St. John’s Antigua- While the government forges ahead with the re-development plan for the lower section of St John’s, the disabled community is still pushing for “accessibility” in and around the city.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Disability Association Bernard Warner made the point on Thursday during a telephone conversation on the Voice of People programme.
Warner said he is all for the development plan, however, it should reflect plans for the disabled and handicapped who travel to the city.
“We’ve heard about the development of the Heritage Quay area, but little is ever heard about the improvement of the physical environment to accommodate people who are disabled,” Warner said.
“I hope these consultants who are overseeing the development will act with the disabled in mind,” he added.
The president said the conversation should not only surround taxi drivers and vendors, but specifications for the physically challenged.
Meanwhile, Director of Tourism in the US Derede Samuel Whitlock believes this is one area where Antigua & Barbuda is lacking.
She acknowledged that the disabled community is quite large and the country is not perceived as a destination that has adequate resources for the handicapped.
“The family who has a disabled child or family member before they make a decision to travel, want to know with a lot of specificity what is in place and if it is not up to their requirement they are on to the next destination,” Whitlock said.
She added that the twin-island state is still marketed as a number one destination, but more value would be added if the country catered more for the disabled and handicapped.