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Wheelchair friendly access in Jamaica?

by Rich
(San Diego, California USA)

Wheelchair friendly access in Jamaica

Rich from San Diego, California is considering visiting Jamaica, but wants to know the status of wheelchair access in the island. What would you say to him?

I answered his question, but I'll need your insight as well.

His question, my answer, and my request of you, are below.


I use a wheelchair to get around.

Would I find the streets and restaurants and transportation systems accessible to me?

Thanks


ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hi Rich,

If you had asked me this question, five years ago I'd say, absolutely not!

Today though, I'm saying, better but not enough.

The passage of the disability act in 2014, which aims to foster socio-economic inclusion for members of the disabled community brought hope.

But according to Opposition Senator Floyd Morris in a Gleaner article, "It makes a mockery of the parliamentary process because we passed legislation going into four years now and we can't implement the legislation".

Many of the infrastructure works including, still lacks wheelchair access. This include ramps in required spaces.

There are some notable efforts though. For example, $50m JMD was allocated last year to upgrade schools to aid disabled students.

The JUTC has improved its facilities to allow greater access and use by the disabled community, more schools have installed ramps under the National Education Trust (NET) 'ramps in schools' project, and there have been 'wheelchairs galore' (1), particularly through donations from charity organizations.

wheel_chair_friendly_jamaica
Shopping Mall In Fairview Montego Bay


And I've personally observed that many of the larger businesses in the private sector, including shopping plazas, have fitted, or retrofitted their businesses, including restaurants, with wheelchair and disability access.

You'll have a better chance of finding more of these in the city areas of Kingston and Montego Bay though.

But that's just from my perspective.

Here's an idea, I'm opening up this discussion to allow persons to list wheelchair friendly business here that they are aware of. And that would include streets and restaurants.

How is that?

That way, you'll have a great appreciation (and options) on where you might venture.

You may also be interested in our article on accessible hotels in Jamaica.

You can also learn more about the Jamaica Disabilities act here.


Regards,
WG

P.S. We've answered HUNDREDS of questions, click here and here to get even more answers.

References

  1. "Wheelchairs galore for the disabled", Jamaica Gleaner, Retreived from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/western-focus/20160726/wheelchairs-galore-
    disabled on August 26, 2019
  2. "Stop dehumanising the disabled", Jamaica Gleaner, accessed from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/letters/20180922/stop-dehumanising-disabled on August 26, 2019
  3. "Trelawny residents concerned over lack of wheelchair access", Jamaica Gleaner, Accessed from http://jamaica-
    gleaner.com/article/news/20190812/trelawny-residents-concerned-over-lack-wheelchair-access on August 26, 2019
  4. "Wheelchairs galore for Salvation Army", Jamaica Gleaner, Accessed from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170616/wheelchairs-galore-salvation-army on August 26, 2019
  5. "Morris wants disability law to come into force", Jamaica Gleaner, Accessed from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20180324/morris-wants-disability-law-come-force on August 26, 2019

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