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Traveling wheelchair user applauds disability access in Cayman

One wheelchair-using traveler said Cayman stacks up well against other popular tourist destinations in terms of disability access.

Jonathan “J” Appleby applauded those who went ‘above and beyond’ to make adjustments so he could enjoy the best that Cayman has to offer: including a helicopter ride.

“Everyone I come across on the island has been superbly accommodating,” said Mr. Appleby.

He told Cayman 27 he refuses to let his cerebral palsy slow him down.

“Things just take a little bit more time, but your disability, nine times out of 10, it doesn’t get in my way in any shape or form,” said Mr. Appleby.

On-island to visit his sister Lindsay Garwood, he’s intent on experiencing the best of Cayman’s must-see attractions, including a high-flying island tour with Cayman helicopters.

Staffers had no problems assisting him into the aircraft for the flight of a lifetime, yet another example of Cayman kind accessibility that he says blows other popular destinations out of the water.

“Cayman stacks up very very well indeed compared to Washington DC, obviously the capital of America, Cayman tops Washington, Washington is a fantastic place, but Cayman is far more accessible,” said Mr. Appleby.

“There is a lump in my throat, I get really emotional seeing my brother do everything, because he’s an amazing character, he’s my inspiration,” said Ms. Garwood.

She told Cayman 27 she called the tour operator in advance to ensure her brother could be accommodated for the flight. Their answer: a resounding ‘no problemo’ from pilot Dale Jardin.

“We like to give everybody the opportunities to see the island from the air, and no too big a problem is a problem for us, we will do everything we can to accommodate anybody with any disability or any fears,” said Mr. Jardin.

“It was a really really good ride, a fantastic view of the whole island, very smooth,” remarked Mr. Appleby.

And for Mr. Appleby, who brought his GoPro to document the occasion, it’s a bird’s-eye view of Grand Cayman he’ll never forget.

On the whole, Mr. Appleby said accessibility was spectacular during his Cayman holiday, he says some rest-rooms presented challenges.

He told Cayman 27 some restrooms lacked proper space to maneuver a wheelchair and, and others were without ‘grab rails.’

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to josephavary@hurleysmedia.ky

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