Qasa launches “EISH” campaign

2017-05-02 06:00
The QuadPara Association of South Africa has launched the ‘Eish’ Campaign to encourage the community to act when disability discrimination occurs.Photos: Supplied

The QuadPara Association of South Africa has launched the ‘Eish’ Campaign to encourage the community to act when disability discrimination occurs.Photos: Supplied

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SUBSEQUENT to the article published in the Hillcrest Fever last week, and the common misuse of paraplegic parking bays, the QuadPara Association of South Africa (Qasa) has launched the “Eish” Campaign, to encourage the community to take action when disability discrimination occurs.

Ari Seirlis, CEO of Qasa, said that the campaign uses a wheelchair Lego man in various environments, identifying problems and issues experienced by those with physical disabilities.

“The word ‘eish’ is used in South African English and Afrikaans to express exasperation or disbelief. The word was first translated from the Xhosa language to Afrikaans, and then into South African English.

“The key issues and themes are: justice, transport, access parking and employment, as people with disabilities need to be able to exist in a barrier-free environment, free of infrastructure barriers, free of any limitations and discrimination,” he said.

In terms of justice, Seirlis said that access to legal support, policing agencies, the judicial system, human rights commissions and correctional services are essential for the success and implementation of the Equality Act for people with disabilities.

He said that access to transport is a human right and inaccessible transport in South Africa is the biggest barrier that people with physical disabilities, especially wheelchair users, face.

In terms of parking, Seirlis said: “Universal design and accessible environments are a human right and inaccessible buildings and infrastructure in South Africa are some of the major barriers facing people with physical disabilities, especially wheelchair users”.

In addition, he said that no person other than a disabled person or a driver of a vehicle conveying disabled people, which has been issued with a sticker for conveying disabled people, shall park in a parking bay reserved for disabled people.

“Qasa believes that wheelchair parking facilities designed as 3 500 mm wide, are for the use of wheelchair users only.

“This is to ensure that a wheelchair user has the required width in order to get in or out of a vehicle safely, and the campaign is meant to rectify and highlight such issues.”

He said that if the community has an “eish” moment or experience in the justice environment, they should communicate this to Qasa, which will investigate further.

To lodge a complaint, discuss an issue, seek advice or be heard, contact 0860ROLLING (086 076 5546) from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.

Qasa will take note of every call, will interrogate the issue, provide a solution, have a call to action and respond to the caller.

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