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Kildare County Council Launches ‘Access All Areas’ Initiative

Kildare County Council’s Kildare Disability Week gets underway with a schedule of events which will run until the 3rd December 2021, including the ‘Access All Areas’ initiative. The events scheduled will focus on highlighting and raising awareness of the inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of our community.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) will take place on Friday 3rd December, with the objective of endorsing empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities.  The theme for IDPD this year is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”. 

On the opening day of Kildare Disability Week, Kildare County Council launched ‘Access All Areas’ an award-winning initiative developed by Celbridge Access Group (CAG) which is aimed at supporting local businesses in making their Business Accessible to All.  CAG is working in partnership with Celbridge businesses to make people with disabilities feel valued and welcomed as customers. Councillor Naoise Ó Cearúil, Cathaoirleach of the County of Kildare joined Kildare County Council and members of the Celbridge Access Group for the launch.

Over the last number of years Kildare County Council County Council in partnership with County Kildare Access Network (CKAN), a network of individuals made up of representatives from the 6 local access groups in County Kildare and organisations working towards making County Kildare inclusive and fully accessible to all, have organised numerous events to mark the day and to raise awareness across our communities. Events planned throughout the rest of Kildare Disability Week include:

  • Lighting County Kildare Purple – Landmark buildings including Maynooth University, Aras Chill Dara and Newbridge Town Hall will be flooded in purple lights in a salute to 643,131 people in Ireland, (over 13% of the population) who live with a disability.
  • Fly the Flag – The County Kildare Access Network Flag to be flown in prominent locations across the county. In all 250 Flags will be flown in town squares, outside schools and on Garda Stations

In addition, a number of new initiatives will be launched by Kildare County Council throughout Kildare Disability Week, including:

  • JAM Card – allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily. Those with a communication barrier are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition. JAM Card allows this to happen in a simple, effective non-verbal manner.
  • Our World – Disability Awareness Education Program. This initiative which is being led by Maynooth Access Group consists of a catalogue of toys with different disabilities which is lent out to preschools and schools to educate children around the perception of normality.
  • Naas Community Bus – a joint initiative between An Garda Siochana and Kildare County Council’s Naas Municipal District. In addition to its day-to-day use for community policing in Naas, it services will now be used to support community groups and vulnerable minorities such as disabled people. The inclusion of an accessible lift on the bus is of particular benefit as it allows for a wheelchair user in addition to 12 other passengers to be transported at any one time. The community bus in Naas is one of a few marked police vehicle of this type around the world.

People are also invited to join the conversation online and show their support by using the hashtags #IDPwD and #PurplelightsKildare

Source: Kildare County Council

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