Awareness campaign aims to highlight major obstacles people with disabilities face in Dublin City

Launched today by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Dublin City Council

A campaign to promote disability awareness in the city of Dublin has been launched by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr and Dublin City Council. The initiative aims to make the people of Dublin aware that their simple everyday actions can unconsciously create major difficulties for people with visual and mobility disabilities on the streets of Dublin.

The public awareness campaign, developed by the Lord Mayor, the Disability Federation of Ireland, the National Council for the Blind (NCBI), Fighting Blindness, and Dublin City Council, highlights how everyday occurrences can create major difficulties for people with disabilities in Dublin. These include for example; parking on a footpath, chaining a bike to a lamppost, overgrown hedges or trees that impede on footpaths in residential areas, or misplacing sandwich boards outside businesses. These actions can cause people with visual and mobility disabilities to have serious challenges in moving safely around Dublin City.

The outdoor advertising campaign, conveys in a very visual way how innocent actions can create major obstacles for people with visual and mobility disabilities in the city. The ads feature striking visuals such as a climbing wall in place of a badly parked car, a barbed wire fence in place of an overgrown hedge, and a climbing frame in place of an on-street obstacle, such as a sandwich board or bicycle. The outdoor ad campaign will feature on Dublin Bus vehicles, bus shelters and on a number of JCDecaux outdoor sites across Dublin city.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr, commented on the campaign launch; “Today we are launching a public awareness campaign to highlight the issue of what is often an unconscious obstruction by members of the public. We want to raise awareness of how people can unthinkingly create major obstacles for people with disabilities, such as the misuse of sandwich boards, or cycling on the footpath, and try to change their behaviour to create a safer city for people with disabilities.”

Sen. John Dolan, CEO of the Disability Federation of Ireland, said; “We are delighted to welcome this campaign on behalf of the 80 plus people with disabilities who inspired it. They came to the Mansion House and took up the Lord Mayor’s challenge to work towards making Dublin accessible for everyone. A common issue we kept coming back to was that greater public awareness of disability is the key to real accessibility. Disability takes many forms and this campaign just asks people to stop and think about how we can better share the city’s space.”

Mick Keegan, spokesperson for Labour Disability and Post-Polio Support Group, said; “We welcome the Lord Mayor’s disability awareness campaign. We hope this campaign makes people aware of what it is like to try and get around this city as a person with a disability. We all use the footpaths to get around the city safely, but if you are blind or use a wheelchair, it’s not so easy when people park their cars on footpaths or attach their bikes to lampposts and cause obstacles.

We hope this disability awareness campaign will make people think before they park their car, bike or any other thing that will block the footpath, as these innocent actions make it harder for people with disabilities to get around this great city of ours.

Dublin City Council is responding to the growing problem in the city of on-street obstructions, such as excess sandwich boards and bikes attached to lampposts, which can cause major obstacles for those with disabilities. Inspectors working for Dublin City Council will now have a responsibility to police this issue, working with local businesses to reduce the number of sandwich boards outside premises, promote clear pathways, and removing any major on-street obstacles in order for everyone to have better access to the city.