Imagine a special public school for 100+ children with disabilities . . . some using walkers, wheelchairs or whom are visually impaired . . . that does not have handicap accessible bathrooms! Small doorways don’t allow children to take walkers or wheelchairs in the bathrooms and the absence of any bars is unsafe.
Handicap accessibility of public facilities is something many of us from the US, Canada or other developed nations take for granted . . . yet it is NOT the norm here in Cozumel or other locations in Mexico. The good news is we’re seeing a change in new construction to include handicap accomodations. However, scarce resources and lack of awareness/education is a barrier to remodeling existing structures.
In preparation for the Friends of Cozumel Mission Trip in February, we asked staff at the CAM School to identify high priority needs. Their project requests include special adaptive physical therapy equipment, teaching/learning resources and storage as well as child safety needs like installing bars in the bathrooms and locked cabinets for chemicals.
The simple request to install bathroom bars has grown into a significant construction/plumbing project to make the bathrooms handicap accessible. Construction began January 17 with the goal to “do” one bathroom a weekend to complete the project during the Mission Trip the end of February. Sinks are being moved outside the bathrooms so students have access to them in the classrooms, toilets are being moved, handicapped bars will be installed, etc.
What a GREAT collaborative effort between local and visiting individuals, business and organizations. THANKS to . . .
Boxito–Local business for donating tile
SAIL–Women’s Bible Study Cruise group for donating handicap accesible bars and bringing them via cruiseship Jan. 29.
Mission Trip Volunteers–Will assist installing handicap bars and construct cabinets for safe storage of chemicals
Steve Erthal–Cozumel resident for serving as project leader donating his plumbing expertise/time, an employee’s labor, a sink, plumbing and construction materials
University of Nebraska Study Abroad Journalism Class May 2009–Raised funds to support projects benefitting the CAM school and other education projects in 2009-2010. Funds will pay for materials to construct cabinets to safely store cleaning chemicals and supplies away from children as well as learning resources for CAM.