Week 2 rolls out

2016-08-24 06:00
Fatima Khan (right) and Sanele Stofile took part in the Wheelchair Wednesday challenge.                      Photo: SUPPLIED

Fatima Khan (right) and Sanele Stofile took part in the Wheelchair Wednesday challenge. Photo: SUPPLIED

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SEVERAL senior staff members from various prominent Nelson Mandela Bay companies seated themselves in unfamiliar territory as part of the Wheelchair Wednesday campaign.

Being a so-called able bodied person, spending 4 hours in a wheelchair carrying out everyday tasks was a much bigger challenge than most of the participants expected.

“Overall this has been a challenging experience. I have a new sense of respect for people who have to face these challenges on a daily basis. I am grateful to have had this opportunity and to be part of this initiative,” said Fatima Khan of Mazars.

“The gradient of the ramp from our car park to the office was really easy to negotiate,” said Fatima. She found the staff of a popular fast food chain to be extremely helpful and the stair-lift to the first floor eating area very convenient.

Well-known Algoa FM radio presenter Lee Duru took part and had this to say:

“Four hours spent in a wheelchair and I’m done with my tasks. But the sad part is my experiences don’t come close to what people with disabilities who are mobility impaired deal with on a daily basis. This was an eye-opening and insightful experience for me. Thank you to SPAR Eastern Cape and the Association for Persons with Disabilities for granting me this opportunity which has broadened my horizons on a personal level.”

Lee found drawing money from an ATM in a mall to be a daunting experience with all three ATMs on offer being designed for persons who can stand up straight. “In the wheelchair my privacy relating to my PIN and my security was severely compromised,” said Lee.

Wheelchair Wednesday aims to bring about a change in people’s mindset regarding accessibility for persons with physical disabilities.

It is the hope of The Association For Persons With Disabilities in the metro that this will continue to result in decision makers bringing about structural changes in public facilities allowing mobility impaired people the independence that they deserve.

Another major aspect of the 5- week project is the handing over of 130 wheelchairs at the close of the campaign.

Participating companies pay a fee which covers the cost of purchasing these wheelchairs.

“I recall doing my 4 hours in the wheelchair at the inaugural launch during 2012,” said APD Board Member Selwyn Willis.

Willis went on to say, “Nelson Mandela Bay can be proud of APD’s ability to initiate this life-changing project which is the first and the biggest NGO-based project of its kind in the country.”

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