Equality for people with disabilities still a long way off

Sean Crowe

TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that we cannot continue to pretend that we have done enough to shape society to be truly inclusive. His comments come after local disability rights advocate Ms Carolyn Akintola experienced severe difficulties in attending the Fifth European Parliament of People with Disabilities in Brussels last week.
Teachta Crowe said “A local disability rights advocate Ms Carolyn Akintola and Tallaght resident travelled to Brussels to speak at the Fifth European Parliament of People with Disabilities. This was an opportunity for Ms Akintola to travel to an international conference to share her life lived experiences and the perspective of living with a disability in Dublin.
“However, Ms Akintola requires a powered wheelchair and experienced severe difficulties in boarding her flight from Dublin to Brussels. After almost two hours, she was forced to abandon her wheelchair in Dublin and fly without it. Ms Akintola faced similar difficulties in Brussels and eventually attended the European Parliament in a borrowed wheelchair that was unsuited to her needs.
“She was even singled out by an announcement to passengers that the flight delay was due to difficulties in boarding her onto the plane. This left her feeling upset, isolated, singled out, and very embarrassed. “Irony aside, this is all too typical of the experience of too many of our disabled citizens when they try to go about their daily lives. The equity and inclusivity that they deserve is still a long way off and we cannot pretend that we have done enough to shape society to include everyone. 
“As Ms Akintola pointed out in her speech in Brussels, ‘Anyone can acquire a disability at any point in life or as we age. Me today, you tomorrow’. Equity for people with disabilities seems a long way off still in how we address the unique challenges that those with a disability face every day. “Whether it is something as everyday as accessing public transport or accessing adaptation grants to alter a home to suit someone with a disability, we constantly put obstacles in the path of people just trying to live normal lives with dignity.”

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.



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