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November 2015
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Editor’s Letter

Open your eyes

“Disability is invisible to many people” says Zoila Casanuevas, president of the TriWWW charity, in this month’s feature on page 12. After spending a week pushing a relative around in a wheelchair, I can sympathise. Suddenly every kerb, every café entrance, every traffic crossing and every bus or taxi became an obstacle to be surmounted. You suddenly realise the importance of responsible architecture, design and planning, and you’re immensely grateful for evidence of thoughtfulness.

Mostly, people are helpful and understanding. Problems arise not because they don´t care, but because they don´t see, or don´t think. I´ve often thought that one of the first things any Mayor should do after being elected is spend a day touring their area in a wheelchair – not only would it highlight the challenges that disabled people face, but it would also be a smart publicity move.

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That’s especially true on Lanzarote, whose economy is based on attracting tourists from Europe. Recent research suggests that accessible tourism in the EU will account for almost €90 billion by 2025. That’s a huge cake, and Lanzarote is perfectly-placed to carve off a big slice of it. It makes sense for everyone, especially on an island with such a perennial appeal to older visitors.

There’s still a lot to be done on Lanzarote, but there are also plenty of dedicated people who are making sure that the disabled are fully visible, and fully part of the everyday life of the island. One of them, Lionel Morales, will be competing in Rio this month. All we have to do is open our eyes.

This is a wonderful island – a place where hundreds will jump into the sea to save a family of whales, an island that will gather to celebrate its oldest traditions at Mancha Blanca on the 15th, and an island that’s at its stunning best this month. Let’s all make the most of it.

The Editor

September edition 2016
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