MONTEVIDEO – The Uruguayan Tourism Ministry and the Unvenu service-station operators association signed an agreement on Tuesday for the installation of bathrooms accessible to disabled people on the nation’s major highways.
Tourism Minister Liliam Kechichian told reporters that the accord was “very important” because service stations are relevant to the tourism sector.
“To the degree that we think of tourism as a human right, to have a service such as that of bathrooms at the stations that can be used by people with any kind of disability or mobility problems – because we have an older population – is a very big advancement,” she said.
The minister added that the initiative fits with the evolution of service stations to include amenities such as ATMs, pharmacies and convenience stores.
Kechichian called the pact another step in raising awareness about the issue of accessibility in Uruguay, where disabled people represent 17.6 percent of the population, according to the most recent census figures, dating from 2011.
The accessible restrooms are expected to run roughly $10,000 each, with the tourism ministry and Unvenu splitting the cost.