Kildare County Council supports County Kildare Social Inclusion Week 2023
Vision for Kildare to be Universally Accessible to all
26th September 2023: Kildare County Council is once again supporting County Kildare Social Inclusion Week 2023, which is taking place this week, from Monday 25th – Friday 29th September. The annual event, which has been running since 2017, is an opportunity to highlight and showcase the great work being done across the county to ensure everyone in our communities is valued and has the opportunity to participate fully in society.
Kildare County Council’s vision is for Kildare to be universally accessible to all. Considerable progress has been made towards achieving this, and there are lots more exciting plans underway. To mark County Kildare Social Inclusion Week 2023, Kildare County Council is celebrating some of the great initiatives being delivered across the county, as well as what’s to come.
Watch here to see more about how Kildare County Council has been working with the County Kildare Access Network (CKAN), local access groups and many other partners across the county, comprising of people who have unrivalled experience and understanding, to achieve real change. Watch video here
Kildare County Council, working with these partners, identified the key challenges faced by disabled people in our society, and developed actions to address them, in the County Kildare Access Strategy.
Since the launch of the access strategy in 2020, some of the key initiatives rolled out in Kildare include:
- The Cubie Sensory Hub – easy to use, fully accessible, immersive, safe space for people with sensory needs which are located in Aras Chill Dara and Athy Library
- The Sensory Pod – particularly effective for people with Autism is a calming, safe space available in Kildare Town library and Leixlip library
- Changing Places facilities – specially designed toilet and changing facilities for people with complex and multiple disabilities. Two facilities already installed across the county with three more to come
- C-Reader pens – available in all of our 15 libraries. Promote independent reading and learning for any person with reading difficulties
- Our World Toy Resource – educational tool, comprising of inclusive toys with disabilities, used to teach children acceptance and normalise difference
Raising awareness has also been an important focus of the Kildare Access Strategy. In addition to the physical infrastructure, changing attitudes and mindsets around disability, and raising awareness are also central to this work.
The Kildare Inclusion Schools Project is once such project, which aims to create positive understanding and awareness of disability, and disability equality, amongst children and young people.
Speaking about the project in the video, Scott, from Salesian College Celbridge said; “as the next up and coming generation, it is our responsibility to make a difference and add these changes into our community, because we are the future planners, builders, designers and it will be our job to adapt society for those with disabilities.”
Speaking about the progress in delivering the County Kildare Access Strategy, Michael Hurley, Access Officer, Kildare County Council said; “The launch of this video which showcases some of the key initiatives that we have implemented over the last number of years is a true reflection of the progress we have made, towards achieving our vision of a fully inclusive and accessible county. Our partnership with CKAN has been central to this and we are excited to continue on our journey towards realizing this vision.”