‘The Best Practice Access Guidelines, Designing Accessible Environments – Access to Independence’ publication launch was held at the Aviva Stadium last month. Representatives were were welcomed by people with disabilities, representative organisations, architects, engineers, planners and developers as the publication was launched by Irish Wheelchair Association.
The Aviva Stadium was a fitting setting for the publication launch, as is now recognised as one of the most accessible venues in the country. During the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road many of the recommendations and guidelines set out in the Irish Wheelchair Association publication were incorporated by architects and developers during the rebuild of the stadium in 2010.
Earlier this year, The Building Control Amendment Regulations which outline the statutory requirements and obligations relating to the certification of the design, build and completion of a building became operative on 1 March 2014. It is expected that the amended regulations along with the requirement for Disability Access Certificates will bring significant improvement to the levels of compliance with the Building Control regime in Ireland, in particular the accessibility standards for people with physical and sensory disabilities.
Speaking at the launch of the guidelines was the Irish Wheelchair Association CEO, Kathleen McLoughlin. She explained: “Irish Wheelchair Association were consulted during the planning phases of many recent designs including; Terminal 2 – Dublin Airport, the regeneration of Grafton Street and the Aviva Stadium, which is an important example of how accessibility can be easily incorporated into the blueprints of a public facility resulting in an outstanding venue which accommodates all individuals regardless of age, ability or disability.
The Business Case for adherence to the Access Guidelines indicates that there is a significant potential return for minimal investment. By catering for the requirements of people with disabilities, businesses can open their doors to potentially untapped streams of revenue including people with disabilities, their families, friends and broader social networks.”Caption: (Seated) RTE Broadcaster, Journalist and IWA Board Member, Olan McGowan with CEO Kathleen McLoughlin and Martin Murphy, Stadium Director, Aviva Stadium with (Standing) IWA Chairman, Lt General Gerry McMahon and Séan Stagg, Project Manager, Sisk Group at the launch of the IWA, Access Guidelines.