Staff reporter
PALMA City Council has spent 91'650 euros over the last three years in helping to finance the cost of adapting business premises in the city to the needs of the disabled. So far, 78 establishments have been successfully altered. The mayor's Infrastructure deputy, Catalina Terrassa, confirmed yesterday that this project, which began in 2001, has been carried out in conjunction with the Balearic Disabled Federation. This group has undertaken to provide a list of businesses which have premises adapted for use by people with mobility difficulties. Terrassa commented that the Balearic government's Commerce department has shown interest in co-operating in the development of this project, with the ultimate aim of extending it to all towns in the Balearics. The deputy announced that six streets in Palma are to be architecturally adjusted to meet special needs.
She also said that there are plans to extend such adjustments to another ten areas.
These works have meant an investment of 600'000 euros since 2000 and have financed the adaptation of 600 stretches of pavement, said the councillor. She also confirmed that progress is being made in adapting road vehicles for use by the handicapped, as well as in public transport where special needs at bus stops are being taken into consideration. Terrassa added that 15 public premises have been adapted and that projects are in the pipeline to convert another 35. In line with local government statutes, these measures will guarantee the accessibility of all municipal buildings by 2008. The chief organiser of a school competition entitled “To overcome the difficulties of being disabled makes us better people”, Marta Serra, declared that the challenge of this year is to raise awareness among young people of between 16 and 18 years old on such difficulties. The competition forms part of the celebration of the European Year of the Disabled.

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