VIDEO: Better access needed for disabled people in town
A teenaged wheelchair user is drawing attention to the obstacles in the town centre and has called for better access to local amenities.
Katie Donno, 16, from Haverhill, was struck with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) two years ago.
She has made a video highlighting the everyday struggles of wheelchair users as they get around town. So far, it has had more than 400 views.
Katie said: “When I got the wheelchair, it was very hard to get around. There are lots of people with walking sticks and most people don’t see the obstacles.
“I wanted to give normal people an idea of the problems we have to deal with. I didn’t notice a lot of these things before I started using a wheelchair.
“One of the main things I wanted the video to do was to show an insight so when people see us looking grumpy or struggling, they know what it’s like.”
The video takes viewers on a journey through town, taking in shops with limited access, poorly designed pavements and cobble stones along the way.
Some of the biggest problems were encountered inside small shops, with some parts being inaccessible due to narrow aisles.
Other obstacles became apparent in the form of a lack of drop curbs, making routes around town and crossing roads dependent on where a high curb could be safely dismounted.
Katie’s dad, Paul Donno, was proud of his daughter’s work and agreed the town centre had major obstacles for wheelchair users.
“There’s no public transport for her to get to college,” he said. “I would like to see improved access for disabled people, particularly young people. Sometimes, it just shows the town centre’s been designed with no real care or attention.”