Tuesday 24 October 2017

Disability issues raised at meeting

Some of the participants in the ‘Let’sTalk About’ event on disability at Arklow Presbyterian Church Hall
Some of the participants in the ‘Let’sTalk About’ event on disability at Arklow Presbyterian Church Hall

Deborah Coleman

Arklow Presbyterian Church Hall was recently filled with voices advocating for people with disabilities who live, work and socialise in the Arklow and Wicklow areas.

As part of their Let's Talk About information and community engagement series, Co Wicklow Public Participation Network (PPN) in collaboration with Disability Federation Ireland and Wicklow County Council invited people to examine some of the articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Ireland signed up to in March 2007 but have yet to ratify.

With the hope that ratification will take place in 2017, people were asked how the convention could be implemented at local level.

Topics covered included participation in public and political life; participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, accessibility, freedom of expression and opinion and access to information, personal mobility; awareness raising and more.

At the end of the discussions volunteers agreed to join an advocacy group for the Arklow and Wicklow area to work towards raising awareness, as well as identifying and progressing solutions to the challenges identified.

Volunteers were also recruited to take part in the #MakeWayDay campaign, an initiative to encourage people to think before blocking footpaths and access points with cars, bins, advertising boards and other objects.

This initiative encouraged people to go out on Tuesday, September 26, and put stickers on obstacles that made it difficult and dangerous for wheelchairs and walking aids to manoeuvre around.

Co Wicklow PPN and Disability Federation Ireland hope to encourage more regional groups to develop in the county and bring them together so that they can feed in to the Wicklow Local Authorities Disability Action Group.

For more information contact Laura English on 086 8206736 or For more information about Co Wicklow PPN contact Helen Howes on 087 1895145 or

Wicklow People