Have you ever walked down a crowded street or had to change your path because of an obstacle and thought about how frustrating it is? Now, imagine if you had a disability, or had to use a wheelchair.
Navigating narrow, obstructed streets is a daily struggle for less able-bodied people and unfortunately, it's an issue that seems to fly under the radar for those responsible. Today though, a new national campaign to draw attention to the problem has been launched and it's making people think differently about how we get around.
National Make Way Day is encouraging people to remove obstacles or obstructions from their local businesses and even on their own streets, to make it easier for those with disabilities to get around. This could be as simple as trimming a tree that is overflowing from your garden, or keeping your shop doors open - things many people wouldn't even think about, but that pose a big problem for those less able-bodied.
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 26, 2018
Although the day is all about removing physical barriers, the organisers of Make Way Day say that it signifies something much bigger. The Disability Foundation Ireland have said: "we are demonstrating our commitment to creating a more equal society for people with disabilities. [Make Way Day] will send a strong message that we don't want our villages, towns and cities to be obstacles courses for family, friends and neighbours with disabilities, we want them to be warm, welcoming and inclusive."
Sandwich boards, bins and cars parked on pavements are just some of the barriers we have encountered on our walk along Parnell St in Limerick City. Removing these obstructions is a small step to ensuring our community is accessible to all #MakeWayDay #MakeWayDayLimerick pic.twitter.com/Xox4UxaU0k
— Cllr Elisa O'Donovan (@elisaodonovan) September 26, 2018
If you want to get involved, there's plenty of ways to do so. Do your best to remove any obstacles that might affect someone passing by your home or business or, as the organisers themselves have asked, take a picture of any everyday obstruction you see and post it online with the hashtag #MakeWayDay. Their aim is to get as many people as possible aware of the problem, and hopefully, make some steps towards a more accessible way of getting around.
Image via Twitter