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Respect the rights of the disabled

It is universally agreed that special and at times preferential arrangements should be made for persons with disabilities. This has been accepted with much enthusiasm by all and sundry in Barbados and therefore it is not uncommon to see designated parking near the entrance to supermarkets, ATM’s, government buildings and churches etc.

The only problem associated with these arrangements is the fact that based on existing reality the real objective is not to accommodate the persons with disabilities but for public relations purposes. I have been led to this conclusion on the basis of the volume of non-compliance which exists nationally with the full knowledge of management, property owners and security personnel.

My question is: Why erect signs stating that parking in these spaces by persons other than members of the disabled community would result in vehicles being towed away at the owner’s expense when there is no willingness or commitment to do so?

There are far too many able bodied men and women who park in spaces designated for persons with disabilities with impunity and they do so because they know that there is no real seriousness on the part of the business owners to respect the rights of the disabled community.

As usually stated in the erected signs, we can either tow away unauthorised vehicles or “club” them, and this should fetch enough revenue to cover the cost of providing this service.

We must insist that the business community and administrators show greater respect for the rights of the disabled community by allowing them to enjoy the benefits provided for them.

— George S. Griffith

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