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Clare’s ‘Make Way Day’ is back for 2020 with a national day of local action

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*Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard, and Orla Platten from Quin, Co. Clare, came together to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities in public spaces ahead of Make Way Day 2020, which takes place on Friday, 25th September, 2020. Photo: Eamon Ward.

The Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard (FG), will host representatives and guest speakers from a number of disability organisations such as Clare Leader Forum, Shine and the Irish Wheelchair Association in a virtual meeting on ‘Make Way Day’, on Friday, 25th September, at 11am.

This year’s event will ensure that the voices of people with disabilities are heard as they raise public awareness around access issues in public spaces from their lived experience of disability.

“Everyone has a role to play in Make Way Day and it is so important that people with disabilities have this opportunity to inform the public about the impact obstacles and access issues have on them as they navigate public spaces in their daily lives. The majority of these issues are attributable to a lack of awareness and that’s what makes Make Way Day so impactful,” Cllr Howard commented.

Ann Marie Flanagan, a member of the Clare Make Way Day planning group, said: “Unfortunately, too many people with disabilities live in a permanent lockdown as a consequence of societal barriers. When we go out of our homes and try and go about our business there are a whole range of extra obstacles that, day after day, year after year, normalise the idea that our euro holds less value than non-disabled citizens’. In a time of fiscal crisis, we want to remind everyone that we contribute to the economy in the same way as others. So, we’re glad to get direct meetings with our local authority and others across the county to ensure we are equally valued.”

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) expects Make Way Day 2020 to be a powerful driver for change all over Ireland. “We expect more great results from this year’s virtual fusion of those who know the problems and those who have the power to fix them,” said DFI’s Communications Manager, Clare Cronin.

The virtual event is open to everyone to view online. If you are interested in watching Make Way Day 2020 in Clare, please register your interest by emailing makewayday@clarecoco.ie.

Stuart Holly is the editor and co-founder of The Clare Echo. A native of Ennis, Stuart studied at St Flannan's College before obtaining a journalism degree in Dublin. After interning at The Evening Herald, he landed his first job with The Irish Daily Mail, Stuart worked in newspaper production with the Independent Group and in Auckland, New Zealand before a lengthy spell as a pun-spewing sub-editor at the Irish Daily Star. In 2015, Stuart returned to The Banner County where he took up employment as a news reporter with The Clare People.

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