21 May 2022

Senator marks Kildare Disability Week 2021 in the Seanad

Senator marks Kildare Disability Week 2021 in the Seanad

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A Senator from Kildare has marked Kildare Disability Week (KDW) in the Seanad.

KDW was officially launched yesterday by Kildare County Council (KCC) and will feature a schedule of events which will run until December 3.

The events scheduled will focus on highlighting and raising awareness of the inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of our community.

 Fianna Fáil Senator Fiona O' Loughlin said about the event: "It’s really important that we recognize and acknowledge it; it’s imperative that we are always cognoscente of those who may need a little extra help, and that KCC are doing a great job of raising awareness."

"Actions such as 'Lighting County Kildare Purple', where landmark buildings including Maynooth University, Aras Chill Dara and Newbridge Town Hall will go purple to raise awareness, are really welcome and important."

"In addition, the County Kildare Access Network Flag to be flown in prominent locations across the county, with 250 flags being flown in town squares, outside schools and on Garda Stations," she added.

The Kildare South politician also referred to an app being rolled out by Limerick County Council, which will aid those who have wheelchair accessible vehicles to locate suitable and vacant parking spaces in their area.

"Finding parking can be difficult at the best of times, but it is even more so if you require a specific disabled parking space; this is something that I would hope to see other Councils, including KCC, take up" she said.

Senator O' Loughlin continued: "There are 643,131 people in Ireland, over 13 per cent of the population, who live with a disability."

"It is vital that we ensure that our public spaces and services are fit for purpose, and that we raise awareness to ensure that everyone can enjoy our public spaces and our society equally," she concluded.

In related news, Senator Fiona O' Loughlin yesterday revealed that she accompanied Fine Gael politicians Minister Simon Harris TD and Deputy Minister Martin Heydon TD to Kildare Town Community School.

Senator O'Loughlin said: "Minister Harris was at the school of the invitation of student David O’Dwyer who contacted him about the updated CAO website which includes apprenticeships.

"I was invited to attend and was happy to.

"We had a tour of the school, in particular the Acorn Class for those with Special Needs. We also had a discussion with Transition Year  and Sixth Year about 3rd level and further education." 

"I spoke with Minister Harris about the problems facing this year's sixth class students in relation to securing places in 1st year, in Sept 2022, and obviously that’s going to be an issue in Sept 2023 also."

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