Plucky Irish Accessibility Project a Roaring Success
In 2006, 96% of Cashel decided that there was a lack of awareness surrounding disability issues. They also agreed that community means including everyone. Then they got right down to the business of making the sentiment a reality.
A public meeting was called and the engines of change activated. Plucky Irish citizens are no strangers to budget limitations and settled down with gusto to solve Cashel’s accessibility problems.
Fully, 10% of Irish people currently live with a disability. In South Tipperary, where Cashel is located, that’s 8700 people whose lives are limited by poor accessibility!
The Cashel Gold Star Initiative started as a pilot program for improving community accessibility. Over the last few years, the project has been as David was to Goliath towards four identified barriers to inclusion; access, awareness, social participation, and transport.
Local businesses have invested as participants in an extraordinary way. Even small changes can make a huge difference in accessibility! They’ve improved signs, access and services to earn ‘Gold Star’ recognition; contributing funds and a great attitude toward the program.
As a result businesses have benefited from a boost in clientele and positive media attention. The overall rate of community participation and business buy in has labeled the project a success.
The project is cost effective and on target with the very best of what a community should aspire to be.
Back in 2005, I had the opportunity to visit Cashel myself. I was impressed then. Now, I out right admire the plucky Irish town. In an era where government dollars just keep getting scarcer, it’s such a joy to see people working together to make a difference. Bravo Cashel!
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