Dublin, April 8th

A new campaign has been launched, calling on Irish communities to take simple steps that create a more inclusive society for people with higher access needs.
Almost 600,000 people in Ireland, or 13% of the population, are living with a disability and one of the biggest barriers they face is accessibility in the physical environment. One Simple Change: The Challenge Access Campaign aims to break down these barriers, by encouraging communities, schools, councils, businesses and members of the public to take simple steps aimed at making ours a more inclusive society.

Free repro – please credit Paul Sherwood Pictured - Stephen Cluskey, Kevin Kilbane - former Irish soccer international, Noelle Daly

Pictured – Stephen Cluskey, Kevin Kilbane

The campaign is the brainchild of Stephen Cluskey, creator of the award-winning Mobility Mojo. Stephen is a strong advocate for people with disabilities, commenting, “As a wheelchair user myself, I know that people with higher access needs can be unwittingly isolated in society. Barriers in our physical environment can be more disabling than the disability itself but small changes have the power to make a world of difference to people dealing with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive challenges. Imagine trying to meet friends for dinner but there isn’t enough space between the tables for you to navigate your wheelchair around. Imagine trying to decide what you’ll order if you can’t see the menu. Things that many people take for granted as being simple can become major barriers for people with higher access needs so small changes can make a huge difference.”

Together with campaign sponsor TTM Healthcare and Loosehorse productions, Stephen is urging people to visit www.challengeaccess.ie for ideas and practical tips on how to improve accessibility in local communities, schools, councils and businesses.

Stephen Cluskey was interviewed on RTE’s Late Late Show on Friday, April 7th, along with Kathryn Thomas and Kevin Kilbane, when they officially launched the campaign. Will you pledge to make ‘One Simple Change’ to improve accessibility in Ireland? Spread the word and encourage others to get involved by sharing your pledge on social media using the hashtag #ChallengeAccess