Chief Executive Director of the Dominica Association of People with Disabilities (DAPD), Nathalie Murphy has called for an environment that is friendly to people with disabilities so that they can move around indepedently.
Murphy told Dominica News Online (DNO) on Wednesday that proper sidewalks should be built in Roseau to assist persons with disabilities.
“Builders in Roseau should take into account the environmental issues that affect people with disabilities, particular persons with impaired vision and we have to ensure that the sidewalks are free from any hazards or obstacles to cause any additional disability to them,” she stated.
She pointed out that there should be an environment, “where people with disability can manauver and function independently without having obstacles getting in their way that will prevent them from functioning.”
“They have to ensure that even when the sidewalks are built, the motor vehicles don’t use them as parking areas,” she said.
Murphy further mentioned that the DAPD has embarked on an educational campaign with motorists, “So people with disabilities can freely access the environment.”
Meantime, United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for the Roseau Central constituency, Joseph Isaac revealed at a press conference this week that as part of the party’s vision for change, people with disabilities will be given much attention.
Isaac said proper systems should be put in place to support people with disabilities.
“When we look at people with disabilities, we need to have proper systems in place,” he said. “So for example in a renewed Roseau, a clean and green Roseau which will be the best place to live in the region as a city, a clean city, a city where people with disabilities can move up on ramps and move on the sidewalks, not a sidewalk where you have holes every part you park.”
The DAPD was formed in 1983 as an organization of disabled people with any kind of physical or mental limitation.
It established itself as an effective voice for persons with disabilities in Dominica and has successfully worked to raise the consciousness of the public and private sectors, regarding both the difficulties faced by disabled people in society and the potential of disabled people to be productive contributors to the country’s social and economic well being.
Currently the DAPD has over 400 members.