Fix Supreme Court elevator now!
THE EDITOR, Sir:
It was with great disappointment that we at HelpAge International (Jamaica) watched the video posted on The Gleaner's YouTube page of a wheelchair-bound older woman being assisted up the narrow stairs at the Supreme Court.
We understand that the elevator that serves the court has been out of service since December 2014. While the willingness of persons to assist is commendable, the situation should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.
December 2014 to January 19, 2015 provides more than enough time to fix an elevator or put in place measures to facilitate persons who have challenges with mobility.
The Political Declaration, Article 14, of the Madrid International Plan for Active Ageing, to which Jamaica is a signatory, outlines, "We shall promote independence, accessibility and the empowerment of older persons to participate fully in all aspects of society" through the adaptation of a supportive environment. Jamaica must demonstrate that it take this issue seriously and move to correct the shortcomings that place older people at a disadvantage.
We at HelpAge are urging private and government-run agencies to show respect to older persons and people with disability by putting in place facilities to cater to them. The lifting of this older lady placed her and those helping in danger. What if they had slipped?