced by members of the disabled community.
He told OBSERVER media that residents on a whole do not fully understand the intricate details of providing disability access in the various buildings. “The entrance into them are very challenging. Even those persons who put ramps; with ramps you need rails and sometimes the ramps are a smooth surface; when it gets wet it gets slippery. You got to make it in a way that it’s rough so that persons who are not able to walk properly that when they slip, they have a rail to hold on to,” he said.
“We’re just doing things out of formality and not really paying attention to the best way it can be done. Others are [constructing] buildings three, four stories with no elevators. How are we going to get up there? They are [erecting] buildings with no accessibility to persons with wheelchairs.”
Calliste also noted, however, that although efforts are being made by the government and the public, the rehabilitation centre is limited in its functions due to lack of human resources and funding. “[Disability] is not on the priority list, I would say, but it is coming around. People are taking more notice. My bosses are doing the best that they can. Every time I go to the ministry, I sit with the minister or the permanent secretaries they never tell me no, but the resources are still limited. We are not at the top of the food chain, so we get what’s trickled down to us and that’s the best that we can do.
“We are lacking not only in human resource but financial resource, which means we are unable to do the vast amount of work that we want to do,” the disabilities center’s director said.

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