Dimitris Lambrianides is the initiator of ERMIS II, a project that has made beaches in Cyprus and Greece accessible to people with reduced mobility. They have done so by investing in wheelchair ramps, mechanical chairs that take people into the water and railings.
To Dimitris, disability is a man-made situation. He believes that our surroundings are not accessible to everyone, but if we make them so, disability will cease to exist.
In an exclusive interview, he told euronews about the ERMIS II project, how it is helping people with reduced mobility and generally improving the lives of all.
Dimitris Lambrianides, President Cyprus Paraplegics Organisation and Proejct Manager at ERMIS II:
"We live in a time where it's not disabilities that matter, but abilities. We have to offer infrastructure to people with disabilities, to make the most out of their abilities. They should participate in life because their taking part will help society get better."
"We're glad that the infrastructure for people with severe mobility impairments is useful for the elderly, for pregnant women and for people with temporary injuries and we're glad to see people taking advantage of it and realizing that the infrastructure for people with disabilities enhances the quality of life of everyone."
"One of the most important moments I experienced was when a disabled person told me that it was the first time the person had been to the beach since he had become disabled. It was something extremely pleasing to hear from this person, who was enjoying the beach again. We think it's extremely important that with this machine a paraplegic person can go to the beach on their own, get out of the machine, if they wish, and get back home, without depending on anyone. Autonomy is very important for disabled persons."
To watch the full interview with Dimitris Lambrianides, click on the media player above.