Make Way Day, the campaign that brings the disability and wider community together to consider the needs of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share, returns to County Clare this year on Friday, 30th September.
The campaign organisers, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), have developed an online tool that campaigners can use to test and rate their local area to highlight the issues faced by people.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Tony O’Brien, said: “Make Way Day focuses on individual responsibility, on looking at what we can all do immediately to help our fellow citizens get from A to B, a very basic right. Clare County Council is once again happy to work with DFI in supporting Make Way Day 2022 in County Clare.
“This campaign highlights the types of obstacles that stop people with disabilities in their tracks, including cars parked on footpaths, badly parked bicycles and bins left on footpaths. We should all be mindful of the impact of obstacles in our public spaces, not just on Make Way Day but every day.”
Martin Tobin, Chairperson, Clare Leader Forum, said: “Clare Leader Forum would like to work towards a more inclusive society where barriers are gone and where people with disabilities can live our lives to our fullest, on an equal basis. Obstacles in public spaces cause significant difficulties for people with disabilities. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council, on Make Way Day and beyond.”
Members of Clare Leader Forum sit on Clare County Council’s Physical Development Strategic Policy Committee to input into policy development, while members of Clare Older People’s Council sit on the Clare Age Friendly Alliance Board to give focus to priority areas of the Clare Age Friendly Strategy.
Clare County Council is committed to consultation to ensure the views of people are at the heart of decision making when developing universally accessible public spaces and amenities.
Karen Fennessy, Clare Age Friendly Development Officer, Clare County Council, said: “County Clare continues to make great progress in improvements to accessibility of its towns through the delivery of consultative walkability studies of Ennis, Kilrush, Shannon Town, Shannon Airport and Kilkee. The development of Ennis as the first Age Friendly Town in Clare and Shannon Airport as one of the first Age Friendly Airports in the world is a huge achievement which we hope will improve the lives of older citizens and people living with disabilities who choose to live in or visit our county.”
The backbone of the Make Way Day campaign are people with disabilities. The online tool empowers people to survey their area for obstacles and rate its accessibility. It will once again give them the chance to share their frustrations by posting photos of obstacles to social platforms with the hashtag, #MakeWayDay22
The online tool will be available at www.makewayday.com on Friday, 30th September, Make Way Day. It is easy to use and download to a phone and will be circulated widely on the campaign’s social media platforms.
The campaign’s aim is to have all neighbourhoods join up, to give one comprehensive map of access in Ireland.