Makeover Suggestion 4: The Basics for Barbadian Eco-Access


This September I want to meet Victor Cooke in Barbados. 

He clearly has studied his ecosystem and honed a hands-on immersion and narrative about the island. Victor can be a key collaborator in shaping a "Fully Accessible Barbados." We will all benefit to the expent thatresources like Fieldfare and the National Trails Accessibility Center in the US partner with his organization, Eco-Adventures Barbados, and Barbadian government agencies.

Fieldfare works with people with disabilities and countryside managers to improve access to the countryside for everyone.

For countryside service providers we provide advice and training services, supported by our research into national standards for accessibility under the BT Countryside for All Project.

Fieldfare have recently created a new website Phototrails is an innovative concept that allows users to view countryside routes through a series of photographs and descriptions of the path features, taking in surface, path width, gradients, barriers and amenities such as seats, disabled parking, and accessible toilets, all of which, to some, is important information to know before making the decision on whether to visit a site or not. 


 Some of the trails, and trips, and experiences waiting in Barbados will remain the province of Erik Weihenmayer and his strolls up Mt Everest with his white cane or Paralympian Kurt Fearnly crawling the Kokoda Track. Still there must be some "Stop 'n Stare" routes on the Rock that I can manage. 

The National Trails Accessibility Center for the US notes that, when building accessible outdoor paths:
The minimum requirements found in the NPRM are based on several principles developed through the regulatory negotiating process. They include: 
A woman walks with a man using a wheelchair along a rocky trail.
The ultimate goal is to provide trail access for all to nature's wonders while protecting the environment through which these new trails pass.

-Peter Jensen, Trail Designer 
Open Space Management and Member of the Regulatory Negotiating Committee

 Protect resource and environment 
Preserve experience 
Provide for equality of opportunity 
Maximize accessibility 
Be reasonable 
Address safety 
Be clear, simple, and understandable 
Provide guidance 
Be enforceable and measurable 
Be consistent with ADAAG (as much as possible) 
Be based on independent use by persons with disabilities

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