With a parade through Shirok Sokak, people with disabilities demanded greater accessibility to public facilities

photo: Vaska M. Mladenovska

Today in Bitola the Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities "Mobility" organized for the 17th time the traditional parade through Shirok Sokak under the motto "Accessibility with universal design".

The president of the "Mobility" association, Dr. Niko Jankov, said that as many as 90 percent of the facilities in the Pelagon region are inaccessible to people with disabilities.

- In Bitola for the last 35 years, we have been constantly insisting that the accessibility situation be improved, unfortunately the institutions do not participate with an adequate response to our requests. We hope that this will reach the ears of the authorities to make certain adjustments so that these persons can function. Otherwise, they will not be able to go to sports events, cinema, bars, not to mention the institutions themselves, which are not accessible to them - said the president of "Mobility" Yankov.

According to Sofka Prcheva, general secretary of "Mobility" Macedonia, the problem is not in existing laws, but in non-compliance with the Law on Construction and the Rules for unhindered access to buildings by the institutions.

The Rector of Bitola University Dr. Igor Nedelkovski said that the university is the only one in Macedonia that has accessible rooms for people with disabilities in the student dormitory.

- Most of the faculties are accessible only on the first floors, where student affairs are usually located, so students have no problem exercising their administrative rights.Also, for taking exams, there are solutions to be on the first floors. The other floors are a problem for us because we don't have the funds for elevators and here colleagues help them climb the stairs. We need to work on finding funds so that the other floors are also accessible - said rector Nedelkovski.

As part of the celebration, a Handbook for accessible tourism was promoted, which was developed by experts on this issue: Risto Rechkovski, Ivanka Nestorovska, Irena Ružin and Jove Pargovski. A study on the accessibility of the Pelagonian region was also prepared earlier.

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