How load shedding impacts people living with disabilities
South Africa has suffered through load shedding for over 15 years, severely impacting different groups of people, from business owners to students, but what about those living with disabilities?
Alan Downey - executive director of Disability Info South Africa, spoke to Lester Kiewit about the severe impact the rolling blackouts have on those who are not able-bodied.
It's a serious issue. Obviously for people working in buildings that have disabilities, specifically mobility impairments. Also, people working from home...and they don't have backup systems. Their jobs are obviously at risk.Alan Downey: executive director - Disability Info South Africa
Downey recalled a recent case of the house of someone with a disability burning down due to an electric charge, and "obviously it becomes difficult to evacuate your house if you, say for example, you're in a wheelchair."
We also rely on a lot of equipment that uses electricity...which we can't use if electricity is off and so we can't get in and out of bed. We've also got pressure-care mattresses which run on electricity...so it becomes quite a serious issue for persons with disabilities, not just from a work perspective, but just the basic care that they need.Alan Downey: executive director - Disability Info South Africa
I believe that because of lack of access, public transport is still not accessible to many persons with disabilities. They seem to have forgotten that during COVID-19. It's become an issue. Companies don't seem to be interested in becoming accessible.Alan Downey: executive director - Disability Info South Africa
Downey believes someone has to be held accountable for infringing on basic human rights like freedom of movement.
Scroll up and listen to the attached audio clip for more.
Source : Pixabay.com
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