South Dublin County Access Guides - Overview of Accessibility. Part 2 of 2.


Uploaded by AccessSouthDublin on 16.03.2010

Transcript:
As we have seen, the accessibility of public buildings is vital in
facilitating people's interaction with South Dublin County Council.
It is also crucial that the public spaces that surround us are equipped to
service the diverse needs of people that live, work or visit South Dublin County
As you look around the spaces and the squares that are emerging in Tallaght, you will
see that they are all very friendly towards somebody who is in a wheelchair or somebody elderly.
You will see slopes and steps combined. Really it was a mindset change
both in terms of public buildings and your own private building and then the public spaces.
When we provided dished kerbs that had to be complete with tactile paving
because otherwise visually impaired people would inadvertently
walk into the road and put themselves in danger.
Another key area that South Dublin County Council has focused on is mobility.
The County is well served by a Dublin Bus fleet that comprises
low floor wheelchair accessible buses.
The Luas Red Line from Connolly in Dublin City Centre stops at Tallaght,
within 100 metres of County Hall, Civic Theatre, Rua/Red County Arts Centre,
the County Library, Tallaght Cross and the Square Shopping Centre.
Luas is a state-of-the-art tram system providing accessible public transport.
When you are building a brand new system you don’t want to preclude
anyone from being able to access all of the system
and it is very important to us to make sure that everything
is accessible to anyone with any kind of disability.
I don’t think it is just a tram, it is a metaphor for all
trams or for all public transport, it is very powerful,
it is not just an idea about how we move people around but that
there is some idea about the quality of people’s lives as they are being moved around,
which I haven’t seen anywhere here before,
you don’t really get it on a bus, I think that is why it is a more powerful thing than the bus,
though I have to say that the quality of the bus corridors in
somewhere like Stillorgan or the ones we have here in South Dublin County,
can shift large numbers of people easily and quickly so all of those things are great,
great for the economy, great for people having choice, what to do and where to do it.
In developing a sustainable housing stock, South Dublin County Council
is focused on delivering adaptive housing.
This is seen as fundamental to providing housing that can respond to
people's lifecycle and accommodate people with differing abilities and requirements.
What lifetime adaptable housing is, is building a house, or building accommodation,
whether it is a house or a flat, so that with minimum effort and minimum cost,
if the tenants needs change during the lifetime that they are living
in that accommodation that the actual house can be adapted to suit them.
With simple things like is that door opening sufficiently wide for somebody in a wheelchair? Is there a downstairs loo?
And then eventually even, in the life cycle of a house,
you know, you may end up needing to sleep downstairs, otherwise what is the option?
So that choice, that freedom, that sense of the house being committed
to the longer haul, again, says very powerful things about us as a Council
and about the value we place on long term homes and what they mean to the people who live in them,
that they are not just tenants, they are citizens and these are their homes, not just their houses
The Quality of Life of citizens in South Dublin County depends
on the delivery of accessible recreation & environmental facilities.
South Dublin County Council has introduced several innovative projects in this area.
It has always been an important factor in Parks, because we design Parks
so as to get as many people in there as possible, regardless of a person’s ability.
I think with the Act in 2005 a lot more people became more aware of it and
now design with that in mind so we have all inclusive access, wherever possible.
In South Dublin we’ve got 4,000 acres of open space that is available to the public.
If we make that as accessible as possible, that means there are more places out there for people to play,
to interact, to enjoy themselves, whether they be sitting down having a picnic,
going for a stroll, actively playing a game of baseball or maybe just even playing in a playground.
It doesn’t matter what you are doing, if it is there, your quality of life will improve.
Providing innovation in the built environment needs to be complimented by an innovative approach to IT service delivery.
South Dublin County Council has a substantial web presence that has a clear accessibility focus.
We are very committed to the whole online aspect of delivering our services,
we believe that people should have equal access to our facilities
regardless of their competence with either a computer or their level of ability or disability within themselves.
I think that may have been one failing we might have had at the beginning,
accessibility would have been way down the list of priorities,
but I have to say, anything that is done from now on, accessibility is actually top of the list,
whether we go out to graphic designers
or with our own people when we are looking at what way we are going to present content.
As we have discovered, significant progress has been made in making South Dublin County an accessible place.
We hope you will enjoy this series of Access Guides. Further videos,
audio and transcripts are available as part of this series.
For further information on accessibility and to access other Council information please visit www.southdublin.ie