Friday 29 August saw QASA members staging a protest “march” outside the inaccessible offices of the KZN Institute of Architects at 160 Bulwer Rd, Durban.In a memorandum to the President of KZNIA, QASA accused KZNIA of being disrespectful and of denying dignity to persons with disabilities. More than 15 years ago Joan Seirlis advised KZNIA of changes that would make 160 Bulwer Road an accessible and inclusive environment and for the past two years QASA has been asking KZNIA to implement those changes.Just days before the protest march, after more than 15 years and without requesting any renewed input, KZNIA finally started on the alterations. That did not stop a group of intrepid protesters from camping outside KZNIA’s doors and handing over the memorandum. KZNIA’s actions were just too little too late.The protesters held placards and set wheelchair tyres ablaze.
In a written response to the Protest March KZNIA president, Ivor Daniel, acknowledged “QASA’s role in highlighting the need for all buildings to meet the requirements for universal access”. Members of KZNIA were encouraged to incorporate universal access designs that enhance the dignity and integration for all members of society.
He believes the long overdue alterations will be completed by the end of September 2008.