Fresh off a historic soft opening at Seven Mile Beach last week, Cayman’s first public disability access ramp is making a splash for equal accessibility.
Just Wednesday night (11 April), the Rotary Central board approved the purchase of a second beach wheelchair, and the Cayman Turtle Centre said it wants its own mobi-mat.
Cayman’s first disability access ramp was rolled out for a test deployment Thursday morning (12 April) at Smith Barcadere. Rotary Central president-elect William Innis said the mobi-mat is already making a splash in the community.
“Our visitors to the island actually, when it was laid out here as a test at Smith Cove, they all started filing onto it and walking it down to the beach and enjoying it and taking videos and pictures of our lovely Smith Cove,” said Mr. Innis.
Junior Longbridge of the Trolley Roger tour told Cayman 27 the mat is a great help for his passengers.
“From time to time we have people who come here who have to use walkers or wheelchairs, this will enable them to go to and from from the truck and the trolley,” said Mr. Longbridge.
Activist Morne Botes said that’s part of the mobi-mat’s utilitarian appeal.
“It’s not just for people in wheelchairs, it’s not just for disabilities, it’s for the older folk, it’s for the tourists that maybe struggle to walk in the sand,” said Mr. Botes.
Chief Sales Officer Raymond Hydes said now the Catman Turtle Centre is looking into obtaining a mobi-mat of its own.
“We did have a Make-a-Wish kid today on a stingray tour, and certainly this would’ve benefited them, to be able to partake in the turtle lagoon,” said Mr. Hydes.
And despite its two-tone blue colour scheme, uilding and grounds manager john cook says it’s about providing a “Red carpet” experience for everyone…
“We cater to all walks of life, ADA, the blind, any handicap, all races, colors, anything that we can do to assist the hospitality industry and make things safer, and we heard about this thing and we were really excited,” said Mr. Cook.
The mobi-mat is slated for a semi-permanent deployment on Seven Mile Beach in the near future, after an official opening ceremony. The date for that has not been set.