The first path for the blind in Calabria was born at the “I Portali” shopping center in Corigliano


By John

Shopping within everyone's reach without barriers or limitations. The “I Portali” shopping center in Corigliano, the first in Calabria, has broken down another taboo by inaugurating a work dedicated to blind and partially sighted people inside. The inauguration of the accessible route took place on Friday 1 March with the participation of the members of the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired of the Provincial Section of Cosenza, the delegation of the UICI of Corigliano-Rossano, the presidents Franco Motto (Cosenza Section) and Pietro Testa (UICI Regionale), the director of “I Portali”, of the company MARCA srl which carried out the work.
The intervention saw the installation of over 800 meters of tactile-footpath and tactile maps along the entire perimeter of the Shopping Centre. The installation was created taking into account the technical directives provided by the trade associations and will allow any person with a visual disability to independently use the spaces and services of the Shopping Centre.
In fact, inside the maps the location of each shop or service is shown in relief, both in black and in Braille. Simply follow the tactile-plantar path using the guide of the appropriate white stick to reach each point of interest.
“I Portali” is the first accessible shopping center in Calabria: an event of historic significance. From today, in fact, not only will any person with a visual disability be able to access and walk around the Shopping Center autonomously and independently, but anyone who enters will notice the presence of the tactile path, a tangible symbol of widespread attention with respect to needs and the right to autonomy of people with visual impairments. This intervention demonstrates that a different entrepreneurial culture, not only in Calabria or in the province of Cosenza, but throughout Italy, is possible; that a territorial alliance that creates conditions for human, economic and social development is an opportunity. The hope is that actions like this will spread throughout the territory, becoming a sounding board for civilization and development.
«For people with visual disabilities this is a revolutionary work – states the president of UICI Cosenza Motta – because it will allow the blind to move within the Shopping Center in full autonomy. Our thanks go to the managers of the center for their sensitivity and availability, demonstrating that even in Calabria all architectural barriers can be broken down.”