By Shelly Gaynor
On Thursday the 22nd June 2017, my Personal Assistant (PA) and I travelled to Croke Park for the launch of Irish Wheelchair Association’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020. I was there as a representative of IWA Media Group. The MC for the day was Kevin Doyle, the Political Editor for the Irish Independent
The launch opened with a presentation of the plan itself by Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) CEO Rosemary Keogh. She gave a detailed outline of the key elements of the organisation’s strategy going forward into 2020. As a disability activist/campaigner, I was very pleased to see that advocacy is a central feature of this strategy.
Tommy Broughan, T.D. spoke kindly about the organisation’s great work and his involvement with them for many years. He was followed by IWA President, Eileen O’Mahoney, who reiterated the goals and objectives of the plan and emphasised how important implementing this plan is so that Ireland can ensure that every one of its citizens is treated equally regardless of ability.
During the launch I did an interview for RTE’s Radio 1 programme Drivetime regarding accessible housing. I outlined why it is so crucial that accessible homes are being built in 2017 so that the needs and requirements of those with disabilities are not simply an afterthought of housing providers. On the day my colleague and friend, Brendan Sinclair, was also interviewed for the radio, as well as for RTE Six One news – which aired that evening – regarding his struggles to secure accessible housing.
I would encourage you all to have a read of the IWA Strategic Plan 2017 -2020 yourselves. It is available at: http://www.iwa.ie/about/strategy