Make Way Day is a campaign that was coordinated by the Disability Federation of Ireland. It brings the disabled community together to discuss and consider the needs of people with disabilities in public spaces that we all share here in Ireland.
Like many activists within the disability community, the aim of this campaign is to have an Ireland where everyone is equally valued. Everyone can get involved and those close to the heart of the campaign believe that everyone should get involved as they have discovered thoughtlessness is a big issue.
The obstacles Make Way Day wants to tackle are simple everyday things we wouldn’t necessarily think twice about. Obstacles such as:
- Cars parked on footpaths (horizontally on footpaths or protruding from a driveway onto the footpath)
- Bicycle’s tied to poles and railings
- Bins left on footpaths
- Skips left on pathways during construction
- Overhanging tree branches
- Sandwich boards outside shop windows
- The business’s obstructing guidance strips on public walkways
How Does It Work?
First off, Make Way Day is not about pointing fingers. The whole point of the day is making the public and local authorities aware of an issue that is fully within their power to change.
Disability organizations and local authorities on board with the campaign supply campaigners with removable stickers. These stickers are used to mark obstacles that are in the way of safe passage.
Hey, this blocks my way!
is the campaign message and it takes place on the 25th of September every year. Obstacles that block the way and complicate the lives of people with disabilities for 365 days of the years are highlighted on this one momentous day.
Last year in 2019, the campaign was a roaring success, reaching over 100,000 people on social media and appearing on RTE news bulletins the entire day.
Make Way Day 2020
Make Way Day this year will be slightly different thanks to Covid-19. This year the campaign goes digital.
This way there is no unnecessary travel. There will be a virtual meeting where you can get involved with other disability & community groups in your county/city. You will be able to work together with the council to take action on access.
Feel free to check out more information on the virtual meeting here on the Make Way Day website.
Of course, if you happen to be out and you come across obstacles blocking access. Obstacles like we mentioned above – feel free to take a picture and upload it to social media with the hashtags, #MakeWayDay20 #Disabilityfed. Don’t forget to tag @MakeWayDay in your post too.
They ask that people show their support in sharing other people’s posts to get the word out there. They also have a twibbon you can add to your Facebook profile picture for the day.
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