The Queenstown and Frontier Museum is ready to welcome people with disabilities with the facility’s newly-built wheelchair ramp and accessible toilets.
Museum head, Thobile Mdlela, said they had invited Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality disability council convener Thoza Mzilikazi last week to test and ensure that the museum was inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities. “The building, as we know, has recently been renovated and we have made sure that toilets accommodate the disabled with assistance from our service provider. The ramp was built during the renovation process. Previously we used our back entrance as it had a little ramp which was a total embarrassment for us.”
Wheelchair-bound Mzilikazi, who was involved in a car accident almost 31 years ago, said his role at the museum was to test if the facility was accessible as there were policies to ensure compliance. “They have done wonders for us and the elderly. We are currently doing disability outreach programmes around Komani. People need to understand that we are not disabled, but it is the environment that is disabling us and that needs to change.”
Mzilikazi said these were efforts that would benefit the next generation as people living with disabilities were faced with many challenges.
“We appeal to all the departments, especially those that have not yet complied, to act. We are facing a challenge of non-compliance, especially with private companies. We understand that some buildings are rentals and constructing permanent facilities can be a challenge, but we ask that reasonable adjustments be made to meet the needs. Disability has no boundaries. We are not the object of pity. We want to be part of society.”