Two is the magic number for Make Way Day 20
September 24 2020
Two metres is the space required for people with disabilities to make their way in public spaces as well as the distance we needed to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The organisers of Make Way Day, the Disability Federation of Ireland, DFI, point out that in the UK six out of ten deaths from the virus are made up of people with disabilities*. While comparable Irish figures are not available, there can be no doubt people with disabilities are at very high, and similar risk.
“The Make Way Day message of just thinking of people with disabilities in the public spaces we all share has never been more relevant”, said DFI’s Communications Manager Clare Cronin. “Added to the usual hazards is a deadly virus to out-manoeuvre. If people are not to be totally isolated and barricaded into their homes, we really need to make way this year”.
This is a revolution that starts with all of us taking individual responsibility. We know the major obstacles are;
· Cars and vans parked on footpaths.
· Bicycles, badly parked blocking the path.
· Bins left out for days.
Make Way Day activist Gary Kearney said – “The Covid-19 restrictions are nothing that new for those of us living with a disability. We always must carefully plan ours trips out, we are always dodging obstacles, but this year brings an extra layer of danger. We used to need two metres to get by and now we need it to survive”.
In other years Make Way Day campaigners took to the street to mark out obstacles with Make Way Day stickers. DFI have adapted to the new dangers by moving the event to virtual meetings with the 29 local authorities taking part. Disability campaigners will meet with those who design their towns and villages and agree on action plans for the future.
“A lot of great innovations are already taking place”, said Clare Cronin. “Galway City Council are trialling the use of bollards to stop people parking on the dipp in footpaths.
“A lot of great innovations are already taking place”, said Clare Cronin. “Galway City Council are trialling the use of bollards to stop people parking on the dipp in footpaths. In Monaghan the local Council does a regular accessibility audit with local campaigners with action resulting."