Senator John Dolan urges Mayors and Cathaoirligh to ensure people with disabilities treated as full citizens within Community 24th September 2019
Senator John Dolan, addressed recently elected Mayor’s and Cathaoirligh in the Oireachtas today.
They had been invited to the Oireachtas by Senator Dolan for a briefing on disability issues.
In addressing his annual reception “The Local Authority – Champion for Disability Inclusion” Senator Dolan said, “Councils across the country are involved in a range of initiatives to establish the rightful place of people with disabilities and their families in the centre of their local community. You also collaborate with other bodies to achieve this. One immediate example being, ‘Make Way Day’ on Thursday next. An initiative between a growing number of local authorities and the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) with the support of disability organisations and people with disabilities. An Garda Siochána are also committed and involved”
“Please remember that it is within the local authority area that people with disabilities and their families reside. Our joint task is to make sure that they can continue to reside there but more importantly they can be a full part of the community – that they can participate as full citizens. We all know what happens when people and families are not part of the community – they are excluded and they feel excluded”
Dolan continued, “No disabled person lives within a state department or a public body other than within the area and remit of the local authority. This is unique to you. You must continue to use every opportunity to press home the importance of disability inclusion in everything you do, especially where you have direct responsibility for services and programs”
“Today I have invited Dermot O Leary General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union NBRU who, over the past number of years, has uniquely undertaken to have an “Access for All” programme. I am not aware of any other trade union that has taken to itself a specific area of responsibility and advocacy for a section of our public. To have such an ally is a great boost and gives more hope to people with disabilities – so well done to NBRU”
To complete this picture we have Assistant Commissioner Dave Sheahan, head of the Garda Roads Policing unit. Active enforcement of traffic and road legislation equally plays a complementary part”
“While preparing for this event it struck me that there is a natural and useful connection between the NBRU “Access for All” programme and the remit of the Garda Roads Policing unit. Local authorities are of course the third element of this and I look forward to progressing this in the near future in tandem with NBRU and An Garda Siochána”.
Senator Dolan used the occasion to announce and endorse the commitment of the Garda Roads Policing unit and the NBRU to work collaboratively to ensure that people with disabilities can have easy, safe and equitable access to, and across, the public realm.
Dolan stated “this is a great example of two bodies with responsibility to the public taking the lead to work together to make disability inclusion a reality”