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06 Dec 2021

Kildare County Council to host week-long campaign in run-up to International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Kildare County Council to host week-long campaign in run-up to International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Pic: UN.org

Kildare County Council (KCC) is getting ready to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2021, which will take place on December 3.

Specifically, KCC announced in a public statement that it will mark the occasion with week of events titled "Kildare Disability Week." 

This week-long celebration will run from November 29 until December 3 2021. 

KCC added that the theme for IDPD this year is "Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world."

In a statement, KCC explained: "Over the last number of years, KCC, in partnership with County Kildare Access Network (CKAN), a network of individuals made up of representatives from the six local access groups in County Kildare and organisations working towards making County Kildare inclusive and fully accessible to all, have organised numerous events to mark the day and to raise awareness across our communities."

A number of events are being planned to mark Kildare Disability Week 2021.

The first of which will be Lighting County Kildare Purple; where Landmark buildings, including Maynooth University, Aras Chill Dara and Newbridge Town Hall will be flooded in purple lights in a salute to 643,131 people in Ireland (over 13 per cent of the population) who live with a disability.

Secondly: Fly the Flag - The County Kildare Access Network Flag to be flown in prominent locations across the county. In all 250 Flags will be flown in town squares, outside schools and on Garda Stations.

In addition, a number of new initiatives will be launched by KCC during Kildare Disability Week, including: 

  • Access All Areas - an award-winning initiative developed by Celbridge Access Group (CAG) aimed at supporting local business in making Business Accessible to All. CAG is working in partnership with Celbridge businesses to make people with disabilities feel valued and welcomed as customers.
  • JAM Card - allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily. Those with a communication barrier are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition. JAM Card allows this to happen in a simple, effective non-verbal manner.
  • Our World – Disability Awareness Education Program. This initiative which is being led by Maynooth Access Group consists of a catalogue of toys with different disabilities which is lent out to preschools and schools to educate children around the perception of normality.
  • Naas Community Bus - a joint initiative between An Garda Siochana and Kildare County Council’s Naas Municipal District. In addition to its day-to-day use for community policing in Naas, it services will now be used to support community groups and vulnerable minorities such as disabled people. The inclusion of an accessible lift on the bus is of particular benefit as it allows for a wheelchair user in addition to 12 other passengers to be transported at any one time. The community bus in Naas is one of a few marked police vehicle of this type around the world.

People across Kildare are encouraged to get involved and mark the event by donning the colour purple, as well as decorating their premises/shop front windows in purple, displaying messages on digital notice boards in support of day, and using a purple background for virtual meetings.

Kildare citizens are also invited to join the conversation online and show their support by using the hashtags #IDPwD and #PurplelightsKildare.

The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.

It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

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