Thursday, September 16, 2021

Pictured at County Hall, Portlaoise for the launch of ‘Make Way Day 21’: were (seated) Irish Paralympic medalists Gary O’Reilly and Nicole Turner; (back row) Pamela Tynan (Laois Co Council), Dan Bergin (Laois PPN), Donal Brennan (director of services at Laois Co Council ), Carmel McNicholl (senior executive officer at Laois Co Council), Conor Bergin, cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, Margaret Conlan (Laochra Laois)
Photo: Michael Scully

THE four corners of Ireland will be put to the test for basic access issues on Friday 24 September when the Make Way Day campaign returns with a testing twist.

Make Way Day is a campaign that brings the disability and wider community together to consider the needs of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share.

It is led by the Disability Federation of Ireland and is a unique collaboration across Ireland and the voluntary and local government sectors. But, most of all, it’s about people with disabilities.

The campaign organisers, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), has developed an online test that campaigners can use to test and rate their local area or within 5kms.

The backbone of the campaign are people with disabilities. This online test empowers them to survey their area for obstacles and rate its accessibility. It will give them the chance to share their frustrations by posting photos of obstacles to social platforms with the hashtag #MakeWayDay21.

The test will be available at www.makewayday.com. It is easy to use and download to a phone and will be circulated widely on the campaign’s social media platforms.

The aim is to have all the 5kms or neighbourhoods join up to give one comprehensive map of access in Ireland. The aim is to feed the coordinated results back to the right people and work together towards clearer streets.

Laois Sports Partnership, together with Laois Co Council, the Irish Wheelchair Association and Portlaoise Active Retirement Group, will conduct a survey on Friday 24 September at 11am. Meeting at Portlaoise Parish Centre, participants will be assisted with the completion of the online survey. Borris in Ossory Development Group are also conducting a similar event on 24 September.

Irish Paralympic medallists Nicole Turner and Gary O’Reilly fully support Make Way Day 2021 and are delighted to be involved in promoting this campaign at local level.

Remember, everyone can get involved in #MakeWayDay21. 

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