Cayman’s first disability beach access ramp is ready for its official roll-out.
The Mobi-mat created quite the buzz after two brief test deployments last month, and those instrumental in bringing it here say it’s already raised the profile of disability access in our islands.
“One of the remits of the disabilities council is to ensure accessibility for everyone,” said Disabilities Council member Chelsea Rivers.
Ms. Rivers told Cayman 27 coordinating the importation of the lightweight, non-slip, Mobi-mat for use at Seven Mile Public Beach is right in the council’s wheelhouse.
“The support in the community has been fantastic,” she remarked.
The Mobi-mat proved a big hit with beach-goers during test deployments at public beach in April, where new governor Anwar Chowdhury posed for pics.
In another test deployment at Smith’s Barcadere, the chickens weren’t quite sure what to do with the Mobi-mat, but Rotary Central President Susie Bodden said other beach users found it a hit.
“Everybody else liked it too, people with push chairs, people even carrying their paddle boards off of the beach, it was easier to walk on the mat than walk in sand,” said Ms. Bodden.
She said she’s tickled pink over the awareness already raised by the mat, and aims to harness the awareness in future initiatives.
“I personally love the fact that it is really brought this to the fore, and the other thing that I am trying to fit in before the end of my year [as Rotary Central president] is a disabled parking bay awareness campaign, which is just about to be launched.” she said.
She told Cayman 27 the reality is, a disability could happen to anyone.
“We can break a leg, we can have hip surgery, we might be temporarily in need of those things, it can happen to any of us whether it is for a week, whether it is six weeks with a broken ankle,” she said. “Any of us might need these things.”
And for the disabilities council, it’s on to the next in a long list of accessibility issues.
“Accessibility to buildings is key, so we are just going to get back and put our nose to the grind stone see what other new projects we can look at,” said Ms. Rivers.
The official grand opening ceremony for the Mobi-mat is Saturday 19 May from 8:30 to 9:30 AM at Seven Mile Public Beach near Calico Jack’s. The public is welcome to attend.