*Pictured with Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Joe Cooney, are Patricia McNamara and Peter Kavanagh, Clare Leader Forum, at Áras Contae an Chláir in Ennis to raise awareness of Make Way Day 2023, which takes place on Friday, 22nd September, 2023. Photo: Eamon Ward.
Make Way Day, the campaign that brings the disability and wider community together to consider the needs of people with disabilities takes place in Clare today (Friday).
People with disabilities will be out and about across the county and the rest of Ireland with disability groups and local organisations to highlight obstacles such as cars or vans parked on a footpath blocking the way, bicycles or motorbikes chained to lamp posts creating a trip hazard for a visually impaired person and illegally placed sandwich boards, forgotten bins, barrels and other obstructions.
Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) stated, “Clare County Council is delighted to work with the Disability Federation of Ireland and local advocates in supporting Make Way Day in County Clare again this year. This is a really important campaign that highlights the many types of obstacles that stop people with disabilities in their tracks, such as cars parked on footpaths, badly parked bicycles and bins left on footpaths. Many people are unaware of the problems this behaviour causes and Make Way Day is a friendly reminder to encourage people to change”.
Patricia McNamara, Advocate with Clare Leader Forum, said, “We are very pleased to highlight the need for Make Way Day. This is one positive step at local level towards a more inclusive society where barriers are gone and where people with disabilities can live our lives to our fullest. On a wider basis there remains a lot to be done to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and this will remain a focus for Clare Leader Forum”.
In support of Make Way Day, Clare County Council volunteers are participating in a Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) programme, ‘The Power of Design’. This programme is delivered to fifth and sixth-class students in participating primary schools in Clare.
Students will have the opportunity to learn about the value of design in everyday life. The Power of Design uses a learning-by-doing methodology to demonstrate to students the positive impact of design on social, cultural and economic life.
Make Way Day is led by the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and is a unique collaboration across Ireland and the voluntary and local government sectors. But most of all it’s about people with disabilities.
According to the DFI, Make Way Day is not about pointing the finger at local authorities, other agencies, or randomly scattered activism. The whole point of the day is making the public aware of an issue that is fully within their power to change. It’s about one impactful, coordinated and decisive day of action.