Jamaica News: Mayor of Kingston, Senator Councillor Delroy Williams, has given a commitment that the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) will assist with the construction of a ramp to improve accessibility to Gordon House for members of the disabled community.
Construction of the ramp was one of the recommendations from a recent audit in relation to the accessibility of the Parliament building.
The focus of the audit was to identify barriers to accessibility and to provide recommendations for possible remediation that will improve the level of accessibility for staff and guests. It took into consideration recognised best practices for accessibility and inclusion.
“The recommendations were divided into (three) stages… . Under stage one, it looked at the entrance point to the Gordon House building in terms of the construction of a ramp from a particular location to the House. That is something that the Municipality is committed to looking at to see if we can undertake that particular work. Looking at it, I don’t see it posing any major difficulty for us to undertake at the Municipality,” he said.
Senator Williams was making his contribution to a Private Member’s Motion regarding access to Gordon House and the future Parliament building for persons with disabilities, during today’s (October11) sitting of the Senate.
Senator Williams said the KSAMC will also assist in carrying out other recommendations outlined in the audit.
He said although a new Parliament building is to be constructed at National Heroes Park, “it does not stop us from making alterations to the structure here to give access to visitors, staff and members of the disabled community”.
He said the necessary alterations can be pursued and fall in line with the new Building Act.
Senator Williams pointed out that Section 14 of the Act states that alterations to existing buildings, as far as it is reasonably practical, must make the land accessible to, and usable by persons with disabilities.
He said the Municipality has a responsibility to ensure that accessibility is included in the design for new structures. “We ought not to approve any structure without the necessary accessibility to members of the disabled community. We are very vigilant on that,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said persons with disabilities can now access the St. James Municipal Corporation.
“They are now 100 per cent in terms of accessibility to members of the disabled community. They can access all floors,” he said.
Senator Williams said currently at the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, only the ground floor is fully accessible due to “structural issues”.
“We have purchased the NWC building and we will be doing some renovation works there, so that the office can move into that structure, which will give accessibility to all floors,” he informed.
Debate on the Motion, which was moved by Opposition Senator, Dr. Floyd Morris, was suspended until the next sitting of the Senate.
Source: JIS News