Government’s National Disabilities Unit (NDU) will once again be hosting its recreational activity “Aquatic Day” for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and members of the public on Wednesday, March 11 at Browne’s Beach, opposite Bay Street, St. Michael.
Co-ordinator, Anita Batson, said the event would have as its theme “Accessibility for All”, and would run from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. This activity forms part of the annual celebrations for the Month of the Disabled. “We are seeking to sensitise and encourage persons with disabilities and the general public regarding the benefits of making our aquatic environment accessible for all,” she said.
According to Ms. Batson, there would be the use of beach wheelchairs, which “will allow persons with disabilities and persons who do not have the needed support at home, the opportunity to appreciate the benefits of aquatic therapy”.
On the day, the NDU will also showcase its services and programmes while the Coastal Zone Management Unit will show presentations on enjoying the aquatic environment responsibly. Members of the Diabetes Association will be on hand to provide blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol tests. Swimming instructor, Michael Young, will give demonstrations on swimming techniques and assist persons in the water.
The co-ordinator revealed that some swimmers, in spite of being amputees, would take part in the aquatic activities. “They will definitely demonstrate that disability does not mean inability,” she remarked.
Ms. Batson pointed out that further support for persons will be provided by members of the Barbados Coast Guard and the beach rangers and lifeguards of the National Conservation Commission. She said volunteers of the NDU would also be on hand to provide assistance, and members of the Royal Barbados Police Force would carry out routine patrols.
Ms. Batson also advised wheelchair users who are desirous of attending the Aquatic Day activities to call the NDU at 310-1650, so that provision could be made for their involvement.
Noting that the spin-off from this activity would not only benefit the disabled, but the wider community, she urged members of the public “to turn up in their numbers” and in the appropriate beachwear.
“We want persons to fully participate in the National Disabilities Unit’s Aquatic Day, which will allow everyone the opportunity to continue to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities and further their integration into all community activities,” Ms. Batson added.