‘One Simple Change at a time…’
makes Ireland more inclusive.

MISSION: To promote the inclusion of all with disabilities as full citizens within our communities. Through public awareness, community partnerships and education, we aim to foster an environment of equal participation for persons with disabilities.

Let’s imagine a society that is inclusive for everyone. This is what Challenge Access is about.

Take the places we go to enjoy ourselves; A Restaurant. A visual impairment may not allow someone to read the Menu. The size, shape and font of the menu print, can have a huge bearing on their experience. A mobility impairment can be unnecessarily affected by the layout of Restaurant tables.
Our physical environment can be more disabling than the disability itself. Without knowing, it can isolate members of society unnecessarily.
Simple changes can make a world of difference.

One simple change at a time is our aim. Challenge Access aims to encourage communities, schools, councils, businesses and the wider public to make a ‘One Simple Change’ to improve accessibility. This will lay the foundations for a more vibrant and inclusive society.

This campaign is about creating awareness and finding solutions.

‘Inclusion is a right, not a privilege.’

We must think differently about access. We must make Irish society more inclusive.

‘One Simple Change’
at a time can do just that.

Who is behind ‘Challenge Access’ Week?

Stephen Cluskey

Challenge Access Founder

Stephen co-founded the award-winning Mobility Mojo in 2016 with the aim of tackling problems associated with accessible travel. In essence it’s a ‘trip advisor’ for people with higher access needs. Before this he had established 2 enterprises each trying to tackle disability issues – Goaccessible365.com and wheelchairtaxi.ie. In 2015 he won ‘Emerging Social Entrepreneur’ at the David Manley Awards.

In 2015 he devised and help develop IFTA nominated ‘Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge’ which got nationwide coverage and aired on TV3 October 2015. www.youtube.com/watch?v=hL7LVRhi5SI

He is a strong advocate for people with disabilities and as a wheelchair user, cares passionately about this issue.

He was appointed by the Minister for Transport to the taxi advisory committee and has helped bring about improvements in accessible transport. He was also recently appointed to the Personalised Budget Task Force by the Minister for Disabilities.

Cormac Hargaden

Co-Founder Loosehorse Productions

Cormac Hargaden founded LOOSEHORSE in 2007 and has grown it to become one of Ireland’s most successful independent television companies.

In 2015, he collaborated with Stephen Cluskey on the IFTA nominated Rugby’s Wheelchair Challenge, a concept that asked rugby stars Jamie Heaslip and Felix Jones to embrace a unique accessibility challenge.

Among Cormac’s credits in other genres are:  Trial Of The Century, Inside Trinity, The Scholarship, JoeBrolly: Perfect Match, A Parting Gift, Guess Who’s Dead, The Naked Election, Sports Quiz Of The Year, Guerrilla Gourmet and Entrepreneur Of The Year.

In sports TV, Cormac has overseen fifteen consecutive years of independent Gaelic games output on RTÉ, from Breaking Ball to Thank GAA It’s Friday and was the man behind the acclaimed sports docs All Ireland Day, Galvinised, Girl On The Undercard, Marooned, Micheál: The Sound Of Sunday and The Rod Squad.

Winner of four IFTAs and twelve times nominated, Cormac previously was involved in senior management with Setanta Television and Motive Television.

When not at work, Cormac is dad to three young boys.

Philip McGaley

Tower Media

Philip McGaley, a graduate of DIT Bolton Street and the IMI has over 30 year’s experience in the publishing industry. Starting his career with Irish Tatler Publications in advertising sales dept he held various sales management roles in the print sector before leading a MBO at Dyflin Publications Ltd in 1999 and growing the company to be one of the leading consumer and trade publishers in Ireland.

Philip is also a board member of Magazines Ireland, the representative organisation for Professional Publishers in Ireland and a mentor to a number of start-ups in the sector.

Currently he is the managing director at Tower Media Ltd a specialist publisher and event organiser.

