Blind Offaly student fighting to be able to walk around his own town independently

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

Blind Offaly student fighting to be able to walk around his own town independently

Mr Michael Murphy, Killeshin Hotel, Mr Daniel Daly and Inspector Eamon Curley (District Award Winner Birr)

A blind Offaly student has picked an award at the inaugural Laois and Offaly Garda Youth Awards which took place at the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co Laois on Friday last, February 22.

Transition year student Daniel Daly has been blind since he was five years of age, but he attends Banagher College as a mainstream student. He won the award for his work campaigning to make Banagher more negotiable for people with visual impairments. 

In 2018, Daniel undertook a project researching whether or not Banagher was an accessible place for people with visual difficulties. He started with Offaly County Council's county development plan and worked from there, researching accessibility in the town.

Daniel's goal is to be able to walk from school to SuperValu independently. This is a big ask as at present there is no way for a visually impaired person to cross the street independently.

The project has involved liaising with community groups, individuals and Offaly County Council. Daniel hopes to improve access for all people in the town of Banagher. This project was undertaken by Daniel with the help of some peers.

“Through Daniel's Vision,” a sensory map of the town has been created by the group. The project is evolving with Daniel's needs and capabilities.

The judges said: "Daniel has raised awareness of the challenges faced by people with disabilities and promoted the importance of accessibility. Daniel is a remarkable young man who has not let his disability hold him back."