Photos, Video & Audio: Accessibility Assessment

June 6, 2015

Members of the Department of Planning and the Human Rights Commission undertook an “accessibility assessment” on Friday [June 5] allowing them to check Bermuda’s streets to gauge the level of accessibility on sidewalks and into buildings.

Keith Simmons said, “The purpose of this trip is to walk Front Street to check for accessibility to see how accessible our buildings are, especially the retail and restaurants sector, where most people would like to spend lunch or dine out, and have basic access into buildings.

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Mr Simmons said that Chewstick has added a purpose built ramp in their new premises for accessibility, and Chewstick’s Gavin Smith said they wanted to make sure their new location would be available to everyone.

Asked how the streets of Hamilton are as far as as accessibility in general Mr Simmons said, “Some sidewalks are fairly good; some of them are really really bad. The Corporation is usually pretty good; when we call them, they come out and fix things fairly fast.

“We are getting there. We just adopted the new commercial and residential building codes up to the international code standard with the rest of North America,” added Mr Simmons. “So we’re getting there.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. Varied says:

    Keep at it guys.

  2. As a member of the Bermuda Stroke & Family Support Association, which does by the way, holds its monthly meetings in the Conference Room on the 1st. floor of old K.E.M.H. starting at 7:00pm. (3rd. Wednesday each month, all are welcome)
    I take this time to thank Mr. Keith Simmons and all the others that have/are taking time out to see that these problems are rectified.
    Many of our members encounter, “trying occasions” when making their way about the island and not only in the City of Hamilton / St. Georges. There are various other public spots around Bermuda that need to be looked at for they are an obstacle to many who are less fortunate than others, whether it be by being confined to a wheelchair or having to depend on a walkers or cane to assist them as they get about…

  3. Bdaluv says:

    What about St. Georges?

  4. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    why hasn’t front street been modified for 100% accessibility anyhow..?

  5. Barbara D Cooper says:

    It’s appalling that Bermuda’s Planning Dept has been so far behind in accessibility laws and standards. Physically challenged individuals should NOT be treated as second hand citizens. Let us remember Margaret Carter who was a diligent advocate for accessibility rights, who fought (successfully) to have a ramp put in at City Hall – and who further protested when they put it at the back door ! The front ramp that presently exists is a result of her untiring efforts. Unfortunately she died at an early age, and since then such efforts have been put on the ‘back burner’. Bermuda needs to seriously adopt physically challenged building standards for ALL public buildings (including schools) as required in the US and Canada.

  6. Angela Outerbridge says:

    Thanks Keith, for plugging away. Granted, new building codes had been adopted now but, it’s not just access into public buildings it’s also access to facilities within the buildings that’s required. This might come as a surprise to some, but people with disabilities need to use the rest room too.
    There are also far too few wheelchair accessible hotel rooms with wet room/level access showers and they are in the more expensive hotels.

    Is any of Bermuda’s public transport accessible apart from certain the ferry routes?

    • I recently was on a public bus and out of curiosity looked about for exits in the event of an emergency. Well, low and behold, the exit was up,(yes up) in the roof! Unbelievable:-(
      I’ll be today suggesting to the Minister Shawn Crockwell of this asinine escape route. I further suggest that all buses have the escape exit placed on the opposite side of the bus as oppose to having them as they are today. Granted, the newer buses have a mechanism requiring the driver to pull on a release handle, (it’s placed over their head) to allow the public to push out a window so as they may exit, but that does nothing for the individual who are disabled. I recommend they in the future order all public buses to have door on opposite sides for emergency purposes.

      • Please take note: (I must confess) If a bus were to tumble onto its side then that exit, (though tight) would possibly be the only exit. Therefore, if they do maintain having this included in the buses design then please enlarge the area for “big” people to escape via that exit. Yet, it doesn’t deter me from suggesting an escape door on the opposite side of main entrance.

  7. Neighbor says:

    Can we also please crack down on people who are not disabled parking in handicapped spots? Im so tired of watching full capable people pulling into the handicap spots because they just need to ”run in real quick”, then watching the 80 year old with a walker struggle to get to the pharmacy stairs because he had to walk those few extra yards because that ”running” person was in his spot. They need serious fines. There is not enough handicapped parking in town either.

  8. I was paralysed on Horseshoe Bay as a result of a diving accident 35 years ago while working on the island and due to represent Bermuda in the world karate championships and world games! I would love to return again for a holiday but most of the hotels do not cater fully for someone who is a high lesion quadraplegic despite me offering suitable low cost solutions in the past!! Come on Bermuda please make your beautiful island more accessible as the ‘disabled dollar or pound’ should make any investments worthwhile. Further information, advice or interesting stories could possibly be obtained via my part life story – part cookbook below:-
    http://www.davidcroft.info/#

  9. After reading the concerns of others that have commented on this page I would once again like to invite everyone to come join us,(Bermuda Stroke & Family Support Association)at our monthly meetings. Our next gathering will be held Wednesday June 17th. 2015 starting 7:00pm (in the Conference Room up on the first floor opposite the staff cafeteria located in the old King Edward Memorial Hospital.)
    Please, attempt coming out to not only listen to what’s being discussed but to also make your concerns known. Feel free to make a few suggestions; we can then collectively pursue having these matter rectified benefiting everyone. I thus-far have read some extremely interesting letters and do look forward in meeting you next week Wednesday 17th. at 7:p.m.