Offaly election hopeful pledges support to disability campaign
Social Democrats local election candidate for Birr, Clare Claffey, has offered strong support for people with disabilities and has endorsed proposals made by the Disability Federation of Ireland.
Clare said: “I have signed up to be an advocate for people with Disabilities if elected to Offaly County Council in May."
The Disability Federation of Ireland want a focus on three simple things like accessibility to make all public services open and accessible for people with disability
They are also focusing on participation to ensure the participation of people with disabilities on local decision-making structures and planning to make sure Offaly County Council publishes an implementation plan for Offaly for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities by 2020.
"If elected in May, I am promising to prioritise each of these key requests," Claffey said.
“In Offaly, 14% of the population, or 11,154 people, have at least one disability. We know from the latest Census that the vast majority of these people have a chronic illness or difficulties with basic physical activities. Yet, supports to help integrate people with physical difficulties are seriously lacking in our county council."
“On a practical level, a Council who adopts these calls will be focusing on accessible playgrounds, ensuring there is enough housing and parking for people with disabilities, and designing street-scapes so that people with disabilities are not hindered by parked cars, bins, street lights and sign posts.”
“I believe a clear commitment to people with disabilities should be written into Offaly County Council’s next County Development Plan, and if elected I will lead the charge on this," Clare continued.
Claffey has three young children with long term health issues and said this makes her "very conscious" of the issues with primary healthcare in Offaly, and also the importance of providing supports for people of all ages with disabilities.
"I know first-hand how difficult everyday life can be - but also how simple measures can enable people with disabilities to participate more fully in decision making and access services and facilities that most people take for granted."