Local towns to host ‘Make Way Day’ events

A number of towns around County Roscommon are to stage public events to highlight ‘Make Way Day on Friday, September 22nd – in a new campaign aimed at highlighting the problems that people with disabilities sometimes experience on our footpaths and streets.

Make Way Day is an annual 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. Most of all it’s about people with disabilities but everyone can get involved.

This year’s campaign will feature a number of events in County Roscommon including a street demonstration in Roscommon town, Castlerea, Ballaghaderreen, Boyle, and Strokestown.

All local groups are invited to participate. Organisers have compiled a ‘terrible top three’ list of obstacles that stop people with disabilities in their tracks:

1. Cars parked on footpaths

2. Bicycles illegally parked

3. Bins left on footpaths

“Make Way Day is not about pointing the finger at local authorities, other agencies, or randomly scattered activism,” said Linda Devine of Roscommon LEADER Partnership.

“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.

“Leading the charge are people with disabilities, local authorities, and disability organisations armed with an online tool that was specifically designed for Make Way Day. ‘Hey, this blocks my way’ is our message”.

As part of the day of action on Friday, September 22nd, obstacles that block the way and complicate the lives of people with disabilities 365 days of the year are highlighted and photos and videos are taken and posted and shared on social media.

The event is support from Roscommon LEADER Partnership SICAP, the Roscommon Accessibility Group, and 29 local authorities (http://makewayday.com/). The campaign was phenomenally successful last year, reaching over one million people on social media and appearing on RTÉ news bulletins across the day