Marie Louise O’Donnell

Senator

Marie-Louise O’Donnell studied English and Education at Nottingham University, Masters in Education at NUI Maynooth, M.A. in Modern Drama at UCD and Theatre and Voice at The Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London.

She became head of Drama at Carysfort Teacher Training College, a Theatre Director and a professional actress.

She trained in Radio Production Presentation and Direction with the BBC in London and made and presented programmes for BBC Radio 4 for several years.

As a member of staff in DCU for 23 years, she lectured in The School of Communications.

In the early ’90s she initiated and developed The Arts and Culture on the young DCU University campus, culminating in the imaging, building and launch of The Helix in 2002. She was appointed to the Board of the National Concert Hall for 2 terms.

Marie Louise has lectured extensively in Ireland, Europe and the USA in Education, Irish Drama, Irish Culture and Language. She is a noted after dinner speaker and has acted as invited master of ceremonies for many National and International events.

She has presented programmes on Television and Radio and is a regular reviewer and media contributor.

She works weekly as a colour radio writer and reporter on the national broadcaster’s Sean O’Rourke Show.

Marie-Louise is a published writer.

In May 2011 she was first appointed to the Senate by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and was reappointed by him in May 2016.

Noelle Daly

Mobility Mojo C0-Founder

Noelle is a wheelchair user following a road traffic accident. 21 years’ experience working in the disability sector dealing with people with disabilities and their families on a daily basis.

Co-founder of Spinal Injuries Ireland in 1993, she has been responsible for coordinating many projects which have helped to build and grow this organisation which now reaches an audience of over 8,000 members including families and friends. Founder and director of Swap-Able.com 2013.

Tony Maher

Transport Manager Irish Wheelchair Association

Tony Maher is the National Transport Manager with the Irish Wheelchair Association(IWA). As part of his role he manages the following transport related services:

  • IWA’s nationwide 130 strong accessible vehicle fleet
  • IWA’s nationwide driving tuition and assessment service
  • Issuing of Disabled Parking Permits
  • Provision of advice on accessible motoring issues

In addition to the above he has been active over a number of years in advocating for better services in all modes of accessible Public Transport services for people. He was centrally involved in advocating for accessible bus stops on all Dublin Bus routes and is currently working with the National Transport Authority in relation to improving the level of accessible Bus Eireann coach services. He is also a member of the Department of Transport’s Accessibility Consultative Committee.

He lives in Naas with two children.

Why?

In the 2011 census it was recorded that 595,335 people are living with a disability in Ireland and the numbers are growing. As well as that, it is accepted throughout the European Union that at any one time 15-20% of the population will have a significant level of disability of a temporary or permanent nature. When we think about disability, most people’s first thoughts are ‘this person is in a chair, this person is blind, or this person is deaf.’ Well that’s not the full extent of the disability. A large part of the disability arises when you set that alongside a barrier and so by removing those barriers we can lay the foundations for a more vibrant and inclusive society.

One of the biggest barriers that people with a disability face is accessibility in the built environment and we want to change that. When the built environment is barrier free, everyone benefits.

Imagine not being able to access services or premises in your local community because they’re not accessible. Imagine struggling to get from A to B due to a lack of facilities on public transport. Imagine having to take a 15 minute detour around your normal route because there is a barrier in the way.

The built environment is crucial to this and while physical access is very important, good accessibility isn’t just about getting into a building for people in wheelchairs. There are people who have mobility challenges, people who have visual or hearing challenges, people who have cognitive challenges in recognizing signage and location and while we have seen many improvements in making our built environment more accessible, we still have a long way to go.

Now imagine that by making some simple changes we can remove many of those inconveniences. That’s the idea behind Challenge Access. There are small or more significant changes everyone can make to improve accessibility and thus, create a more inclusive society.

 

Proudly supported by

TTM Healthcare is a leading global healthcare recruitment company, delivering effective and innovative staffing solutions to the public, private and not-for-profit sectors since 2002.

Resilience Care provides advanced home and community-based services to individuals and families who need support as a result of injury, illness or disability.