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Meet Declan the Activist...

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Saturday December 07 2013 11:00 AM

'In his introductory blog for MS Ireland Declan Groeger talks about accessibility and raising awareness so everyone can live independent lives'

This is the first time I have been publically described as an activist. I would never have thought of myself as one, always considering activists to be ‘bolshie’ and loud. A niece of mine raised the issue recently and after thinking about it I kind of like the idea that an activist is someone who does something about an issue rather than sitting back and expecting others do it for them. If that description is accepted then I am properly, and happy to be, described as an activist and the issue that exercises me most is accessibility. There are many issues to be addressed but my hobby-horse at the moment is accessibility or more correctly, inaccessibility.

There are so many types of disability that I am not qualified to comment on but I am qualified to comment on inaccessibility through mobility impairment. I was diagnosed with MS way back in 1988 and now through the passage of time I find that I use a wheelchair when I am outside the home and it really annoys me that some places and facilities are inaccessible through sheer thoughtlessness and then to compound matters when a problem is pointed out the issue is not rectified.

It would be unrealistic to think that everywhere will be accessible to everyone regardless of ability or disability. We, therefore, need to make people aware of the venues that are accessible and the ones that are not.

Last February I started blogging about accessibility, it is largely based on my own experiences and I hope to grow it to a ‘Tripadvisor’ type site for people with disabilities. To that end I am looking for bloggers from all over the country to contribute. We can make this into a great resource but I need help. Will you help?

I am married with 2 adult children and a loving and supportive wife. I had a very varied career until I retired in June 2010. Texts and tweets were the limit of my writing before I started my blog!

I still have a lot to learn about writing and blogging, so please bear with me as this is a work in progress.

Thanks for reading my blog

Declan

Don't forget to check out able2access.wordpress.com

Author: Declan Groeger

Tags: declangroeger, accessibility, disability, access, community

Comments

Trevis Gleason

Saturday December 07 2013 20:00

I'm happy that you're on our team, Declan! We need more active voices like yours and I applaud your work. Cheers

Joan

Saturday December 07 2013 20:35

Well done Declan. I really enjoyed your blog. A ‘Tripadvisor’ type site for people with disabilities is a great idea. Thanks Joan

Gail

Saturday December 07 2013 21:31

Accessibility is a problem; especially when areas spout on how they have access for wheelchairs but truly limit where you can use it. I live in Central Florida; often visit the local attractions, but find most don't have easier ways to navigate thru the restaurants and rides.

Helen

Saturday December 07 2013 22:24

Hi Declan loved reading your introductory blog. Brilliant that u have turned a negative into a positive force for change, helping everyone.
Looking forward to hearing lots more. ;

Emma Rogan

Monday December 09 2013 11:26

Great stuff Declan!
Thank you for talking about 'accessibility'- sometimes we need to be reminded that it is about personal independence and recognition of our different ways of living in the world. Wonderful to have you as part of the Team!

Willeke

Thursday December 12 2013 13:03

From one activist to another, I gladly salute you! The Labour Disability group is working on accessibility also, so hopefully there will be positive news soon on this. Looking forward to reading more on your blog!

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