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Accessibility in Barbados: Improving All the Time
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Accessibility in Barbados: Improving All the Time

Barbados is improving all the time for wheelchair users. 

On a visit to Barbados, my first holiday in my wheelchair, I was very encouraged to find that a lot of the pavements around Dover Beach where I stayed had dropped curbs. There was also a ramp, albeit a steep one, to the convenience store.

In St Laurence’s Gap and Dover Beach, a significant number of the restaurants had ramp access and a number of the restaurants had disabled toilets. One even featured the wheelchair logo outside, advertising that it was good for wheelchair users.

The capital, Bridgetown, was not very wheelchair accessible - even though there were some dropped curbs there were an equal number of pavements without dropped curbs so you spend a lot of time backtracking. Why leave the beach anyway?

The most useful piece of information I gained from a wheelchair user resident of Barbados. He told me that he regularly went into the sea, chair lifted across the sands by the lifeguards. They would also keep an eye on his wheelchair while he was enjoying the sea.

The very next day, I tried this out and was chair lifted across the sand by the lifeguards. They were also ready to assist me when I needed to return - even though they were rather sweaty because they had just been playing a game of beach volleyball!

I have heard that Barbados is the front runner for Caribbean countries developing accessible tourism, and I was definitely encouraged by what I saw. I felt that people were very open to making my stay as comfortable as possible. I stayed in the Time Out hotel and I was given a room without the adaptations that I needed and they very quickly removed the bathroom door to widen my access path and installed grab rails into the bathroom. They were really kind!

You can read more about my visit to Barbados and find lots of other useful reviews and information on the Barbados page of wheelchairworld.org

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