Mobi-Mat to provide permanent disability access to 7MB

| 16/05/2018 | 19 Comments
Mobi-mat, Cayman News Service

Mobi-Mat on Seven Mile Beach

(CNS): The Mobi-Mat, a lightweight, non-slip, portable beach access pathway designed for people with disabilities, is to be rolled out permanently on the Seven Mile Public Beach this weekend. Following several test runs last month, the specialist access mat will be officially installed on Saturday near Calico Jack’s. Various local activists as well as the National Council for Persons with Disabilities have been involved in bring the Mobi-Mat to Grand Cayman. It was made possible under a private-public partnership to provide beach access to both local and tourist disabled beach-goers.

Sunrise Adult Training Centre Director Kimberly Voaden was one of the people who initiated the idea of importing the mat, along with local beach access advocate Morne Botes. Rotary Central Cayman Islands President Susie Bodden. who is an educational psychologist and executive leader of the Special Needs Foundation of Cayman, joined them and began the fundraising efforts to get a mat for Cayman’s beach.

Voaden said that Cayman has been making great strides in recent years to raise awareness about the accessibility issues faced by people with disabilities.

“For persons with mobility limitations, both residents and visitors, to be surrounded by the most breath-taking views of the Caribbean Sea and not be able to enjoy our beaches and the waters to the fullest is such a shame. The Disabilities Council wanted to change that,” she said.

The council had to secure approval from around half a dozen government agencies before it could roll out the mat, and council members and activists like Botes had to work hard to unravel the red tape to make it happen.

All members of the public are invited to use the Mobi-Mat with respect, understanding that priority will always be given to people with disabilities in the first instance. The public will not be permitted to drive over or park on the mat and cannot sunbathe or leave belongings, including wheelchairs, on the mat for longer than needed to gain access to the water.

The official roll out will take place Saturday at 8:30am on Public Beach.

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Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Soon be an undocumented vendor down there charging wheelchair users to roll down to the sea.

  2. West Bay Premier says:

    If other people have respect for disabled people they would try to help make sure that it is always available for the disabled wheel chairs , and help take care of it .
    Morne Botes is wheelchair accessibility to all buildings and bathrooms next?

    • Anonymous says:

      Would need to remove all the illegally dumped storage trailers first.

    • Morne Botes says:

      Next from me is more accessibility on the other beaches and Life Saving equipment on all the public beaches and all of SMB.

      • West Bay Premier says:

        Botes , I applaud you for your efforts in making the beaches safer for everyone . I also think that what you’re doing is urgently needed. Qualified Lifeguards with medical training and equipment, and at the public beach, and government and all vendors should have to pay for it .

  3. Bertie :B says:

    Mobi Mat all the way from Mo Bay eh ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    To whom it may concern: this is not a jet-ski business launch and retrieval ramp, or beach chair, or vendor cart access lane…

  5. Anonymous says:

    One norwester.

    • Morne Botes says:

      It rolls up. Parks department is looking after it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s hope the numerous siloed CIG departments will be committed now to knowing who’s specific job it will be to roll it up in advance of forecast bad weather. We don’t want to continue the trend of “not-in-my-job-description” moments, and hindsight finger-pointing that follows most predictable destruction of donated infrastructure in Cayman eg. the stewardship and maintenance of all of the public parks.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I really, really hope that beach patrons respect this installation and only use it as intended.


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