East Cork residents and the business community will next month be given a glimpse of what it’s like living with a disability, when communities across the region will be shown where their area is falling short during Make Way Day on Thursday 26 September. Local disability groups in Youghal, Cobh, Castlemartyr, Midleton and Killeagh will be identifying obstacles which the elderly and people with a disability have to negotiate on a daily basis.
While badly parked cars, bicycles, billboards and overgrown hedging are obstacles for the able-bodied, they can be particularly hampering for a person with a disability or the wheelchair bound. The initiative is encouraging people to go out on Thursday 26 September and place stickers on obstacles that make it difficult or dangerous for people with mobility issues or wheelchair users to manoeuvre around.
The push is part of a National Campaign looking for better understanding of the needs of an ageing population and the differently abled.
The event, in association with the Disability Federation of Ireland, is part of a consultative approach with Local Authorities and their Disability Inclusion Action Plan.
Last year the campaign reached over 750,000 people on social media, and appeared on National and local media throughout the day.
Disability rights campaigner, Liz Maddox said the 2018 National Make Way Day sent “a strong message that we don't want our villages, towns and cities to be obstacle courses for family, friends and neighbours with disabilities. We want them to be warm, welcoming and inclusive.”
She said it was important that the community would support the 2019 campaign by logging onto http://makewayday.com/
The official launch by Cork County Council is set to take place shortly. Anyone wishing to take part in this year’s event can contact Cork County Council on 021-4276891 or the Castlemartyr Family Carers and Disability Group on 085-2349172.