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Architects should ask disabled what facilities they would need; Yousay IN YOUR OPINION...

Having been disabled and confined to a wheelchair for the past 31 years, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Simon Green's comments about disabled access to pubs (You Say, May 27).

Although the facilities for the disabled have improved significantly over the past decade, there is still not enough thought brought in by the architects when asked to design a new building.

The majority if not all the architects in this country, have had no experience what it is like living/being in a wheelchair, so, obviously they would not know of the many facilities that we need to fully access a "new" building; thinking of ramps to access the buildings, lower bar tops, so as we can get served and drink at the bar, convenient and accessible doors that swing both ways, so we can enter the certain establishments without the need to ask for assistance, toilets that are fully accessible for people in a wheelchairs - handrails, accessible flushes on the toilets and of course the pre-requisite of a fire escape, with ramps etc.

So, can I request architects when they are asked to design a new building, to perhaps employ or consult - as there are many disabled people within Cardiff to act in an advisory role when designing a new building.

Perhaps they should consult with groups like Diverse/Cymru who know all about those facilities needed by disabled people en mass and particularly those, like myself, that are confined to a wheelchair.

For people who are disabled are still vibrant members of the public who just, as much as ambulant people, love to go out clubbing and going to pubs and to watch various sporting extravaganzas held at marvellous venues like the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium.

As people who are disabled - as I'm sure the councillors/politicians based in Cardiff would be more than interested to know - have plenty of capital to spend at these venues.

Wouldn't it be lovely to know that we are just as welcome as ambulant people.

So come on please try and judge we disabled people as people who just have difficulty in walking - our money is just as easily spent at these venues as the next person's!

This will only make Cardiff a place that becomes renowned for accessibility, for both disabled and ambulant people, not only this country but throughout the world, which would only benefit our economy.

Can I challenge any existing MP or councillor to be disabled for a day and be confined to a wheelchair, to test the suitability of provisions within Cardiff's town centre? For then, and only then, can they prejudge how best to improve the existing facilities for the disabled within "our" excellent city centre and other town centres within not only Cardiff but the whole of Wales For, as the saying goes, "The proof in the pudding is the eating".

| Dave Yewlett Whitchurch, Cardiff

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Is there enough disabled access?
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 30, 2013
Words:490
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