One father of a special needs child says he was so incensed by what he called a disrespectful and insensitive remark Ms. Connolly made about the disabled that he walked out of Tuesday’s meeting to discuss plans for redevelopment of Smith Barcadere.
Here’s what she said, when asked about providing a beach access mat for the enhanced Smith Barcadere.
“You guys want Smith Cove to be still the intimate cove that we have, if we put that Mobi-mat in there as a permanent structure, certainly no disrespect to the disabled, we have one down at the Seven Mile Beach, at the public beach. Cayman is very small, it doesn’t take that long a time to drive down to the public beach, I don’t think we should have these Mobi- mats all over on every beach in Cayman,” said Ms. Connolly.
Kent McTaggart told Cayman 27 he finds the notion offensive that Smith Barcadere can do without equal access for his family, others with disabilities, and those with mobility challenges.
“The truth is we should be working towards inclusivity, being inclusive to them in every manner, not saying well you can have access six or seven miles down the road, nowhere in Cayman is too far away, that is true, but the reality is that this is not a permanent structure, this is a mat that can be rolled in and rolled out, and it showed to me that mentality of those hold the ability to actually make Cayman a better place simply don’t get it,” said Mr. McTaggart.
Cayman 27 contacted Ms. Connolly about Mr. McTaggart’s concerns.
She said he may have interpreted it as insensitive, but told Cayman 27 the way the coves are positioned, the Mobi-mat will not work at Smith Barcadere…
She told Cayman 27 some hand railing may be an option, but an assessment would need to be carried out.