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On Saturday 15/11/2011 a wheelchair/disability awareness event was presented by Senecio, who offers support for people with disabilities, at Waterstone Village Mall.
An introduction to wheelchair use by wheelchair users, followed by the opportunity to apply the knowledge on an obstacle course was offered to able bodied people. The obstacle course consisted of going up and down a ramp, crossing a hosepipe and ledges on the floor, winding your way through traffic cones, carrying a cup of water while wheeling and reversing in the wheelchair. Prizes were given to five contestants who finished the obstacle course in the fastest times.
Great fun was had by all. A new understanding and appreciation of just how demanding it is to be using a wheelchair as part of everyday living was gained by more than 60 people who participated in the event.
An informal assessment of 36 shops with regards to wheelchair accessibility and -friendliness done by 6 wheelchair users indicated that 60% of the shops in the Mall are 80% wheelchair friendly. Most of the shops were very easily accessible and had sufficient space inside to comfortably move around in a wheelchair. In general service and assistance in most shops were commendable. The wheelchair accessibility and the toilet facilities of the Mall are some of the best many of the participants have encountered; however there are concerns about the designated parking bays.
The organisers would like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible.