08 Aug 2022

Kildare County Council launches ‘Access All Areas’ Initiative as Kildare Disability Week 2021 gets underway

Kildare County Council launches ‘Access All Areas’ Initiative as Kildare Disability Week 2021 gets underway

Cllr. Michael Coleman, Cllr. Ide Cusse, Cllr. Joe Neville, Mayor/ Cllr Naoise Ó Cearúil, Jessica Holmquist, Celbridge Access Group (CAG)

Kildare County Council (KCC) has officially launched its ‘Access All Areas’ Initiative; just as Kildare Disability Week (KDW) 2021 begins.

KDW 2021 will involve schedule of events which will run until Friday December 3 2021.  

According to KCC, 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 December 3, 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 world."
On the opening day of KDW, 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 added that it is working in partnership with Celbridge businesses "to make people with disabilities feel valued and welcomed as customers."

Councillor and Mayor for Kildare Naoise Ó Cearúil, who is also Cathaoirleach of the County of Kildare, joined KCC and members of the CAG for the launch.

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 per cent 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.

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.

It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

People across Kildare are encouraged to get involved and mark the event by: wearing a piece of purple clothing, decorating your premises/shop front windows in purple, displaying messages on digital notice boards in support of day, and setting up a purple background for virtual meetings.

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

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