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  • Northside East

Accessibility guide launched for people with disabilities

Thursday, 31st January, 2019 6:59am
Accessibility guide launched for people with disabilities

Pictured at the launch were, from left, Rosemary Keogh, IWA chief executive; Edele Armstrong, Special Olympic athlete; John Treacy, chief executive of Sport Ireland; Declan Slevin, IWA; Minister of State at the Department of Sport, Brendan Griffin; Joe Geraghty, Vision Sport Ireland; and Una May, Sp

Accessibility guide launched for people with disabilities

Pictured at the launch were, from left, Rosemary Keogh, IWA chief executive; Edele Armstrong, Special Olympic athlete; John Treacy, chief executive of Sport Ireland; Declan Slevin, IWA; Minister of State at the Department of Sport, Brendan Griffin; Joe Geraghty, Vision Sport Ireland; and Una May, Sp

PEOPLE with disabilities want to lead fully independent lives and rightfully expect to be able to participate in a range of outdoor activities, sporting pursuits and family trips in the same manner as their family, neighbours and friends.

That was the clear message at the launch of The ‘Great Outdoors, A guide for Accessibility’ last week.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, launched the guide, produced by the Irish Wheelchair Association’s Sports and Access departments, with the support of Sport Ireland and the Dormant Accounts Fund, at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.

Ireland is renowned for its natural beauty and breathtaking coastlines. Unfortunately, the incredible Irish landscapes are often rugged and remote, making accessing the great outdoors and engaging in outdoor pursuits can be challenging, particularly for people who may have a range of disabilities. 

The details within the guide provides accessibility information, advice and guidance to organisations and individuals responsible for outdoor environments including, trails, greenways, public parks, beaches, waterways and the built environment.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Griffin said Ireland is renowned for its scenic landscapes and natural beauty and the great outdoors provides excellent opportunities for people to get active.  

“I am delighted to launch this important document, which provides expert guidance in the provision of outdoor facilities and amenities in a way that they can be enjoyed by all members of society no matter what their circumstances.” he said.  

“The Government’s new National Sports Policy 2018-2027 places an emphasis on making sure that sport and physical activity is accessible to all and this guide will ensure a proactive approach to providing opportunities for everyone to get active. I would like to commend both the Irish Wheelchair Association and Sport Ireland on the publication of this document.”

IWA chief executive Rosemary Keogh said: “Irish Wheelchair Association has a vision of an Ireland where people with disabilities enjoy equal rights, choices and opportunities in how they live their lives, where our country is a model worldwide for a truly inclusive society. 

“We are delighted to launch ‘The Great Outdoors, A guide for Accessibility’. This important document provides developers and planners with detailed technical and practical advice across a range of environments on how we can make Ireland more accessible to everyone. 

“IWA wish to thank Sport Ireland and the Dormant Account funds for their support and to thank the many organisations and agencies who contributed towards the project.”  

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