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Caithness disability group looking for new members

By David G Scott

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Caithness Disabled Access Panel (CDAP) is looking for new members to join it and help disabled people in the county live a better life.

Access Panels are groups of disabled volunteers and supporting organisations who work together to improve physical access and wider social inclusion in their local communities. They are classified as "pan-disability groups" meaning they don’t focus on just one disability but look at accessibility in the broadest possible sense.

CDAP chairperson Helen Budge. Picture: DGS
CDAP chairperson Helen Budge. Picture: DGS

CDAP is one of the most active Access Panels in Scotland and says it would be delighted to hear from people who "have an interest in this area and want to make Caithness and all its attractions accessible to all".

CDAP chairperson Helen Budge said: "At meetings, problems are bought forward and are discussed and who the best person is to approach to resolve the problems. Not all can be fixed but in the majority we have success.

"Over the years we have had ramps put in to public buildings and council houses where appropriate; award schemes for public toilets; and advice given on changing toilets to disabled use.

"Tesco has worked closely with us to provide a changing bed and hoist for disabled wheelchair users in its store in Wick which we thank them for. We work with architects on projects they have, including the changes to Caithness General Hospital, long before they come about. Another project was the new Wick High School.

"At the moment we are working with the John O'Groats Development Trust to provide two electric wheelchairs for use by visitors to Groats."

Helen said that new members can come from any background and don't have to be disabled themselves. "A retired architect perhaps? [They can be] a supporter of the disabled or a parent with a disabled child."

The next CDAP meeting is on February 22 at noon in the Smith Room of Pulteneytown People's Project. All are welcome both in person or via Zoom. To obtain the Zoom link please email: office@cvg.org.uk

The initiative is funded by Highland Council and Scottish Disabled Forum and supported by Caithness Voluntary Group.

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