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  • Northside East

Car park access improved for people with disabilities 

Thursday, 20th December, 2018 6:00pm
Car park access improved for people with disabilities 

Patrick McCauley, mobility aid user, George Murray, wheelchair user, John Gaffney, SuperValu manager (centre) and Paddy Monahan (right) pictured at SuperValu Raheny.

Car park access improved for people with disabilities 

Patrick McCauley, mobility aid user, George Murray, wheelchair user, John Gaffney, SuperValu manager (centre) and Paddy Monahan (right) pictured at SuperValu Raheny.

MEMBERS of the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) have been working with SuperValu Raheny to make simple yet important improvements to its car park. 

Concrete sleepers have been placed to the rear of specific parking spaces eliminating the problem of cars accidently blocking the footpath and causing accessibility issues. 

Furthermore, additional signage has been erected for accessible parking spaces. The IWA said this might seem like a small step but if every business, individual and public body took similar measures, access for people with disabilities would be significantly be improved.

IWA members have identified access to the built environment as one of the single biggest issues facing them in their daily lives. 

The IWA said people with disabilities want to lead fully independent lives and rightfully expect to be able to participate in all aspects of society and community life, in the same way as their family, neighbours and friends.

Local resident Paddy Monahan, who was involved in the project, said: “My mother had a disability and was a wheelchair user, and over the years I became acutely aware of the issues she faced when cars parked on footpaths. 

“I noticed some time ago that the car park at SuperValu Raheny presented problems for people with disabilities. Specifically, the layout meant that people often parked their cars without realising they were blocking a footpath there. 

“It was also clear that the designated parking spots for people with disabilities were being abused. 

“I joined the Irish Wheelchair Association for Make Way Day earlier this year and we used the occasion to bring these issues to the attention of SuperValu Raheny. 

“Make Way Day is all about showing people how issues like parking on footpaths can have a very negative impact on the lives of people with disabilities. As far as I am concerned, paths are for people – it’s as simple as that.” 

IWA Community Centre Service Co-Ordinator Paddy Burke said: “On behalf of our members, IWA would like to thank Mr Monahan’s dedication in improving access for people with disabilities in his local community. 

“We are delighted that SuperValu Raheny has taken the steps needed to make sure their carpark is accessible for all potential users. 

“Obstacles such as cars or sandwich boards blocking a footpath can prevent wheelchair users and others from using pathways, forcing them to move onto the road often into the pathway of oncoming traffic or to take a lengthy detour to reach their destination.”

Mr Burke said improvements to the Super Valu Raheny car park is a step in the right direction to improving accessibility nationwide.

“IWA’s Access Advisory Team provides a consultation service focused on improving accessibility to the built environment for individuals with physical disabilities,” he added. 

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