Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley met with representatives from disability support groups from around the County ahead of the annual national Make Way Day this Friday September 25th.
‘Make Way Day’ is a public awareness campaign, coordinated by the Disability Federation of Ireland, to highlight the obstacles people with disabilities face in getting around their community. For the third consecutive year, Cork County Council is supporting Make Way Day and is joined by 28 other local authorities across Ireland this September in backing the campaign.
In a unified appeal, the County Mayor, along with disability group members and advocates, from Castlemartyr Family Carers and Disability Group, Enable Ireland, Dunmanway Access Group and Cork County Council’s Access Officer, are calling on the people of Cork County to consider the accessibility needs of others on Make Way Day and every single day.
Mayor Linehan Foley says:
By highlighting the real life experiences of some of the challenges faced by people with disabilities in accessing public spaces, we hope to bring it home to everyone how huge an impact small actions can have, like parking on footpaths or leaving wheelie bins on the pavement. Poor choices can make an area completely inaccessible for people. On the flip side, a lot of these issues arise from simple thoughtlessness, and a little extra consideration for other people can make a big difference. Accessibility is a core consideration for measures undertaken by Cork County Council’s Project ACT in reinvigorating our towns and villages and today we are simply asking that everybody does their part to ensure all citizens have equal access to all spaces.
Liz Maddox of Castlemartyr Family Carers and Disability Group and Chair of Cork Older People’s Council, highlighted the importance of awareness campaigns such as Make Way Day. Liz commented:
Make Way Day is a hugely important day of action that helps raise awareness of the lived realities for wheelchair users, the visually impaired and people with various disabilities, in their day to day lives. Meeting obstacles daily can negatively impact a person’s confidence and even their willingness to venture out. We all need to be extra mindful particularly in these times of social distancing. Cork Older People’s Council have helped guide Cork County Council in its policies, operations and service delivery, especially in response to Covid 19, and the Council has put the CARE message at the heart of Project ACT. I would appeal to everyone to take onboard the CARE message that is – be Considerate, Assist where they can, Respect social distancing and Empathise with those who may feel vulnerable. Hopefully Make Way Day 2020 will open people’s eyes to the problems caused by obstructions on paths and the challenges of other accessibility issues. Not just for one day but every day.
You too can get involved, just follow the hashtag #MakeWayDay on social media this Friday September 25th and join the conversation. See www.makewayday.com
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