By Staff Writer
Disabled people in St. Kitts and Nevis have problems gaining access to buildings and commercial complexes and Anthony Mills, president of the Disability Association, feels strongly that something should be done about it.
Mr. Mills said for years he has pressured the government to take action to assist the disabled, but so far little has been accomplished.
He is presently lobbying the government to ratify Appendix F, which would mandate that under the building code organizations would have to provide ramps and other essential services at the entry and exit points of their premises.
‘Our building codes need revising because they do not make it mandatory for people to put the necessary accessibility options in place,” he said. ‘Because it is an appendix, it is not something the government can enforce. It is not something the building board can enforce. Our request for years has been to take Appendix F and make the provisions in it mandatory. That would be a good place to start.
He noted that several major organizations in the Federation do not provide ramp facilities to assist people in wheelchairs and that this is a pressing problem for his association and its members.
He also noted the sidewalks present a problem for disabled people, including those on crutches. Some individuals including himself use the center of the roadway to travel.
He implored the government to take steps to improve conditions for the disabled and help the gain access to buildings and the sidewalks. The improvements would assist local citizens as well as visitors to the Federation, he stated.
Mills urged the private sector to take up the challenge and act on its own without waiting for the government to take action.