Local council tests wheelchair accessibility to public places

A week of availability “Welcome”

Experience course during availability week© Zwartewaterland Municipality

Aldermen Maarten Slingerland and Jan van der Poel completed an experience course with wheelchairs on Monday 3 October 2022 in Zwartsluis. Meanwhile, an employee of the municipality made an inventory of the obstacles. An action plan for this will be developed later to make public spaces more accessible to people with disabilities. The procedure was performed on the first day of the access week. The path went from Schans to the center. Along the way, the councilors encountered many obstacles. “It’s really helpful to experience for yourself what it’s like to be out in a wheelchair,” says Martin Selingerland.

“Little things can be an obstacle. Obstacles can be a hindrance and lead to people feeling insecure and staying at home.”

positive health
This is exactly what we do not want, adds legislator Jan van der Poel. The municipality strives for the positive health of all residents. It also means that each person should be able to participate in our society to the best of his ability. This in turn means that we want to remove barriers in the literal and figurative sense. This experience cycle demonstrates that once again.”

It also makes us more aware of how important it is to continue to have a structural conversation with different groups of the population. And how important it is to get them involved in the new municipal plans in a timely manner,” continues Slingerland. “Not only in traffic plans and public spaces, but also in other areas.”

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just hello
Van der Poel says that maintaining access to Zwartewaterland is the responsibility of not only the municipality, but all residents. “It is also about the attitude of all of us. To take each other into account. For example, in traffic or in a crowded store. We want everyone to feel welcome. That is why the theme for this Accessibility Week is ‘Welcome.’” So This requires something from all of us.”

Various parties were present during the trial cycle: the concerned residents of Zwartsluis, the Social Domain Advisory Board, the De Schans representative, the Inclusion Working Group and municipal staff from the social sphere and public space and members of the municipal councils. Obstacles have been inventoried. You will follow a plan of action in due course.

By: De Zwartewaterkrant | news editors

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