Members of Bray Area Partnership’s Disability Network met with councillors over a cuppa recently to talk about issues for people with disabilities and present their Key Asks for what they want councillors do to improve the lives of people with disabilities living in the Bray and Greystones areas.
The Big Chat was hosted at Lakers and took the form of lively presentations by network member groups and their service-users on their issues in the areas of Accessibility & Transport, Education & Training, Employment and Housing & Accommodation. They then presented their Key Asks in each of these areas.
Examples of Key Asks were: accessibility audits of Bray and Greystones towns; install ‘Changing Places’ facilities; more affordable social housing suitable for people with disabilities; a directory of businesses in North Wicklow willing to provide work experience for people with disabilities; grants for colleges to do sensory audits; a council-sponsored campaign to promote the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
The Big Chat followed on from an innovative pre-election ‘Speed Lobby’ of local election candidates run by our Disability Network earlier in the year. The idea was to build on the relationships forged at the Speed Lobby and give newly-elected councillors a chance to find out more about the issues raised.
Staff and members who took part in the Big Chat were from Autism Initiatives Ireland, Cairdeas Clubhouse, Festina Lente, Lakers Social & Recreational Club, National Learning Network, RehabCare Bray, Sunbeam House Services and St. Margaret’s - with co-ordination and planning from BAP staff.
Councillors who attended were Aoife Flynn Kennedy, Joe Behan, Lourda Scott, Melanie Corrigan, Rory O’Connor and Grace McManus, with other councillors who had prior engagements sending messages of support.
This work is funded under the Partnership’s SICAP programme 2018-2022, which is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, through the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Social Fund under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.